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

Monday, November 22, 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:

The finding of an excess incidence of leukemia in areas near nuclear installations is not confined to the UK. A 15-fold excess in the incidence of childhood leukemia has been discovered near Cap de la Hague, France’s nuclear fuel reprocessing facility [1,2]. In this study, it was determined that the two excess risk factors for children were playing on the beach and eating shellfish. In a separate study, childhood leukemia within a 10 kilometer radius of the plant was six times the expected rate [3]. In northern Germany, a similar discovery was made. In children 0-4 years of age living within five kilometers of the Krummel nuclear power plant, a five-fold relative risk of leukemia was observed. This jump in leukemia incidence appeared five years after the plant began operations in 1983. A significant increase in adult leukemia in proximity to Krummel was also observed. Elevated levels of chromosome aberrations in the blood of local residents further supported the hypothesis that radiation was the causative agent for the leukemia cluster [4]. Environmental monitoring detected the presence of artificial radioactivity in air, rainwater, soil and vegetation, confirming chronic leakages of radioactivity from the facility. Calculations applied to the observed levels of radioactivity in the environment implied that emissions from the plant must have been well above authorized annual limits. In a separate study conducted by Korblein et al., a statistically significant increase in all types of childhood malignancies was discovered in children, ages 0-4, who lived in the areas closest to all commercial nuclear power plants in Germany. These findings remained unchanged when statistics for the area around the Krummel plant, with its confirmed leukemia cluster, were excluded.

In 1995, Iwasaki et al. published data concerning leukemia and lymphoma mortality between 1973 and 1987 in the vicinity of nuclear power plants in Japan [5]. Their study concluded that mortality from these diseases in the municipalities where the facilities were located was not significantly different from the control areas. The authors reached this conclusion by analyzing Standardized Mortality Ratios for each individual municipality. This created a multitude of small-number comparisons producing results of very low statistical power and guaranteeing that unless large numbers of illness were detected, no statistical significance would ever be derived from the study. The data was reanalyzed by Ziggel et al. [6] by pooling the incidence of leukemia and lymphoma for all municipalities housing reactors and for the control regions. When this was done, it was discovered that in the period 1973-1987, there were 307 observed leukemia deaths in all age groups where only 251 would have been expected based on Japanese national figures. The resulting Standardized Mortality Ratio of 1.22 demonstrated a 20% increase in leukemia in the study areas.


[1] Viel J.F., Poubel D., Carre A. Incidence of Leukemia in Young People around the La Hague Nuclear Waste Reprocessing Plant: A Sensitivity Analysis. Statistics in Medicine. 1996; 14: 2459-2472.

[2] Viel J.F., Richardson S., Danel P., Boutard P., Malet M., Barrelier P., Reman O. Carré A. Childhood Leukemia Incidence in the Vicinity of La Hague Nuclear-Waste Reprocessing Facility (France). Cancer Causes and Control. 1993; 4(4):341-343.

[3] Guizard A-V., Boutou O., Pottier D., Troussard X., Pheby D., Launoy G., Slama R., Spira A., AKRM. The Incidence of Childhood Leukemia Around the La Hague Nuclear Waste Reprocessing Plant (France): A Survey for the Years 1978-1998. Journal of Epidemiological Community Health. 2001; 55: 469-474.

[4] Ziggel H., Schmitz-Feuerhake I., Dannheim B., Heimers A., Oberheitmann B., Schroder H. Leukemia in the Proximity of a German Boiling-Water Nuclear Reactor: Evidence of Population Exposure by Chromosome Studies and Environmental Radioactivity. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1997; 105(Supplement 6):1499-1504.

[5] Iwasaki T., Nishizawa K., Murata M. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Mortality in the Vicinity of Nuclear Power Stations in Japan, 1973–1987. Journal of Radiological Protection. 1995; 15:271-288.

[6] Ziggel H., Hoffmann W., Kuni H. Leukemia and Lymphoma Mortality in the Vicinity of Nuclear Power Stations in Japan 1973-1987. Letter to the editor in Journal of Radiological Protection. 1996; 16:(3):213-215.