By: John O’Sullivan
Radiation experts studying Chernobyl meltdown confirm no long-term risks posed at Fukushima despite media hype over the nuclear disaster. Nature copes well, they found.
Last week the world’s media focused attention on the ‘Fukushima 50’- those brave workers exposed to radiation contamination as they clean up after the explosion at Fukushima’s nuclear plant.
We examine the health risks posed from radiation poisoning by such a disaster based on a unique 12-year scientific study at Chernobyl; conclusions that show just how well the natural environment has fared a quarter of a century on from the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Two top radiation experts, Professors Ronald K. Chesser and Robert J. Baker, in creating their joint study, ‘Growing Up with Chernobyl’ painstakingly studied and measured the true aftermath of Chernobyl. These world leading radiation experts present an astonishing new insight that no only shows how robust nature really is, but also exposes the extreme anti-science bias that for decades has ramped up unproven fears about the dangers of nuclear power.
I felt compelled to write this article in light of the media’s scant concern over Japan’s worst earthquake and tsunami that took over 10,000 lives. Despite the still unfolding tragedy from the earthquake and tsunami, the world media has instead chosen to focus on a nuclear accident where no one is reported killed from radiation science proves the outcome is likely to less terrible than is being portrayed.
I find I’m not alone in thinking that the world’s press has its priorities skewed and needs to take another hard look at the science.
In this regard I want to draw readers’ attention to ‘Growing Up with Chernobyl’, a study that will help provide some comfort to the people of Japan and which demonstrates a positive legacy from Chernobyl; a place where nature has shown a remarkable propensity not only to bounce back, but to provide a rich new bounty.
Green Opportunists Will Never Waste a Good Catastrophe
Frankly, no one can look at TV broadcasts depicting the heroics of the ‘Fukushima 50’ and not feel desperately sad for the future health prospects of the clean up workers who may face radiation sickness and the associated cancerous consequences.
But what is infuriating is that we can conclude from those images that to the media the tsunami and earthquake weren’t “bad enough” to hold their attention despite the ongoing crisis for Japan’s population with ever-increasing suffering due to starvation and hypothermia. No, the focus is all nuclear now.
As Christopher Booker cogently reports in The Daily Telegraph (March 19, 2011) eco-propagandists have been hard at work drumming up fears of a nuclear disaster for Japan “worse than Chernobyl.” But if we look at the science and not the media frenzy then there truly is no prospect of any such catastrophe to match the unprecedented meltdown at Chernobyl’s Reactor IV on April 26, 1986.
Nonetheless, that green urban legend about Chernobyl killing “millions” still survives. However, two undaunted professors, academic researchers skilled in radiation contamination, have collected all the facts to squash that fallacy after spending 12 long years painstakingly probing the aftermath of Chernobyl.
As with their fellow scientists battling to overcome the hysteria over global warming, Chesser and Baker have had to contend with an endless tide of green propaganda and censorship. In their quest for real science the pair admit they learned “tough lessons about politics, bias and the challenges of doing good science” on this similarly polemicized issue.
Chesser is a professor of biological sciences and director of the Center for Environmental Radiation Studies at Texas Tech University. Much of his current research is in reverse-engineering radioactive releases from nuclear accidents. He continues to work at Chernobyl and is currently examining the radioactive contamination and human health issues surrounding nuclear facilities near Baghdad, Iraq.
Robert J. Baker is Horn Professor of Biological Sciences Research at Texas Tech and affirmed world-leading research scientist. His research program evaluates molecular variations in organisms exposed to Chernobyl radiation.
Chernobyl Recovers to Become Haven for Endangered Species
Contrary to their initial expectations, Baker and Chesser were astounded to find that although the local wildlife around Chernobyl had undergone unprecedented levels of radiation “all the animals seemed physically normal….This was true for pretty much every creature we examined.”
After the initial decline of the animal populations, which were decimated by radioactive fallout, local wildlife is now thriving. The two were completely taken aback by the lack of evidence for any genetic mutations, as had been the expectation of most theorists.
The esteemed experts asserted,
“We also compared the genetic variations of populations inside the [contaminated] Zone with those from relatively uncontaminated areas, and we found no evidence of increased mutation rates from exposure to radioactivity.”
They found the most likely reason why Chernobyl has made such a remarkable recovery, “Radiation doses have declined precipitously since the accident—less than 3 percent of the initial radioactivity remains.”
Thus it seems, radiation is more quickly dispersed in nature than previous estimates had thought.
In fact, confounding all expectations the Chernobyl region has become a refuge for released populations of Przewalski’s horse and European bison; while the population densities of Russian wild boar are 10 to 15 times greater in the ‘Danger Zone’ than in adjacent areas inhabited by people. In addition, endangered black storks and white-tailed eagles are also more common in the “ Zone.”
The preponderance of such rich diversity of life has forced scientists to conclude that this so-called “dead zone” has effectively become a fertile natural preserve.
Good Nuclear News is Bad for Big Green Media
Despite these incredible findings being published in the prominent American Scientist Journal (Volume 94) this was not the kind of science that broadcasters wanted to show us.
Instead of being hailed as champions of science both researchers were met with hostility and mocked for going against the established ideas. The impartial professors lamented:
“We couldn’t find a single story that tried to explain the enormous difficulties of determining an accurate number for the excess cancer deaths caused by the radiation fallout from Chernobyl. The press did not attempt to explain the differences in opinions between scientists or the contradictory results of research on animals exposed to radiation.”
What they saw, just as with the great global warming debate, a propaganda war is constantly in play; ‘Big Green’ still insists on hyping the myth that a million died from Chernobyl when, in fact, independent studies put the actual death toll in the range of 38 to 4,000 (e.g. see the2005 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency).
Undeterred the two experts insist their unexpected findings will have
“…. profound implications for society. If there is an elevated mutation rate and loss of health, then appropriate measures should be taken to protect ourselves. No one would argue with that. But we must be mindful that the costs of over-regulation can be extreme.”
Backing this argument are the numbers that most starkly expose nuclear hysteria as per the statistics of U.S. death tolls:
Nuclear power plants……………. 0 deaths per year
Wind turbines (2008)…………….41 deaths per year
Candles………………..………..126 deaths per year
Bicycles (2008)………..……….716 deaths per year
Agriculture…………….……..1,300 deaths per year
Motorcycles …………………2,500 deaths per year
Car Phones (2002)……………2,500 deaths per year
Alcohol………………….…100,000 deaths per year
Tobacco……………………500,000 deaths per year
So why are broadcasters stubbornly stuck in the great rush to dismantle our western way of life?
The ‘Fukushima 50’ are undoubtedly brave and perhaps also knowledgeable about the dangers they face. So if you want to be better informed about the likely risks posed by a radiation accident then read more from ‘Growing Up with Chernobyl.’
Source: John O’Sullivan