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, May 17, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER 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 FIVE: In the aftermath of a radiation release into the environment, the perception of hazard to the exposed population can be managed by controlling information of the quantity of radiation involved, and thus, the dosages.

Returning to our simple equation of dose = energy/mass, it is readily observed that dose can be made to appear smaller by reducing the amount of energy involved. The energy emitted by radioactive atoms is a known physical quantity. If you know which radioisotopes are released in an event and in what quantities, you know their manner of radioactive decay, their half-life, the amount of energy emitted by each decaying atom, and so forth. This knowledge can be combined to derive estimates of the maximum dose to the entire exposed population. Under these circumstances, the only way to manipulate knowledge of the dose people may have received is to control knowledge of the total amount of radioactivity actually released. If you are in a position to do this, no one will be able to accurately assess the doses received, whether these doses are within the range deemed “permissible,” and what illnesses appearing later in the population might be attributable to radiation exposure. Examples of this scam are too numerous to mention here within these pages. Repeatedly over the decades has long-suppressed information come to light of once-secret radiation releases from such nuclear installations as Sellafield in the UK, the Chelyabinsk-40 complex in the USSR, and in the US at the Hanford Reservation in Washington State, Rocky Flats in Colorado, the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina, the now-closed Feed Materials Production Center in Fernald, Ohio, and the nuclear facilities in Paducah, Kentucky.

This scam was the major tool involved in covering up the commercial nuclear reactor accident in 1979 at Three Mile Island. To this day, the public has been denied access to accurate information on what radionuclides were released and in what quantities. Without this key piece of information, “dose” to members of the exposed population is incalculable. The number of people made sick by the event, the number of people that will die because of the event, can never be gauged as long as information on dosage is manipulated or withheld. This protects the nuclear establishment from culpability and ensures ongoing support for the wide range of nuclear programs. The big losers at Three Mile Island were those dwelling downwind of the event. With no knowledge of the dosages they may have received, they are unable to assess the risk they incurred to their health. Their lives are forever haunted by the prospect of radiation-induced cancer waiting to ambush them 25 to 40 years down the road. If disease strikes, their anguish may be intensified by not knowing the reason. People ask, “Why is this happening to me?” Victimization is hard to bear, particularly when it robs you of your health and shortens your life. Cover-ups of radiation accidents carry in their wake many different types of human misery.

Three Mile Island was not an isolated event. The catastrophe at Chernobyl in 1986 was variously reported by different organizations with diverse interests in nuclear technology. These reports differed by their estimates as to how much radioactivity was released from the destroyed reactor core. At the time of the accident, the core contained approximately 192 tons of radioactive material consisting of approximately nine billion curies of radioactivity. In the immediate aftermath of the event, the Soviet government declared that 50 million curies of radionuclides and 50 million curies of chemically inert radioactive gases escaped into the biosphere. This overly conservative estimate was challenged from many quarters. The Nuclear Agency Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that the maximum release from a group of the 20 most important radionuclides totaled 340 million curies. Estimates made at the Argonne National Laboratory in the United States suggested that 30% of the core’s radioactivity, nearly three billion curies were released in the accident. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s estimate was even higher, suggesting that half of the core’s radioactivity, 4.5 billion curies, were spewed out of the breached reactor. Finally, Vladimir Chernousenko, Scientific Director of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics in Kiev's Task Force for the Rectification of the Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident published an estimate that fully 80% of the core’s contents were liberated into the environment [1]. These varying estimates are not just of academic interest. Each represents a political statement. Each implicitly carries a statement of the possible health effects that will be distributed throughout the contaminated populations. What is the true health legacy of Chernobyl? No one really knows. The lethality of the accident can only be gauged on the basis of the quantity of radioactivity liberated. The uncertainty of this critical piece of information renders all estimates questionable.

When one reviews the history of radiation accidents, one repeatedly discovers that the public has been kept in ignorance of the potential medical impact from events because they have been denied access to knowledge of the quantity of radioactivity released into populations. Operating under the veil of national security, governments can escape accountability for their deeds. How many tragedies have been covered up? How much radiation was released by the weapons labs of the nation? How much radiation has been released by commercial nuclear reactors? How much radioactivity has escaped into the environment? If you control this information, you control the thinking of the people. You cover up medical effects by covering up dosage.

Again, the discussion comes around to uranium weapons. The United States currently pursues a policy of preventing information of its weapon systems from reaching the public domain. No one knows how many types of weapons contain uranium, how much uranium is contained in each weapon, and the tonnage of weapons discharged in each campaign. This cover-up serves an important political purpose. It prevents dosages of radioactivity from being calculated. If an Afghan family lives immediately downwind of a building destroyed by a bomb containing 1,000 pounds of uranium, and if they inhale aerosolized uranium dust from the plume, their radiation dosage may be medically significant. It is fraudulent science, hocus pocus mumbo-jumbo, to sell the world on the corrupt idea that uranium weapons are not radiological weapons, and these weapons are not capable of producing indiscriminate health effects. The United States of America is perpetrating crimes against humanity and covering up its deeds by covering up the radiation dosages of its victims.


[1] Chernousenko V.M. Chernobyl, Insight from the Inside. BerlIn Springer-Verlag; 1991.