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, August 30, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-NINE


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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-NINE: Base estimates of risk to a population from exposure to radiation on the response of the average adult while ignoring the heightened sensitivity of subgroups within the population.


As currently crafted, risk estimates are inherently flawed. They are based on average exposures to average individuals. Permissible levels of exposure are then set on the presumption that these will protect the entire population from radiation injury. This approach fails to take into account the fact that populations are heterogeneous, and that subgroups exist within the population that have heightened sensitivity to radiation effects. We know from studies done on patients undergoing radiation therapy that individuals can differ considerably in their sensitivity to radiation. A number of genetic syndromes have been identified that predispose individuals to heightened risks of various forms of cancer. Enhanced radiosensitivity is frequently connected with two phenomena: 1) deficiencies or disturbances in DNA repair after radiation damage, and 2) an uncontrolled proliferation of cells due to faulty regulation of arrest of the cell cycle [1]. Currently, no accurate information exists as to the percentage of such genetically predisposed radiosensitive individuals within the general population. Published estimates vary from one to six percent.


The statistical studies of Gould and Goldman, as reported in Deadly Deceit, uncovered an interesting trend in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. In the months immediately following the arrival of the fallout cloud over the United States, the increased mortality that was recorded was not uniformly distributed throughout the US population. Rather, elevated rates of death were most in evidence among infants, young adults suffering infectious diseases, and the elderly. Their recorded causes of death were predominantly pneumonia, infectious diseases, and AIDS. The authors hypothesize that it was vulnerable immune systems further stressed by radiation that was the mechanism responsible for the increased mortality.


Radiation protection standards, if their purpose is to protect people, must be written so as to protect the most sensitive sector of the population from harm. This would then ensure the maximum level of protection for everyone. Most importantly, the health of developing fetuses must be protected by standards that restrict the level of internal contamination in pregnant women. If such a concern is disregarded and standards are written merely to protect the “average” citizen, whoever that might be, then the most sensitive segment of the population is being exposed to much greater risks than current estimates would have us believe. As the ECRR observes: “Once we take into account varying radiosensitivity in the population it is difficult to think of a morally acceptable alternative to developing risk models that are based on the health risks of the most susceptible citizens” [2].



Bibliography:


[1] Streffer C. Genetic Predisposition and Implications for Radioprotection. Universit├Ątsklinikum Essen, 45122 Essen, Germany International Radiation Protection Association. http://www.irpa.net


[2] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003. www.euradcom.org.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-EIGHT


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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-EIGHT: When establishing risks to health from ionizing radiation, ignore scientifically validated low-dose effects that inconveniently intrude on the reigning scientific paradigm.


The mainstream radiation protection community does not acknowledge that low-level radiation delivered at a slow rate poses a hazard to public health. They are only able to sustain this position by sacrificing objectivity and ignoring scientifically validated low-level effects. Their position is aptly summarized by Rosalie Bertell:


In the official approach to radiobiology, only direct damage to DNA has been recognized as “of concern,” and only high-dose/fast-dose rate experiments or observations have been accepted for use in estimating the dose-response rate. As was noted, it is the “common wisdom” that effects of low doses/slow-dose rates cannot be studied, but must be extrapolated from the officially accepted high dose/fast-dose rate studies. Basing one's theory on claims that it is impossible to study the phenomenon is certainly a peculiar way to do science!” [1].


Actually, important low-dose effects involving other than DNA damage have been confirmed by repeated experimentation. One such biological mechanism that has received a great deal of attention is the Petkau Effect. This phenomenon was first discovered by Dr. Abram Petkau, a Canadian physician and biophysicist, who at one time managed the Medical Biophysics Branch of the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment in Pinawa, Manitoba. In 1971, Dr. Petkau was studying the effects of radiation on model lipid membranes extracted from fresh beef brain. In an early series of experiments, he determined that when delivering an x-ray dose of 26 rads per minute, a total dose of 3,500 rads was required to destroy a cell membrane in an aqueous solution. Altering his procedure, he added to the water a small quantity of sodium-22, a commonly found radionuclide in fallout and releases from nuclear reactors. Under these new conditions, the cell membranes were receiving the minuscule dose of 0.001 rads per minute. Quite unexpectedly, the cell membrane was destroyed by a total dose of only 0.7 rad. Dr. Petkau had unveiled some biological phenomenon that occurred when cell membranes were exposed to low doses of radiation delivered at a slow rate that was absent when the membranes were exposed to high doses delivered at a fast rate. Further experimentation explained what was happening. When exposed to x-rays or radioactive decay of sodium-22, electrons were liberated into the aqueous solution and captured by dissolved oxygen. The result was that free radicals were formed. These negatively charged free-radical molecules were then attracted to the electrically polarized cell membrane. On encountering the cell membrane, these molecules would initiate a chemical chain reaction that dissolved the lipid molecules of which the membrane was principally composed. The leaking, compromised cell membrane, if not repaired, would initiate cell death. What made the low numbers of free radicals created by the radioactive sodium so much more efficient in producing this effect than the large numbers created by the x-ray exposure was their unimpeded access to the cell membrane. They tended not to interfere with one another, and so had a much higher probability of reaching and interacting with the cell membrane. It had been discovered that the slight electrical charge of the cell membrane attracts free radicals when they are present in low concentrations. With more free radicals present, the attraction weakens. With the high dose x-ray exposure, the massive numbers of free radicals became so concentrated that they tended instead to interact with one another forming ordinary oxygen. Their abundance actually reduced their ability to reach the cell membrane. A simple analogy suffices to explain the phenomenon:


Think of the free radicals as individuals in a crowded room. A fire starts and everyone tries to get out at the same time. As a result, everyone bumps into each other and very few escape. If only a few people are in the room when the fire occurs, however, everyone leaves easily through the door. The rate of escape is very high, and therefore, efficient” [2].


The Petkau Effect cannot just be swept under the table and ignored by those assessing the risks of radiation exposure. It is a verified phenomenon which may explain the hazards posed by low doses of internal emitters. Further, it provides evidence that DNA damage and cancer are not the only endpoints of concern from radiation exposure, that cell membrane damage may affect every cell line in the body. This drastically alters the current picture of how radiation exposure can compromise health:


“Chronic exposure to low-level radiation produces only a few free radicals at a time. These can reach and penetrate the membranes of blood cells with great efficiency, thus damaging the integrity of the entire immune system although very little radiation has been absorbed.


