Nuclear industry propaganda about low-level radiation is “absolute rubbish” says physician who taught at Harvard Med School — It’s all about internal emitters (VIDEO)

Published: April 3rd, 2011 at 2:12 am ET


“Prescription for Survival”: A Debate on the Future of Nuclear Energy Between Anti-Coal Advocate George Monbiot and Anti-Nuclear Activist Dr. Helen Caldicott, Democracy Now, March 30, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]

HELEN CALDICOTT: … Up to a million people have already died from Chernobyl, and people will continue to die from cancer for virtually the rest of time. What we should know is that a millionth of a gram of plutonium, or less, can induce cancer, or will induce cancer. Each reactor has 250 kilos, or 500 pounds, of plutonium in it. You know, there’s enough plutonium in these reactors to kill everyone on earth.

Now, what George doesn’t understand… You don’t understand internal emitters. I was commissioned to write an article for the New England Journal of Medicine about the dangers of nuclear power. I spent a year researching it. You’ve bought the propaganda from the nuclear industry. They say it’s low-level radiation. That’s absolute rubbish. If you inhale a millionth of a gram of plutonium, the surrounding cells receive a very, very high dose. Most die within that area, because it’s an alpha emitter. The cells on the periphery remain viable. They mutate, and the regulatory genes are damaged. Years later, that person develops cancer. Now, that’s true for radioactive iodine, that goes to the thyroid; cesium-137, that goes to the brain and muscles; strontium-90 goes to bone, causing bone cancer and leukemia. It’s imperative, George, because you’re highly intelligent and a very important commentator, that you understand internal emitters and radiation, and it’s not low level to the cells that are exposed. Radiobiology is imperative to understand these days. …

As it leaks into the water over time, it will bioconcentrate in the food chains, in the breast milk, in the fetuses, that are thousands of times more radiosensitive than adults. One x-ray to the pregnant abdomen doubles the incidence of leukemia in the child. And over time, nuclear waste will induce epidemics of cancer, leukemia and genetic disease, and random compulsory genetic engineering. And we’re not the only species with genes, of course. It’s plants and animals. So, this is an absolute catastrophe, the likes of which the world has never seen before. …

I’m a physician, highly trained. I was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. My specialty is cystic fibrosis, the most common genetic disease of childhood. …

[I]t’s imperative that people understand that internal emitters cause cancer, but the incubation time for cancer is any time from two to 60 years. …

Published: April 3rd, 2011 at 2:12 am ET


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25 comments to Nuclear industry propaganda about low-level radiation is “absolute rubbish” says physician who taught at Harvard Med School — It’s all about internal emitters (VIDEO)

  • xdrfox

    This complex is so huge !
    Massive undertaking !
    Never should have build a monstrosity as this !

  • * Uranium 238: 4.5 billion years
    * Uranium 235: 710 million years
    * Plutonium 239: 24,100 years
    * Strontium 90: 30 years
    * Caesium 134: two years
    * Caesium 137: 30 years (Caesium can be absorbed in food and water or inhaled as dust. It is easily taken up by plants and animals.)
    * Ruthenium 103: 39 days; Ruthenium 106, about a year
    * Iodine 131: 8 days

    plus a dozen other radionuclides even more toxic. Now the news is spewing the half-truth that you get more radiation from the Sun than from these particle emitters. That’s accurate, but what they fail to mention is that the SUN provides NON-IONIZING RADIATION (which is good for you and you need it, as does all life on Earth) and these particles are IONIZING RADIATION, which causes cancers, cellular disruption, and DNA damage.

  • roscoe

    The Catholic Church tried to stop Einstien and his Satanic atomist research but anti-christ judaix have only a satanic hatred for Holy Church and they refuse to listen so here we are. Let this be a warning to all people on E

  • Moco

    The catlick church should spend more time not hiding their pedifile priests. For the catlick church is a corporate criminal at best.

  • roscoe

    The Catholic Church itself can never change. What can( and has) happened is that a bunch of anti-christ anti-popes have been in possession of the buildings of Vatican City since 1958. See

  • Richard Todia

    What the heck is the matter with this guy (Monbiot)? “Radioactive material isn’t that dangerous… CO2 is going to destroy the planet.” Wow.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    Fukushima Internal Emitters

    An ill wind comes arising
    Across the cities of the plain
    There’s no swimming in the heavy water
    No singing in the acid rain

    Absalom Absalom Absalom

  • The most important issue isn’t even mentioned, yet.

    The increasing background radiation will also damage the genome in the oocytes of female mammalias and any other comlex organism. Increasing error rates caused by radiation and internal emitters will destroy the basis on which the embryogenesis depends – the ability to copy a huge genome with billions of ‘letters’ with nearly no errors. Otherwise the information to create and build-up a complex organism is lost. Gene by gene, slowly but inevitable, from generation to generation.

    The last 1500 million of years no natural fissions (Okla reactor, africa) are happening anymore and fission products and radiation decayed since then.

    For the same time we saw the rapid development and evolution from simple lifeforms as bacteria to complex beings like humans. All based on the fact, that the increasingly complex and huge genomes can be copied, preserved and developed without loss of information.

    With the release of radioactive isotopes – internal emitters – we simply detroy this possibility and evolution won’t be able to compensate that anymore some day.

    In the near future and with on-going emissions from Fukushima we will pass the point of no return.

    And finally extinct together with most complex lifeforms within the new few hundreds of years.

    That’s the real reason, why we shouldn’t create a single radioactive atom…

    • Cassie


      So even if humans survive the immediate crisis,
      the DNA of our species will no longer be able to evolve
      in the way it has always done?
      Our evolutionary capacity will be greatly diminished?
      How would that play out?
      Females infertile?
      Offspring marginal in functional ability?
      How long to get to that point?
      Are you a biologist?

