Home Opinion Dear Editor Looking at radiation and nuclear fears

Looking at radiation and nuclear fears

0

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Radiation after Fukushima:

The first question you have to ask yourself: Why didn’t anyone die from radiation exposure after three nuclear reactors melted down at Fukushima back in 2011? Here it is six years later and still no one has died from radiation exposure. Curious minds would want to know why, especially real scientists of physics and chemistry. There was another curious group of people that were interested in knowing, too.
In 2011, roughly 65,000 Japanese citizens living near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant started measuring their own radiation exposure in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The traditional method of estimating dosage was taking readings from aircraft hundreds of feet above the ground.
Now, in a first-of-its-kind study, scientists analyzing the thousands of citizen readings have come to a surprising conclusion: The airborne observations in this region of Japan overestimated the true radiation level by a factor of four. The actual observed level was ~3.6mSv on March 16, 2011, and March 17, 2011, compared to a standard chest CT scan of 5.8mSv. That is why no one died at Fukushima.

Pursuing the question and getting an answer is not difficult. In fact, technically, it is quite straightforward and simple to understand. However, the answer is unexpected to most people, for it calls into question assumptions that they have lived with all their lives. Learning new truths can be a positive experience, but it is hard to accept that what you previously thought to be true is in fact false.
So the predictions of a nuclear disaster at Fukushima were simply wrong. We will need to examine where these came from. The story will go back many decades to the birth of a pseudo-science called the Linear No-Threshold Hypothesis (LNT). It is described as a pseudo-science because it is not based on observation but on a history of ideas, fears and human emotions, quite real in their own terms but not scientific.
Does this mean that radiation is safe? And if so, how safe? How do we know that for sure? The short answer is yes: low to medium dose radiation is safe and it has been saving lives by diagnosing disease and curing cancer for over a century as pioneered by Marie Curie. A radiation dose used in a medical scan is far higher than encountered by the public at Fukushima. Remember, there was a triple meltdown and it proved once again that nuclear accidents like TMI and WIPP are generally innocuous.
Martin Kral
Roswell