The correlations of health effects with low-level radiation may thus be caused indirectly by chronic low-level exposures to ingested radiation through hormonal and immune system damage from free-radicals. Low levels of strontium-90 and iodine-131 ingested in food, milk, and water, and breathed in air, may damage the ability of the body to detect and destroy infected or malignant cells. Such damage may occur even if radiation is present at concentrations far below existing standards. These standards were set on the basis of a quite different biological mechanism: cancer cell production caused by the direct impact on genes of high doses of external radiation” [2].


In her writings, Rosalie Bertell has mentioned two other unexpected effects to low-dose/slow-dose rate exposure to ionizing radiation that can be attributed to other biological mechanisms than direct damage to DNA. These involved monocyte depletion and deformed red blood cells. According to Bertell (Gulf War Syndrome, 1999):


Monocyte depletion: Nuclear fission produces radionuclides which tend to be stored by humans and animals in the bone tissue. In particular, strontium-90, plutonium and the transuranics have this property. Stored in bone, near the stem cells which produce the white blood cells, these radionuclides deliver a chronic low/slow dose of radiation which can interfere with normal blood-cell production. A few less neutrophils or lymphocytes (the white blood cells which are most numerous, and are usually “counted” by the radiophysicist) are not noticeable. In the normal adult, there are about 7,780 white cells per microlitre of blood. Of these, about 4,300 are neutrophils and 2,710 are lymphocytes. Only 500 are monocytes.


If, for example, stem cells in the bone marrow are destroyed so as to reduce total white blood count by 400 cells per microlitre due to the slow irradiation by radionuclides stored in the bone, this would represent a depletion of only five percent in total white cells, an insignificant amount. If all of the depletion was of neutrophils, this would mean a reduction of only 9.3 percent, still leaving the blood count well in the normal range. The lymphocytes would also be still in the normal range, even though they were depleted by 400 cells per microlitre, or 14.8 percent. However, there would be a dramatic depletion of the monocytes by 80 percent. Therefore, at low doses of radiation, it is more important to observe the monocytes, than to wait for an effect on the lymphocytes or neutrophils (as is now usually done). The effects of serious reduction in monocytes are:


- Iron deficient anemia, since it is the monocytes which recycle about 37-40 percent of the iron in the red blood cells when they die;


- Depressed cellular immune system, since the monocyte secretes the substance which activates the lymphocyte immune system (Bertell 1993).


Deformed red-blood cells: Dr. Les Simpson, of New Zealand, has identified deformed red-blood cells, as observed under an electron microscope, as causing symptoms ranging from severe fatigue to brain dysfunction leading to short-term memory loss. He has identified such cells in elevated number in chronic fatigue patients, and speculated that because of their bloated or swollen shape, they are obstructed from easily passing into the tiny capillaries, thus depriving muscles and the brain of adequate oxygen and nutrients. The chronic fatigue syndrome has been observed both at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, called bura bura disease, and at Chernobyl” [3].




Bibliography:


[1]Bertell R. Gulf War Syndrome, Depleted Uranium, and the Dangers of Low-Level Radiation. 1999. http://www.ccnr.org/bertell_book.html


[2] Gould J.M., Goldman B.A. Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-Up. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows; 1990


[3] Bertell R. Gulf War Syndrome, Depleted Uranium, and the Dangers of Low-Level Radiation. 1999. http://www.ccnr.org/bertell_book.html


Monday, August 23, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-SEVEN


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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-SEVEN: Underestimate the risks posed by low-level radiation by failing to take into account known physical and biological phenomena.


According to the model of risk assessment upheld by the ICRP, the density of ionization events within a target mass is the key determinant of biological effect. To account for the fact that the same quantity of energy will create different patterns of ionization depending on whether it is delivered by alpha, beta, or gamma radiation, the equations of the ICRP allow for the introduction of a weighting factor to make allowance for these differences, called the radiation weighting factor. As an example, if the equivalent dose of radiation is delivered to a tissue by x-rays and alpha particles, the biological effect of alpha particles is weighted as 20 times greater than that produced by the x-rays due to the denser pattern of ionization (more destruction per unit length along a track of alpha particles.) A second weighting factor is added to calculations: the tissue weighting factor. This mathematical expression is inserted into equations to capture the differing sensitivities of the various organs of the body, and to offer an expression for the contribution of each organ to total health detriment resulting from uniform external irradiation to the whole body.


The addition of the two weighting factors into the complex modeling of the ICRP is an attempt to create a realistic model that connects the quantity and quality of radiation to the probable biological effects. Unfortunately, the model is archaic. It fails to take into account known physical and biological phenomena that add to the hazard of the organism. This conveniently leads to an underestimation of risk.


To address these shortcomings, the European Committee on Radiation Risk proposes that, to salvage the ICRP methodology from irrelevance, additional weighting factors need to be included in calculations to address current understanding. (It must be emphasized that the ECRR has absolutely no influence at this point in time over the methodology of the mainstream radiation protection community. Their suggestions can easily go unheeded, and the ICRP and related organizations can continue to ignore biological realities in their questionable risk assessments. Of course, such intransigence will only further weaken their credibility.) To fully capture the hazard to the organism posed by radiation, the ECRR sees the need for the addition of a hazard enhancement weighting factor. This would inject into calculations known physical and chemical effects that at this point in time are completely overlooked by the ICRP. A few examples will be given to illustrate current shortcomings in the accepted methodology that lead to an underestimation of the hazard to health from low-level radiation.


1) Radioisotopes which gain access to the interior of the human body behave in accordance with their chemical composition. Thus, different radioisotopes pose different hazards depending on how they migrate through the human body and where they are retained. It has been proven that isotopes of strontium, barium, and plutonium have a propensity to bind to DNA. Due to their intimate proximity to DNA, the likelihood is increased that these radioisotopes will induce irreparable genetic damage. The ECRR recommends acknowledging this increased hazard in comparison to other radioisotopes that don’t bind to DNA inside the body. This observation is important when discussing the hazards created by the inhalation of depleted uranium. It has been observed that uranyl UO2++ ions bind strongly to DNA [1]. As a consequence, internalized uranium poses enhanced hazards that are totally ignored by all agencies.


