Dangers Of Nuclear Energy ‘Much Less Than Previously Thought’

  • Date: 17/06/20
  • Press Release, Global Warming Policy Foundation

New scientific findings suggest radiation risks are exaggerated.

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 Calabrese and Mikko Paunio: Reassessing Radiation Safety (pdf)