London – An important new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals that low-level nuclear radiation might be much less dangerous than previously thought.
According to authors, Professor Edward Calabrese and Dr Mikko Paunio, recent reviews of seminal research conducted in the decades after the Second World War has uncovered serious flaws in the “linear no-threshold” assumption – the idea that nuclear radiation is dangerous even at very low exposures.
According to Professor Calabrese, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Massachusetts, these claims are now known to be based on scientific studies that were deceptive, flawed, or even fraudulent:
“The key work that was done in the US after the war was fatally flawed. But influential scientists managed to suppress the evidence and ensure that the linear no-threshold assumption survived.”
And Professor Calabrese’s position is confirmed by a review of recent findings from Japan, which have been reviewed by Dr Paunio, a former chairman of the Finnish Radiological Protection Board. According to Dr Paunio, key support for the linear no-threshold assumption came from a major study that followed the life histories of the Hibakusha – the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs.
“Their error was extraordinary,” says Dr Paunio. “They failed to account for the effects of secondary radiation exposures and fallout. This means that the rather low numbers of cancers observed in the hibakusha in the decades after the war were actually caused by quite high exposures to radiation.”
The implication of these reviews is that nuclear radiation seems to be relatively harmless at low levels. If correct, it means that the nuclear energy industry is being grossly over-regulated for no reason at all.
According to GWPF director Benny Peiser, there is now a need for government to act.
“Over the weekend, it was reported that the government might finally kick the small modular nuclear programme into action. If so, then it’s a welcome development, but there remains a real risk that the programme will be sunk by the environmental bureaucracy.”
“If the extremely costly regulatory burden is really as pointless as these new findings suggest, there is an important opportunity for the country. It’s time for a major review of the new radiation science.”
Edward J. Calabrese is Professor of Toxicology at the University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Amherst. Dr Calabrese has researched extensively in the area of host factors affecting susceptibility to pollutants, and is the author of over 900 papers in scholarly journals, as well as more than ten books. He was awarded the 2009 Marie Curie Prize for his body of work on hormesis. He was the recipient of the International Society for Cell Communication and Signaling-Springer award for 2010. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from McMaster University in 2013. In 2014 he was awarded the Petr Beckmann Award from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.
Mikko Paunio MD, MHS is adjunct professor in epidemiology at the University of Helsinki. From 2009–2019, he was the chairman of the Radiation Safety Advisory Board set up by the Council of State of Finland.