2) Cells have a range of sensitivity to radiation depending on where they are in the cell cycle, but this variation in sensitivity is not considered in risk assessment. Cells undergoing replication are more sensitive to radiation effects than cells which are not in the process of cell division. This can enhance radiation effects under certain circumstances. “For external low LET radiation there is a 600-fold variation in the sensitivity for cell killing over the whole cell cycle” [2]. Take the example of two separate doses of external radiation delivered in a 24-hour period. The first dose will induce some portion of the targeted cells to initiate cell repair and replication processes. Once these are underway, a second dose hitting them in this heightened phase of sensitivity will be more hazardous than if the second dose were delivered after the cell population had returned to stasis. Second Event theory postulates a similar phenomenon for certain types of internal emitters. For instance, an atom of strontium-90 may be bound to a chromosome. When it decays to the radioisotope yttrium-90, it will produce a track of ionization through the cell that may produce sublethal damage. This may signal the cell to enter a repair-replication sequence. Yttrium-90 has a half-life of 64 hours. Consequently, a probability exists that it will undergo decay during the phase of enhanced sensitivity of the reproducing cell, when DNA damage can no longer be repaired. Conditions at this point are ripe for irreparable mutations to be created that, if not lethal, will be passed on to all descendants of the daughter cells created from the original cell division. The ECRR recognizes increased hazard in the two scenarios mentioned here and proposes increased weighting factors in calculations of risk under these conditions.


3) Certain types of insoluble hot particles lodged in tissue represent a hazard that is not addressed by current estimates of risk. The biological effect of this type of contamination depends on the size of the embedded particle, the activity, and the dose. Being insoluble, these particles may remain lodged in their place of deposition for long periods of time. As such, they represent an enhanced hazard to surrounding cells when compared to single atoms of the radionuclide dispersed throughout greater volumes. The ECRR believes that this phenomenon warrants inclusion in determinations of risk from internal emitters.


The first publication of the ECRR contains a deep discussion of the ICRP model, its shortcomings and recommendations for bringing it into harmony with current knowledge of radiation effects. The work of the ECRR, however, sets it on a collision course with the nuclear establishment. When applying its risk factors to estimates of health detriment following exposure, radiation is revealed to be much more hazardous than currently assumed. For instance, the risk factors (the probability of injury) per sievert for whole populations for whole-body effects is double that of the ICRP for fatal and nonfatal cancers, severe hereditary defects, and cancer and severe retardation after in utero exposure.



Bibliography


[1] Wu O., Cheng X., et al. Specific Metal Oligonucleotide Binding Studied By High Resolution Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 1996; 321(6) 669-675.


[2] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003. www.euradcom.org.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-SIX


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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-SIX: Underestimate the risk of damage to cells from low-level radiation by making the false comparison between normal free radical damage and damage caused by ionizing radiation.


Routinely, an enormous number of free radicals are produced in cells, and these induce molecular damage to DNA and other important cellular structures. Exposure to ionizing radiation creates a much smaller number of additional free radicals. Based on these facts, those who deny the hazard of low-dose radiation make the argument that since cellular mechanisms routinely repair naturally occurring free radical damage, they obviously have the capacity to repair damage induced by ionizing radiation. This is a seductive and seemingly convincing argument. However, as John Gofman points out, it is based on two false assumptions: “(1) that the nature of damage done by ionizing radiation is the same as the nature of damage done by routine metabolic free radicals, and (2) that damage therefore can be compared by comparing the relative numbers of free radicals” [1].


Gofman demolishes these two assumptions in his article, “The Free-Radical Fallacy about Ionizing Radiation: Demonstration that a Popular Claim is Senseless”. His argument runs as follows: By some estimates, the DNA of each cell in the body is exposed to between 120,000 and 240,000 damage events per day from intrinsic metabolic processes. In response, cellular mechanisms are rapidly activated that repair this damage. If the damage caused by radiation is not qualitatively different from normal free radical damage, which is the basic assumption of the Free-Radical Fallacy, then repair mechanisms should have the capacity of undoing an equivalent amount of damage produced by ionizing radiation. Can this be the case? Gofman’s response is as follows. Understanding exists as to the repair capacity of the human organism. Estimates exist for the number of damaging events produced in each cell by each rad of absorbed dose. Further, experiments have confirmed that, in response to whole-body radiation of 100 rads delivered all at once, human cells mobilize a sufficient amount of repair enzymes to repair all genetic damage. In fact, repair capacity is not overwhelmed by the number of damaging events induced by 500 rads. Thus, the body has the capacity for perfect repair. However, a dose of many hundreds of rads is a lethal dose. Thus, perfect repair is not the central issue in the body’s ability to withstand radiation injury. From this simple thought experiment, Gofman arrives at the conclusion that either the nature of the damage caused by ionizing radiation or the nature of the repair process cannot possibly be the same for the oxidative damage of normal cellular processes and that caused by ionizing radiation. Gofman continues with the argument that repair capacity is not the issue, but that radiation damages cellular structures in complex ways that resist perfect repair. [Double-strand breaks to DNA are an example of complex damage compared to the more usual single-strand breaks caused by normal free radical damage.] Gofman states:


"The difference between free-radical damage from routine metabolism and from ionizing radiation almost surely lies in repairability. If DNA damage is perfectly repaired by a cell, such damage has no health consequences. It is inconsequential. The consequences arise only from injuries which are non-repairable or mis-repaired.


The power of ionizing radiation to induce particularly complex and unrepairable genetic injuries is surely related to a unique property of this agent. Ionizing radiation instantly unloads biologically abnormal amounts of energy at random in an irradiated cell. Biochemical reactions in a cell generally involve net energy-transfers in the ballpark of 10 electron-volts and below. By contrast, Ward reports that the average energy-deposit from low-LET ionizing radiation is thought to be about 60 electron-volts, all within an area having a diameter of only 4 nanometers. (The diameter of the DNA double-helix is 2 nanometers). In other words, ionizing radiation produces violent energy-transfers of a type simply absent in a cell's natural biochemistry.


Because of its unique property, ionizing radiation is a unique menace to our DNA and chromosomes. This fact needs wide recognition, as mankind learns that far more health problems are mutation-based than anyone could prove 15 years ago."




Bibliography


[1] Gofman J.W. The Free-Radical Fallacy about Ionizing Radiation: Demonstration that a Popular Claim is Senseless. September 1997. http://www.ratical.com/radiation/CNR/FreeRadFallacy.html

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-FIVE



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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-FIVE: Deny that low doses of radiation pose a risk to health by ignoring studies that provide clear evidence that such a risk exists.


