Radiation
Misconceptions In
The Media
Tu Anh Tran
HPS 791 - Seminar
Fall 2013
Outline
 Background
 Author’s Assertions
 Rebuttals
 References
Background Information
 Helen Caldicott – president of the Foundation for a
Nuclear-Free Planet
 Theguardian.com on Apri...
Helen Caldicott’s Assertions
 External and internal radiation
 No dose of radiation is safe
 Chernobyl disaster caused ...
External vs. internal radiation
 Author’s assertion:
 External radiation - Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic
bombs in 1945
...
External vs. internal
radiation
 Rebuttal:
 Internal radiation – Chernobyl accident
 Chernobyl – 5.2 E18 Becquerels
 F...
Amano, H., External and internal radiation doses from the Fukushima
Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident received by resid...
No dose of radiation is safe
 Conservative requirements from the NRC and the
National Academy of Sciences
 Radiation saf...
Chernobyl Death Tolls
 Author’s assertion: 980,000 deaths
 Her reference: A book published in Russian, translated into
E...
Conclusion
 The author’s claims are questionable along with her
references.
 Nuclear energy is relatively safe compared ...
References


Caldicott, Helen. “How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation.” The Guardian, 11 April 2011.

...
Radiation misconception in the media
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Radiation misconception in the media

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Radiation misconception in the media

  1. 1. Radiation Misconceptions In The Media Tu Anh Tran HPS 791 - Seminar Fall 2013
  2. 2. Outline  Background  Author’s Assertions  Rebuttals  References
  3. 3. Background Information  Helen Caldicott – president of the Foundation for a Nuclear-Free Planet  Theguardian.com on April 11, 2011  “How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation”
  4. 4. Helen Caldicott’s Assertions  External and internal radiation  No dose of radiation is safe  Chernobyl disaster caused 980,000 deaths
  5. 5. External vs. internal radiation  Author’s assertion:  External radiation - Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs in 1945  Internal radiation – I-131, Cs-137.  Absorption, digestion or inhaling.  Bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains  Human consumption – can cause cancer via radiation
  6. 6. External vs. internal radiation  Rebuttal:  Internal radiation – Chernobyl accident  Chernobyl – 5.2 E18 Becquerels  Fukushima - 3.7 E17 Becquerels (1/10 of Chernobyl)  ~6000 reported cases of thyroid cancer - 2005  Digestion – via food  People near Chernobyl were not warned against drinking milk  FDA  no evidence of radionuclides in US food  Increased screening quality of Japanese import produce and milk
  7. 7. Amano, H., External and internal radiation doses from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident received by residents of Chiba, Japan, Japanese Chemical Analysis Center, 2012.
  8. 8. No dose of radiation is safe  Conservative requirements from the NRC and the National Academy of Sciences  Radiation safety principle: ALARA  Background radiation: 1.5 mSv – 3.5 mSv per year  No higher rates of cancer in high background radiation areas  India, Iran, Europe.  Background radiation – 50 mSv
  9. 9. Chernobyl Death Tolls  Author’s assertion: 980,000 deaths  Her reference: A book published in Russian, translated into English and published by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.  Assumptions based on deaths from a wide range of diseases.  Russia: 34 deaths  UN: 64 deaths
  10. 10. Conclusion  The author’s claims are questionable along with her references.  Nuclear energy is relatively safe compared to other forms of energy.
  11. 11. References  Caldicott, Helen. “How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation.” The Guardian, 11 April 2011.  FDA Response to Fukushima Incident (http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm247403.htm)  How does Fukushima differ from Chernobyl? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13050228)  Fukushima vs. Chernobyl (http://www.ne.anl.gov/jp/fukushima-facts-and-myths.shtml)  Amano, H., External and internal radiation doses from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident received by residents of Chiba, Japan, Japanese Chemical Analysis Center, 2012.

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