      • Hi Cassie,

        yes, I studied biology, medicine and computer science in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. I spend the last 30 years of my life studying natural sciences.

        Und yes again – all your questions are right. You got it.

        In the area around Chernobyl fertility decreased significantly and dropped down to 10% for some areas.

        The majority of pragnancies there will result in a spontanous abort. The born-alive childred suffer mostly from genetic defects. Only few children are as normal as we would expect.

        On the other side there is a big increase in all kind of cancer.

        Presuming that evolution and genetics can’t adapt to increased radiation quickly and no import of undamaged genes from outside happens, the people around Chernobyl will extinct within the next few generations.

        All this information is known to the WHO, the scientific community, but kept secret due to strong lobbyism from those who make big profit from nuclear plants. It’s even known since the days, where germans did experiments with radioactivity in detainment camps about 70 years ago. Strong radiation kills immediatly, weak radiation will do the same. It just takes much longer. And with a radioactive half-life of ~24000 year for plutionium, we got a very long time and even a minimal increase of radioactivity can do evil things over this time.

        Unfortunately weak radiation has no immediate effects – just cancer and – at least at the moment – only if you are unlucky.

        Fukushima will change that. For at least 12 months it will continue to emit radioactive particle into the air, finally spreading it over the northern hemissphere and on the long run over the whole planet.

        People are going to die from cancer in the future. Getting old will be an exception.

        Most of our children and young people will die from leukemia et al. Parents will watch their children die.

        Lifetime will reduce. Only those, who reproduce and live fast, will get a chance to create more good copies of their genome than bad ones. Rats, Insects or alike, but for sure not our specie.

        In case that Fukushima isn’t our tombstone already, we should shutdown all remaing nuclear plants ASAP.

        Otherwise more of them will explode eventually, and the scenario described above will finally become true.

        There is no way to remove radioactive isotopes from the environment. Any damaged done today will last for at least 200000 years at least.

        • Cassie

          Carsten, do you mean locally in Japan and Asia or globally?

          What time line do you see in terms of the cancer deaths for both young and old?

          Do you believe that the US has stockpiled DNA in banks for such a possibility and do you think that would be successful in countering the damage to human DNA?

          DNA is one of most precious resources and it may be gone?

          Thank you for your comments.

        • toots

          Hi! So, in your opinion, the emissions will continue unabated for a year and then they should have some mitigation in place, or most of the fuel will have been released??? I haven’t had a clear picture on that.
          Also, do you think the S. Hemisphere will remain relatively untouched long into the future or just temporarily???
          I appreciate how Europeans are more well-versed than we are on the potential impact after Chernobyl. One last thing–did they ever figure out why some countries were not affected by the fallout, while others were? (i.e. Romania seemed to have no fallout-why?)
          Thanks. If anyone can answer there ?s, please jump in!

          • Cassie

            Yes a good question about the hemispheric differential.
            Some say that the southern hemisphere will be unharmed.

            And Carsten’s comments are assuming that the emissions remain unabated for a length of time?

          • mark V

            It almost seems that you would like Romania to receive more radiation than it actually did. False-flag diagnosis No.5

            and by the way

            “So, in your opinion, the emissions will continue unabated for a year”

            doesn’t hold water, or please point out where you got that absurdity. Nobody can know how long the emissions continue, as we are still to hear any single victory on Fukushima Dai-ichi front, we hear only postponed announcements of setbacks.

        • toots

          Thanks, in advance, for any feedback!

        • mark V

          Carsten, can I put this text on another forum? Signing Carsten, C, or whatever you suggest. You said so well, that any referrences are not necessary for thinking people, we should probably be most concerned about DNA in the light of the events, long term 😉

          • Cassie

            Yes even if there are those who survive, they will be most likely infertile or produce defective offspring. The species will be unable to reproduce in a way that promotes the successful evolution of the species.

            This is also an example of why this crisis could use a multidisciplinary approach.

  • Cassie– This is how Fallujah was left after weaponry.

    I hate to admit this, but my oldest son is a Staff Sergent in the U.S. Marines. We do not speak–and I have Grandchildren I have never met. This is also a crime against humanity-IMO.

    • It isn’t just a crime against humanity – we destroy the whole biosphere and the results of millions of years of evolution in just a few decades!

  • Cassie

    Oh Jill the use of DU in Iraq is heart breaking.
    I have followed that story from the beginning.
    The millions of deaths, injury, deformities.

    What have we done to the men, women and children of this planet?

    I am so sorry to hear about the rift between you and your child and grandchildren Jill…..

  • Bless your compassionate, sweet, heart Cassie. His 23 y.o. sister, my Ashley, died 5 years ago also. The only one left is alcoholic and can’t stand me or God. Some Mother I turned out to be!
    But, I was a terrific (whole) person before having children, as I strive to be so now no matter what.

    Thanks for making this a homey, safe place for me Cassie, and all you new friends! 🙂

    • Cassie

      Oh Jill.
      I am so sorry. So much loss. It is just not fair?

      I have some similar heartbreak Jill in my immediate family.
      Really hard to face.
      I think all we can do is go forward one day at a time.
      And just do the best we can do each day.
      That is the way I get through it all.

      Yes this site has really been a godsend.

  • I believe Carsten’s post is the closest to the accurate assessment. At least, that is what all the evidence is pointing me towards, Yes?

    • Cassie

      Yes Jill, I appreciate someone from another field chiming in on a topic I had not thought about.

      And yes I agree, it is quite thought provoking, and well stated.
      I am not a biologist however and am hoping for some educated
      debate from those trained in the bio and med sciences.