The ICRP and other agencies involved in assessing radiation risk conduct annual reviews of scientific papers published throughout the world on the biological effects of ionizing radiation. They then select from this body of work whatever data they judge as relevant to the setting of safety standards. By this means, the radiation protection agencies control the knowledge base upon which permissible levels of exposure are derived and the perception of the risks that accompany these levels. From this selective filtering, it would appear that no evidence exists for harmful effects to health caused by low levels of radiation released into the environment. But this is simply not true. The fact of the matter is that those who control the current paradigm just don’t acknowledge research that intrudes into the worldview they are attempting to promulgate.


On the basis of accepted standards of safety, there was no risk to the health of the population of the United States from the fallout of Chernobyl. Similarly, releases from the accident at Three Mile Island presented no threat to the downwind population. The two previously cited accidents at the Savannah River Plant that resulted in melted fuel rods was covered up for 18 years but was no cause for alarm because, according to the Du Pont operators, “no one, on or off site, was ever harmed.” Although the two reactors at the Peach Bottom nuclear power stations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania emitted fallout between the mid-1960s through 1987, these emissions were never reported as significant enough that people were warned to stop consuming dairy products from farms downwind of the facility. Similarly, the two reactors at Millstone near New London, Connecticut, were spewing inordinately large amounts of radiation into the surrounding countryside, yet the downwind population was never warned to take precautions. It is these five cases that are examined in depth by Gould and Goldman in Deadly Deceit [1]. In spite of the mischief uncovered in Scam Number Nineteen, the authors found sufficient statistical data to confirm elevated incidences of infant mortality and total mortality in the exposed populations in the aftermath of these releases. The inexcusable tragedy is that a timely and forthright disclosure could have reduced mortality and cancer incidence among the unsuspecting populace. People could have taken precautions. But if these hazards had been admitted, the admission would have amounted to a confession of the danger of the technology and the inadequacy of current radiation standards to protect the public from low-level radiation-induced illness.


Gould and Goldman make an important observation in the conclusion of their book.


"Any individual case that passes a significance test may still reflect a random variation. But the cumulative significance of the five sets of correlations between low-level radiation and increased mortality, considered in Chapters Two, Four, Five, Eight, and Nine, means that the likelihood that they are all chance occurrences is remote."


This is a rebuttal to those nuclear apologists who insist that insufficient data exist to demonstrate low-level radiation effects in populations. Although individual studies may be inconclusive, the cumulative significance of observed correlations across a number of studies strengthens statistical probability. Gould and Goldman provide an excellent example in data they collected in the aftermath of Chernobyl. The accident occurred on April 26, 1986. Starting on May 5, radiation-monitoring stations in Washington State began recording elevated levels in rainfall of iodine-131, a product of nuclear fission. Peak values were recorded between May 12 and May 19. This provided evidence that Chernobyl fallout had reached the United States. Starting on May 16, 50 EPA milk-monitoring stations in states that received rain mixed with fallout began recording elevated levels of iodine-131 in milk. “No warnings against drinking the milk were issued by public health authorities because the reported levels were regarded as safe” (Gould and Goldman). These elevated radiation readings correlated with government data of increased mortality throughout the United States for the month of May: “The higher the level of radioactive iodine found in milk in a region, the higher the percent increase in total deaths.” Elaborating on these facts, Gould and Goldman offer this observation:


"These statistics showed a surprising 5.3 percent increase in the total number of deaths in the US in May 1986 over the same month in the previous year. This was not only statistically significant (with a probability of less than one in a thousand of being a chance event); it was, in fact, the highest annual increase in May deaths recorded in the US in 50 years. There were also high percentage increases in deaths in the three succeeding months."


A graph comparing levels of iodine-131 in milk with increases in mortality yield evidence for the Supralinear Hypothesis, namely, that increased risk occurs at low doses and the rate of mortality diminishes as doses increase. The graph “indicates that deaths increase rapidly with iodine-131 levels below 100 picocuries per liter, but the percentage increase flattens out at higher radiation levels.” According to Gould and Goldman:


"If the Chernobyl fallout is responsible for these steep and highly unlikely mortality increases, then this is the first evidence using large populations that suggests the dose-response curve at very low dose rates of fallout radiation exposure is logarithmic and not linear, contrary to generally accepted assumptions. The medical and scientific community has long believed, on the basis of linear extrapolations from high doses, that low-level radiation from fallout and nuclear plant releases can be dismissed as posing a negligibly small danger. The Chernobyl experience indicates that this assumption may underestimate the effect of low radiation doses for the most sensitive members of the population by a factor of about one thousand."


To strengthen their conclusion that Chernobyl fallout caused an increase in mortality, Gould and Goldman provide evidence of unprecedented levels of bird deaths reported by Dr. David DeSante, a researcher at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in California. In a letter by Dr. DeSante, the following observation was made:


"We documented a massive and unprecedented reproductive failure of most species of landbirds at our Palomarian Field Station [located 25 miles north of San Francisco] during the summer of 1986. The number of young [newly hatched] birds captured in our standardized mist-netting program was only 37.7 percent of the previous ten-year mean. Interestingly, the reproductive failure did not begin at the start of the breeding season but only after about one month of the season had passed, that is, for birds hatched about mid-May. Furthermore, there seemed to be a slight recovery of reproductivity very late in the season. Might this implicate iodine-131?"


To further strengthen apparent correlations between Chernobyl fallout and increased mortality, Deadly Deceit provides evidence of increased levels of infant mortality in West Germany during the same period in areas contaminated by fallout. The authors then conclude that “the probability that the simultaneous mortality peaks in the US, West Germany, and among birds are unrelated random events can be expressed mathematically as one out of 1030”


Again, the reader must ponder why the radiation protection community continues to rely on the politically corrupted Hiroshima data to establish the risks of radiation exposure when other data is available. Gould and Goldman argue that the worldwide data from Chernobyl can provide accurate risk assessments for low-level radiation exposure for the following reasons:


1) It involves a much larger exposed population than any other study.

2) It involves a normal population, not hospital patients, workers of a limited age range of 18-65, or war survivors of a traumatic bombing.

3) It involves extremely low doses, cancelling the need for uncertain extrapolations from higher doses.

4) It involves accurately measured amounts of radioactivity in the diet over a wide range of concentrations made by monitoring stations throughout the world. “No such accurate measures of dose were available in any earlier studies of environmental radiation exposures or direct radiation exposure at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

5) It involves internal radiation exposure.


