Leukemia and lymphoma study recently published in Lancet being strong challenged by SARI

A recent study published in Lancet Haematology claims to show that even extremely low doses of radiation increase the risk of leukemia and lymphoma.

The study includes several statistical flaws, ignores the effects of medical exposures — which are of similar levels to occupational exposures — that change dramatically over the duration of the study, and avoids a proper accounting for uncertainties in both measured doses and in the expected level of subject diseases in a non-exposed population.

The study was conducted with funding from the following organizations:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, AREVA, Electricité de France, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, US Department of Energy, US Department of Health and Human Services, University of North Carolina, Public Health England.

The list of authors for the study is lengthy and includes some names that Atomic Insights readers may recognize as “the usual suspects” of large scale radiation epidemiology studies.

Dr Klervi Leuraud, PhD,
David B Richardson, PhD,
Prof Elisabeth Cardis, PhD,
Robert D Daniels, PhD,
Michael Gillies, MSc,
Jacqueline A O’Hagan, HNC,
Ghassan B Hamra, PhD,
Richard Haylock, PhD,
Dominique Laurier, PhD,
Monika Moissonnier, BSc,
Mary K Schubauer-Berigan, PhD,
Isabelle Thierry-Chef, PhD,
Ausrele Kesminiene, MD

The challenges to the published study are coming from scientists in radiation health specialties and statisticians, some of whom are members of Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information (SARI). Though the Lancet publication is not one that accepts online comments, an article about the study titled Researchers pin down risks of low-dose radiation has been published in the online version of Nature. That publication provides a commenting capability for registered users who use their real names.

The subtitle of the Nature article provides a strong incentive for immediate action to respond to the well-financed study published in a respected journal by people with good credentials. Here is how the headline writers at Nature summarized the conclusion of the study, which included reconstructed dose histories and evaluation of medical records.

Large study of nuclear workers shows that even tiny doses slightly boost risk of leukaemia.

The study was large, the subjects were nuclear workers, but the conclusion is purposely scary and attention getting. The headline writer is good; the purpose is being served and attention is being paid. I’m not sure that the study authors are going to enjoy the specific kind of attention that they will be getting, but it is time to put modern communications tools to work.

We are not living in the same world as Mark Twain was when he quipped, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

As of the time this article was published, there are 11 comments on the Nature article; nearly all of them offer solid challenges to the conclusions published in the article and the paper.

More later, but it’s time to pull on our shoes and go to work.

BWXT Begins Life as a Pure Play Nuclear Company

The Babcock & Wilcox Company has completed its planned separation into two companies, Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. and BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT). One of the neat things about this announcement is that BWXT will be headquartered in Lynchburg, VA. It might also mean that there is a chance that the new company will regain interest in developing a market for smaller reactors.

BWXT’s existing customer base shows that designing and manufacturing more flexible nuclear heated machines that can meet the energy needs of a larger potential customer base is a well-proven technical option. Perhaps this will be one small step in empowering America.

Here is the press release that B&W issued this morning.

BWXT Completes Spin-Off of Power Generation Business

Begins Trading on New York Stock Exchange Under New Ticker Symbol

(LYNCHBURG, VA – July 1, 2015) – BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) (NYSE:BWXT) has completed the spin-off of its Power Generation business and will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “BWXT.”

In 2014, The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) announced its intent to spin off its Power Generation business, and on June 8, 2015, B&W’s board of directors approved the spinoff. The Power Generation business is now known as Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc.

BWXT is the sole manufacturer of naval nuclear reactors for submarines and aircraft carriers; provides nuclear fuel to the U.S. government; provides technical, management and site services to support governments in the operation of complex facilities and environmental remediation activities; and supplies precision manufactured components and services for the commercial nuclear power industry. BWXT has locations throughout North America.

BWXT is led by Executive Chairman John A. Fees and President and Chief Executive Officer Peyton S. (Sandy) Baker.

“This is clearly an important day in the long history of our Company,” said Mr. Fees. “We believe that our stable backlog and consistent earnings make us an attractive investment opportunity. As a standalone company, BWXT will have greater management focus on the distinct business of government and nuclear operations. We will also have greater ability to attract an investor base suited to our Company’s specific operational and financial characteristics.”

Mr. Baker said, “On behalf of our employees, I‘m proud to say that we are ready to continue our excellent work in safely providing products and services in some very specialized and high-consequence markets. We have an outstanding track record of using technical expertise and advanced technologies to deliver quality results, and we look forward to continuing that work for both the United States government and private customers.”

To learn more about BWXT, visit our website at www.bwxt.com.

About BWXT
Headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) is a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government; provides technical, management and site services to support governments in the operation of complex facilities and environmental remediation activities; and supplies precision manufactured components and services for the commercial nuclear power industry. BWXT has more than 5,200 employees and significant operations in Lynchburg, Va.; Erwin, Tenn.; Mount Vernon, Ind.; Euclid, Ohio; Barberton, Ohio; and Cambridge, Ontario, as well as more than a dozen U.S. Department of Energy sites around the country. Follow us on Twitter @BWXTech and learn more at www.bwxt.com.


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