Nuclear apologists play shoot the messenger on radiation, Helen Caldicott for The Age (Australia), April 26, 2011:
[...] Their [proponents of nuclear power] first piece of disinformation is to confuse the effects of external and internal radiation. The former is what populations were exposed to when atomic bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Internal radiation, by contrast, emanates from radioactive elements that enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer.
Further, many remain radioactive in the environment for long periods, posing danger for future generations.
The grave effects of internal emitters are of the most profound concern at Fukushima – as indeed they continue to be at Chernobyl. It is erroneous and misleading to use the term ”acceptable levels of external radiation” in assessing internal radiation doses. To do so is to propagate inaccuracies and to mislead the public worldwide and journalists who are seeking the truth about radiation’s hazards. [...]
Read the article here.
Published: April 25th, 2011 at 2:35 pm ET