Gould and Goldman summarize their argument concisely: “Thus, the statistics emerging from the Chernobyl disaster permit, for the first time ever, the establishment of a dose-response relationship at extremely low doses in a normal human population.” Those people who endorse programs that result in the liberation of radioactivity into the environment will violently argue against this conclusion. It flies in the face of their efforts to marginalize the disastrous public health consequences of Chernobyl. It intrudes on their claim that low-level radiation is without effect. It etches away at their prejudiced assumption that Hiroshima is the disaster of choice for understanding radiation effects in man.



Bibliography


Gould J.M., Goldman B.A. Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-Up. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows; 1990.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-FOUR



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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-FOUR: Cloak biased judgment in the guise of objectivity when selecting the data used to assess radiation risk.


When developing models of radiation risk, the radiation protection agencies use criteria that at first sight appears unassailable. They take into account only studies that have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals, and which include accurate dose-response data. How could one possibly find fault with such seemingly impeccable methodology? The concealed hoax lies buried in the words “accurate dose-response data.” By only considering instances where accurate dose information has been gathered, important avenues of investigation are precluded from consideration. For instance, many types of epidemiological studies that can offer insight on the effect of radiation releases on populations are banned from consideration when establishing risk factors because these studies do not provide data on the dosages of the exposed population. The work of Gould and Goldman, cited earlier, provides a good example. Their observation of trends in increased mortality after the arrival of Chernobyl fallout or after the accidents at the Savannah River Plant or Three Mile Island is not the type of data accepted by the ICRP for assessing radiation risk. These studies are excluded because they do not identify particular radiation victims, the dosages received by these victims, and the illnesses caused by these dosages. The same applies to the ever-increasing evidence of cancer clusters in the proximity of nuclear installations. If statistically marginal increases in cancer incidence happen in the vicinity of a single nuclear facility, this may be just an anomaly. But if marginal increases are observed around a number of installations, which is the case, the cumulative evidence becomes stronger that a link exists between the risk of developing cancer and living near a nuclear facility. Once again, this type of evidence is not considered as a basis for risk assessment. Causality must be established between an identifiable dose and an identifiable cancer victim or the work is not considered sufficiently rigorous or “scientific.”


Part of the swindle of the corrupted Hiroshima data is that the dose assigned to each victim is promulgated as accurate. This is why the study is granted such importance. The problem is that, in fact, no one knows with sufficient precision the dose received by each member of the Life Span Study population. “Dose reconstruction” is based entirely on guesses and computer simulations of the geometry of the bomb, the efficiency of fission of the bomb’s uranium fuel, the percentage of radiation reaching the ground, the relative contribution to dosage of gamma and neutron radiation, the degree of attenuation of the radiation field by roofs and walls that offered some margin of protection to the victims, the location and physical orientation of each victim at the instant of detonation, and so forth. All the numerous assumptions that have gone into reconstructing “accurate” dosages really make the data from Japan of questionable value. Yet, it is heralded as the definitive study for establishing dose-response in the human organism.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-THREE



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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-THREE: Derive the risks to health from exposure to ionizing radiation from corrupted epidemiological data.


It does not take an epidemiologist, when examining Exhibit C, to recognize that the Life Span Study of the survivors of the first atomic bombings in Japan is seriously and irreparably flawed. And yet, the radiation protection community throughout the world upholds this study as the most important source of information available to mankind on the health effects of ionizing radiation. What is going on? Something, somewhere is seriously amiss.


Of the numerous defects that compromise the Life Span Study, three stand out as fatal: 1) The dosages assigned to members of the study population are questionable guesses. 2) Between the time of the bombing and the time the study was initiated, tens of thousands of victims died of non-blast related, radiation-induced illnesses. Yet, these casualties conveniently play no part in this so-called definitive study, purported to provide reliable information of the relationship between dose and physiological response to radiation exposure. 3) The contamination of both the study and control populations with internalized radionuclides invalidates any meaningful conclusions of the incidence of disease in one population compared to the other. Clearly, by ignoring points 2 and 3, the Life Span Study is intentionally designed to deliver results that “prove” that radiation is less hazardous than it in fact is. Given its structure, it cannot help but underestimate radiation effects. It’s a rigged game.


The Life Span Study is the doorway into the heart of darkness of the Nuclear Age. By it, one can catch a glimpse of the vast machinations of the Cult of Nuclearists to corrupt the science of radiation protection so it can go about its deeds unhindered. The LSS is deeply flawed science. Yet, it is lauded by the radiation protection community as a valid basis on which to erect standards of protection for all mankind. This state of affairs is appalling and remains completely nonsensical until one concedes that, yes, mischief is afoot in the science of radiation safety.


The Life Span Study has been strategically crafted as the keystone of the current myth of how the human organism responds to exposure to ionizing radiation. It is the lynchpin that holds together the corrupted paradigm of radiation effects that this chapter has been devoted to deconstructing. By the dictates of this myth, biological effect is directly proportional to the amount of energy absorbed. This energy can be treated as an abstract mathematical entity and averaged over a mass of tissue even when that tissue has not been uniformly disturbed by that energy. Whether delivered externally by x-rays or gamma rays, or internally by radioactive decay of radionuclides, dose for dose, weighting factors considered, the biological effects are the same under this model. Low-dose effects can be modelled, or extrapolated, from high-dose effects. Low doses of radiation represent no hazard to the health of the organism. And, cancer is the only endpoint of concern from radiation exposure.


The data from Japan has been erected as the “scientific” proof of this myth. It is what gives credence to current concepts of dose-response. Anointed with such legitimacy, the Life Span Study can be used to justify current emission standards from nuclear installations, the doses of radiation permitted to the public, current concepts of what risks to health accompany radiation exposure, and so forth. All of these become suspect when the results of Japan are called into question. The glaring shortcomings of the LSS testify before all humanity that the agencies setting radiation protection guidelines have been infiltrated, corrupted, and politicized and have had their scientific objectivity thoroughly compromised.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-TWO



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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-TWO: Derive estimates of the risk to health from chronic internal contamination from research conducted on instances of acute external irradiation.


