Writing in late March about Japan's troubled facility at Fukushima, I shared my concerns about the health hazards of pursuing nuclear options to meet the world's seemingly insatiable demand for energy. Supporters of nuclear energy dramatically play down these hazards even after disasters like Chernobyl.
Now, a doctor quotes a report by the New York Academy of Sciences to say that almost one million people have died from cancer and other diseases linked to the Chernobyl disaster. This is in stark contrast to the prediction by the International Atomic Energy Agency that 4,000 people are likely to die from cancer.
While physicists talk convincingly about "permissible doses of radiation," doctors know that there is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation, writes Helen Caldicott, a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, in the International Herald Tribune.
In an article titled Unsafe at Any Dose, published on May 3, Caldicott, herself a doctor, urges physicians to stand up to physicists to explain the long-term dangers of nuclear energy to policy-makers and the public.
"Physicists had the knowledge to begin the nuclear age," she says. "Physicians have the knowledge, credibility and legitimacy to end it."
Definitely worth a read.
Related post: Nuclear Energy - The Price of Safety