Both the great Truths and the great Falsehoods of the twentieth century lie hidden in the arcane, widely inaccessible, and seemingly mundane domain of the radiation sciences

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: EXHIBIT F continued

What follows is the continuation, in serial form, of a central chapter from my book A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.

EXHIBIT F continued:

Currently, an epidemic of cancers is ravaging the health of people in many parts of the world. In response, a highly contentious debate has arisen over the contribution played by fallout from nuclear weapon tests to this scourge. The Cult of Nuclearists rigidly adheres to the position that fission products, now ubiquitous in the environment, do not contribute significantly to people’s yearly doses from natural background radiation and cannot possibly be a health hazard. They base this assessment on their biologically questionable concept of dose, the total amount of energy deposited in the body by radiation. They give scant attention to the reality that the radionuclides from weapons tests, which we all carry within our cells, may decay while in proximity to a cell’s genetic material and disrupt that cell’s programming for healthy functioning. Under this scenario, the biological effect might be totally unrelated to the total amount of energy absorbed.

In 1993, using models of the ICRP, UNSCEAR published calculations of the average committed effective doses in person Sieverts from fallout to world populations. According to their tabulations, the amount of fallout radiation released on the Earth since 1945 and stretching infinitely into the future due to the decay of long-lived radionuclides, totals 29,800,000 person Sieverts. Applying to this number the ICRP risk factor for fatal cancer of 0.05 per Sievert yields the estimate that fallout from weapon testing will be responsible for ultimately producing 1,500,000 cancer deaths. As mentioned elsewhere, this number is totally dependent on the assumptions and models upheld by the ICRP. Using different models which attribute greater biological effect to internally incorporated radionuclides, the ECRR estimates that 120,000,000 radiation-induced cancers will be diagnosed, with 60,000,000 of these being fatal. In other words, the so-called nuclear superpowers, flaunting their nuclear machismo, have already committed crimes against humanity, and World War III hasn’t even started yet. With talk of a new, fourth generation of nuclear weapons, mini-nukes, micro-nukes, nuclear bunker-busters and so forth, the human guinea pigs of the world must not be lulled into forgetting that these weapons release vast quantities of radionuclides that migrate freely around the globe.

In their review of the literature, the ECRR examined 10 studies of cancer incidence in the wake of fallout from nuclear weapon tests. They assert that evidence exists that global fallout has produced infant mortality and increases in the rate of cancer, leukemia and other diseases of genetic origin. They make a very convincing argument that the cancer epidemic of today can be sourced to the nuclear contamination of the Earth that occurred decades ago. According to the ECRR:

In reaching this conclusion, the committee has been impressed by the lack of evidence as to the origin of the global cancer epidemic which began in the period 1975-85. Cancer is now widely seen, in the medical community, as a genetic disease expressed at the cellular level, and both early and recent research have supported the idea that the origin of the disease is essentially environmental exposure to a mutagen. If cancer rates began to increase sharply in the period 1975-1985, and since research has shown that the disease is known to lag the exposure by 15-20 years, clearly, the origin of the epidemic must be the introduction of some cancer-producing mutagen into the environment in the period 1955 to 1965. The identification of the mutagen with ionizing radiation from weapons fallout is persuasive. In addition, the variation in cancer incidence rates across regions of high and low rainfall and deposition points to radiation as the main cause of the cancer epidemic.”

Nuclear weapon testing vented an enormous quantity of radionuclides into the atmosphere. Since rainfall washes radiation out of the air, the presumption is made that people living in high rainfall areas received greater doses of this radiation than people living in low rainfall areas. To gauge the impact of fallout radiation on health detriment, a number of studies have been conducted comparing the rates of cancer in high and low rainfall areas. As reported by Busby in Wings of Death, when cancer rates in Wales (high rainfall) were compared to rates in England (low rainfall), a high correlation was discovered between cumulative strontium-90 exposure of between 0.2 and 1.0 mSv over the period of fallout and the trend in Standardized Incidence Ratios for all malignancies in Wales 20 years later. According to the CERRIE Minority Report, “The error in ICRP implicit in this correlation is 300-fold.”