This point formed the basis of Exhibit C and need not be belabored. Radiation safety standards and the assessment of risk from radiation exposure are based primarily on the research of the survivors of the bombings in Japan and those who received x-ray exposure during medical treatment. In the incidents in Japan, populations were exposed to a flash, lasting a few milliseconds, of external gamma and neutron radiation. Based on the governing, unverified assumption that the quantity of energy delivered to tissue is the fundamental determiner of biological effect, the radiation protection agencies of the world fabricate risk estimates from these instances of acute external radiation and from them derive risk estimates for the entire gamut of possible patterns of chronic exposure from internal contamination by radionuclides. The whole basis of radiation safety is grounded on the conjecture that there is no difference in the cellular response, the organ response, and the whole-body response between an instant of gamma exposure and chronic, repeated exposure from decaying radionuclides inside the body emitting alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. NO RESEARCH HAS EVER BEEN CONDUCTED TO CONFIRM THE VALIDITY OF THIS FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTION. In Wings of Death, Chris Busby relates an anecdote of his investigation into studies of the comparison between external and internal radiation. “When I wrote to the UK National Radiological Protection Board in 1986 asking about this, I received the reply that the board, ‘knew of no studies where internal and external radiation had been compared.’”


The estimates of the risk to health from many types of chronic, low-level exposure from internal emitters is based on unwarranted assumptions. Mankind’s safety from radionuclides awash in the environment is currently underwritten by fraudulent science. Risk factors may be substantially in error. Populations may be more endangered than currently believed. The radiation protection community has not done its homework.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-ONE



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.



SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-ONE: Alter population statistics to completely corrupt accurate risk assessments.


For those readers who have yet withheld judgment as to the malevolence of the Cult of Nuclearists and their ruthless determination to impose their deadly technology upon the world, the time has come to shine a light through the veils of their treachery and explore the true depths of their malfeasance. Epidemiology is an esteemed and precious tool in the hands of humanity for assessing trends in public health and identifying environmental hazards that are producing illness and ruining people’s lives. The foundation of a successful epidemiological study is accurate information of normal trends of morbidity and mortality within a population. If this baseline is tampered with, the opportunity for discovering truth disappears. The inquiring mind is set adrift in misconceptions with no prospect of ever coming ashore to reality. The intentional manipulation of data to misdirect knowledge is nothing less than brainwashing and mind control. It is victimization of the human intellect, the implanting of an insurmountable obstacle in the minds of people who thirst for an accurate picture of what is transpiring in the world around them. The Cult of Nuclearists stands guilty of inflicting this havoc into the minds, into the lives, of an unsuspecting humanity.


Evidence for this crime is meticulously laid out by Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman in their book Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-Up. The authors recount how, using mortality data collected from official death certificates, they set about to discover if evidence existed for excess deaths occurring in the wake of radiation releases from reactors at weapon production facilities and commercial nuclear power plants. In addition to confirming increased mortality to populations exposed to low-level radiation vented into the environment, the authors made the startling and disturbing discovery of “outright falsification of published data.” Analyzing discrepancies in mortality data published by the government, the authors uncovered proof that official statistics on mortality and morbidity had been intentionally tampered with in an attempt to cover up deaths in the US population caused by radiation vented into the environment.


In the course of their research, Gould and Goldman mined data from three series of publications authored by the Public Health Service, a subsidiary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. One publication was Radiation Data and Reports, a monthly publication compiling radiation readings in the environment as reported by a network of recording stations throughout the United States. A second publication was Monthly Vital Statistics Report, a state-by-state tabulation of infant mortality and total deaths. The data recorded within these pages each month was referred to as mortality “by place of occurrence.” It contained information on where deaths actually occurred, not necessarily where the deceased dwelt during their lifetime. In the following year, after new, revised data had been obtained, revisions to the monthly mortality information were published. This allowed for a comparison between the data as originally recorded and the data as it appeared after revision. The third publication consulted by the authors was Vital Statistics of the United States. This single volume contained a yearlong compilation of the data recorded in the monthly reports. It contained adjustments to the incidents of mortality by place of occurrence to provide an accurate picture of mortality “by place of residence.” Each volume of this publication appeared in print a couple of years after the year of monthly reports it summarized. Among researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, Vital Statistics of the United States was considered the standard reference for US mortality data. It was easier to work with than the monthly copies reporting on a single year, and it was more widely available in public libraries.


Cross-referencing these three publications, Gould and Goldman made a number of disturbing discoveries.


1) One issue explored by the authors was the health consequences of a radiation accident that had received scant public attention. On October 1, 1988, news belatedly reached the public domain of two radiation accidents in November and December 1970 at the Savannah River nuclear weapons facility in South Carolina. In each of these months, nuclear fuel rods suffered a meltdown. There was an information blackout as to what quantities of radiation, if any, were released over the downwind population. The news that eventually reached the public was this: “E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, which operated the Savannah River Plant at the time of the accidents, ran a full-page advertisement in The New York Times that claimed ‘the radioactivity given off was kept within the building’ and ‘no one, on or off site, was ever harmed.’” Exploring the veracity of this claim, Gould and Goldman compared published radiation measurements with published mortality data. What they uncovered put E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company to shame. As reported by the researchers:


Results of an examination of government databases were startling: after the two accidents in November and December 1970, radioactivity had increased significantly in the milk and rain of South Carolina and throughout the Southeast. Peaks in infant and total mortality showed up immediately following the accidents and disturbing longer-term mortality trends appeared also in the region.


"Radioactivity in South Carolina’s rain, as measured for December 1970, jumped six-fold over the same month in the previous year. This jump in beta radiation occurred immediately after the accidents in November-December 1970. The rise was significantly above the local trend in the preceding 22 months and it was three times greater than the US rise. Also, in the Southeast as a whole, radioactivity in the rain doubled over the previous December (1.2 times greater than the US rise.) The average reading for the Southeast was higher than any other region in the country: five times higher than the Northeast and West and 70 times higher than the Midwest.


Milk was also contaminated. Radiation readings indicate that the level of strontium-90 found in South Carolina’s pasteurized milk during the summer following the Savannah River Plant accident rose significantly over the previous summer. Whereas, the level declined in the milk in the rest of the country.


Immediately after the elevated radioactivity was found in the rain, South Carolina’s infant mortality rate in January 1971 peaked at 24 percent above the previous January. In contrast, it declined in the US and Southeast during the same period.


Total deaths in South Carolina also diverged significantly from the rest of the country during the months immediately following the accidents, declining six percent slower than the US since the previous January."



Elevated peaks in both infant mortality and total deaths were recorded in Monthly Vital Statistics Report for January 1971. Revised figures corrected for errors from late filings, faulty death certificates, computer malfunctions and random mistakes appeared in the same publication a year later. These were in substantial agreement with the original data. But in the final bound volumes of Vital Statistics of the United States published in 1974, the peaks in infant and total mortality disappeared. The data had been altered completely. “In the final by-residence data, South Carolina’s January change over the previous year became the same or less than the US change, whereas it had been significantly higher for both infant and total mortality in the revised by-occurrence data.” In this instance, increased mortality was covered up through a substantial lowering of the numbers of deaths that had previously been reported in the monthly statistics. Suspiciously, such wide discrepancies between mortality “by place of occurrence” and mortality “by place of residence” occurred only after significant radiation releases:


"Presumably, these deaths were now missing because all of these babies had travelled from out-of-state that month to die. The subtraction of 38 dead babies in South Carolina the month after the Savannah River Plant accidents can be compared to 59 missing infant deaths in Maryland during July 1980, right after a Three Mile Island venting, and eighty-six missing in Pennsylvania during July 1979, right after the Three Mile Island accident. In all three cases, peaks in infant mortality were eliminated as a result of the revisions."



2) Another type of suspicious tampering of population statistics appeared after the accident at Three Mile Island. In every month of 1979 after the accident, mortality data for California, Minnesota, and Illinois were missing from successive issues of Monthly Vital Statistics Report. “These highly irregular omissions made it impossible to evaluate the significance of mortality increases in areas near Three Mile Island, because the baseline US mortality trend could not be calculated” (emphasis added).


3) In 1986, after fallout from the Chernobyl catastrophe reached the United States, dramatic revisions appeared in the monthly mortality data. “Some states markedly increased their reported number of live births in Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Since the number of births is the denominator in an infant mortality rate, increasing this number lowers the rate.” Small random fluctuations in the birth data are expected due to late filings as is the case for the filing of late death certificates. These changes then appear in the revised data published the following year. However, as the authors relate, preposterous tampering with the birth rate was in evidence.


"Revisions to the 1986 birth data for California and Massachusetts, however, were all positive and clearly nonrandom, adding nearly 45,000 live births to their original totals. Exactly 813 births were added for each of five successive months to Massachusetts’ monthly data. The next three months, the changes were 703, 702, and 703. The nine upward revisions in California’s birth data were all combinations of 5000, 4000, and 4415. At the same time, there were no major revisions in the reported number of infant deaths. The result was that Massachusett’s June 1986 infant mortality rate was lowered by 76 percent and California’s July infant mortality by over 25 percent. In this way, the large infant mortality peaks in the original data for California and Massachusetts after Chernobyl were eliminated."



4) In January 1987, in the year following Chernobyl, the format of Monthly Vital Statistics Report was changed. Revisions made to data from the previous year were no longer marked. By this means, identification and analysis of changes were made significantly more difficult. Details of changes were replaced by a generic note at the bottom of each page which stated “figures for earlier years may differ from those previously published.” As Gould and Goldman observe: “Now, the individual changes are not only unexplained, they are also no longer identified.”


5) The authors identified a number of instances where crucial information from Radiation Data and Reports was omitted. Starting in 1967, the recording station 140 miles downwind of the Savannah River Plant ceased to publish any information on radiation levels in the environment. In 1975, the Environmental Protection Agency assumed the responsibility from HEW for collecting and publishing data about radiation in the environment. Monthly publication of Radiation Data and Reports was halted. A quarterly report with a much smaller circulation replaced it. Detailed information was no longer made available about radiation levels in the environs around government weapons facilities, radioactivity in the food supply, and strontium-90 in bone.


6) Starting in 1975, the Environmental Protection Agency centralized environmental monitoring by collecting milk samples, rain samples, and air filters from all over the country and shipping them for analysis to the laboratory of the Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility in Montgomery, Alabama. One of the practices introduced at this institution was the reporting of “negative” radiation values for milk. This is a curious adoption given the fact that a negative amount of radiation is about as real as a Heffalump. Gould and Goldman offer the following explanation for this procedure:


"If the radiation in milk is lower than background levels that are due to cosmic rays, radon, and other natural sources, then small “negative” readings occur. Under this system, there are normally as many small positive as negative values for short-lived substances such as iodine-131 and barium-140 that decay in a matter of a few weeks. As statistically expected, the numbers are rarely larger than four or five units and average out to zero over a period of a few months to a year."


Not surprisingly, these negative values began to play a nefarious role in covering up radiation released into the environment. Contrary to the expectations expressed by Gould and Goldman for the frequency and magnitude of negative values, occasional reports were issued that contained many more negative values than positive values, and the negative values were of unusually large magnitudes. One example is in the aftermath of an underground nuclear detonation at the Nevada Test Site in the summer of 1982 which was suspected of releasing radiation into the environment. As reported by Gould and Goldman:


"Large positive readings of barium-140 and iodine-131 in the milk would have been an unequivocal signature of leaks from the underground tests. Instead, barium-140 in Nevada milk reached the incredible value of negative 42 picocuries per liter in June 1982, the most significant negative reading in the nation. Out of a total of 62 barium-140 measurements reported for the US that month, an astounding 57 were negative! Eight western states neighboring Nevada also had negative barium-140 measurements that diminished in magnitude with distance away from the test site. In sharp contrast, no such clear-cut pattern existed for the month of March, when the magnitude of negative radioactivity in the milk was ten times less in Nevada than in June, and there only were small positive and negative fluctuations as expected under normal conditions."


The authors report other abuses of negative radiation readings. In June of 1982, there was a cluster of negative readings of iodine-131 in New England. That was the same month in which two serious radiation accidents occurred at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts. As in Nevada, the peculiar and unexplainable pattern emerged of high negative readings of iodine-131 in proximity to a radiation source, in this case the nuclear reactor, surrounded by readings that diminished as distance from the plant increased.


So, was there a political purpose served by negative radiation readings? The authors write: “These negative values would cancel the positive readings, so resulting national averages would never cause alarm” (emphasis added). In the aftermath of a radiation release, high positive readings would be present in the environment. When these were averaged with high negative readings, the radiation in the environment could be made to magically disappear by beautiful, mathematical wizardry.


7) Key mortality data became unavailable in the aftermath of significant radiation releases. During the period of heavy fallout in the early 1960s, Massachusetts withheld information on live births, infant deaths, and total deaths. In 1970, the New York Department of State ceased its practice of publishing detailed annual listings of deaths by cause and location after evidence emerged that the incidence of leukemia had increased after fallout from the Nevada Test Site was deposited on Albany and Troy. The Connecticut Department of Health Services stopped publishing data on cancer mortality by township, which it had done annually since the 1930s, after radiation releases from the Millstone nuclear reactor in 1975.


The few examples that have been provided do not exhaust the forgeries uncovered by Gould and Goldman. They are sufficient, however, to illustrate that mischief-makers have tampered with population statistics to befog understanding of the medical impact of radiation releases. The most disturbing implication of this revelation is that citizens are being injured unnecessarily by the government’s refusal to acknowledge that low-level radiation in the environment is a hazard. In the aftermath of a radiation release, forthright disclosure of the hazards would empower people to take precautions to minimize their risk of injury. Denial and cover-up render the population vulnerable and cause otherwise preventable illnesses.


If Deadly Deceit were the sole source of information on these corrupted statistics, the reader might be justified in maintaining a certain skepticism. However, similar incidents have been documented by other researchers. In Wales, members of the Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC) forced front men in the UK nuclear industry to doctor cancer statistics in all too transparent a manner. In November of 1993, the LLRC had drawn attention to the fact that data included in the Wales Cancer Registry (WCR) showed a 300% increase in bone cancer incidence in Wales compared with the national rate throughout the UK. (Nuclear pollution in Wales and an increased incidence of cancer has been attributed to emissions of radioactivity from the Sellafield nuclear installation lying across the Irish Sea in England and to the nation’s nuclear power stations. The Cult of Nuclearists in the UK hotly contests this conclusion.) The Cancer Registry responded by announcing that it would undertake a “validation” exercise of its data. In 1995, it published its revised figures. The total number of cancers were less than previously recorded, yet they still validated the conclusion of an excess incidence of bone cancer. Further, yearly variations in the Registry strongly correlated with variations in the deposition of strontium-90 released into the atmosphere twenty years earlier during the era of atmospheric weapon testing. In April 1996, amidst much publicity, LLRC convened a symposium in the House of Commons to debate the merit of Dr. Chris Busby’s book Wings of Death and his Second Event Theory. During that meeting, a member of the National Radiological Protection Board announced that the excess incidence in bone cancers appearing in the Wales Cancer Registry no longer existed:


"By a remarkable coincidence, just two days before the Symposium, Wales Cancer Registry had announced that a second revision of the data had eliminated the excess entirely. The full report was not published for some months, fueling suspicions that the press announcement was issued to help NRPB attack Busby. By a further remarkable coincidence, on the very day of the Symposium the Western Mail (a Welsh daily newspaper) carried the news that WCR was to be closed amid allegations of incompetence, and its functions handed over to the Velindre NHS Trust” [1].


The WCR closed in 1995. In 1997, it reopened under the name of the Wales Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU). This new organization was headed by Dr. John Steward, who had written a paper exonerating the country’s nuclear power stations of any blame in causing cancer. (Isn’t it curious that a cancer registry is headed by a defender of nuclear power?) Soon after, it was discovered, 3,517 cases of cancer that had been included earlier in the WCR were dropped from the new database of WCISU. Missing were 18% of the total number of cases of childhood cancer among the 0-14 year olds in Wales. Further, 80% of the bone cancer cases had vanished. The alterations made in the WCISU database after their “revalidation” resulted in cancer numbers being reduced in both sexes for every year between 1974 and 1989. Mysteriously, the “revalidation”, which included discovery of errors in coding and duplicate registrations, not once involved an increase in the number of cancers for a given year but only decreases. Further, the greatest revisions in any one year occurred in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl disaster. WCISU, in a feat of unparalleled prestidigitation, reconfigured the health picture of the entire population of Wales. After the third revalidation of the data of the Wales Cancer Registry within five years, the excess incidence of bone cancer in the nation miraculously disappeared along with the excess incidence of childhood cancer. Erased from the public record was evidence that Sellafield was causing excess cancers among the coastal population of Wales.


The European Committee on Radiation Risk, in its first publication, briefly cites other occurrences where data were intentionally tampered with. After Chernobyl, hundreds of thousands of people participated in cleanup operations in close proximity to the destroyed reactor and also built of a concrete sarcophagus around the reactor building to entomb the radiation for thousands of years. In subsequent years, this population of “liquidators” was reported as having a lower rate of leukemia than the general population. Only later did it come to light that Soviet doctors were forbidden to record this disease in their diagnoses. Scientific data was also meddled with after the fire in the reactor at Windscale in England in 1957. (This reactor was located on the site that is currently occupied by the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing facility on the western coast of England.) The amount of radiation released from the fire and the incidence of cancer induced in the population of Ireland remain fiercely contentious issues. According to the ECRR, at some point after the fire, meteorological records were altered “with the apparent motive of concealing the likely location of any effects” [2]. By disguising the path of the fallout plume, interested parties could minimize the perception of the risks to health in Ireland and the Isle of Man. A third example occurred in Germany after Chernobyl. Infant mortality figures were altered to mask the impact of the accident on public health.


How is the human community to discern truth from falsehood in the matter of human-generated radiation awash in the environment? How many other instances of data tampering have occurred in the last half century that have gone undetected? By its own mischief, the Cult of Nuclearists has destroyed its credibility and is ruining the trust of the people in their governing institutions. What does the public really know about the risks to health of radiation exposure? How safe are we? How accurate are the dose estimates of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How much radiation seeps from commercial nuclear power plants? Where does it go? Who absorbs it? How many people really became sick and died after the accident at Three Mile Island? What types of diseases in what frequency were instigated by the Chernobyl catastrophe? What impact will the detonation of nuclear weapons on the other side of the world have on the health of our children or the purity of our food supply here in the United States? How safe are depleted uranium weapons?


How will we ever be able to distinguish what is from what is not? Objective data has been falsified. Science has been compromised. Truth has been decapitated. At the hands of the Cult of Nuclearists, our minds have become the repositories of carefully crafted falsehoods and deceit. Our brains have been raped. Collectively, we have been the victims of an anthropoid ravish.



Bibliography


[1] Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC). Bone Cancer: Revisions Revisited. Radioactive Times. 1999; 3(2). http://www.llrc.org/rat/subrat/rat325.htm


[2] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003. www.euradcom.org.