This post was written by Ted Rockwell.
A Plea for Common Sense
New lessons are beginning to emerge from Fukushima. Each new problem leads to heaping on additional safety requirements. But some contradictions are beginning to raise questions: Amid tens of thousands of deaths from non-nuclear causes, not a single life-shortening radiation injury has occurred. Not one. And while some people in the housing area are wearing cumbersome rad-con suits, filtered gas-masks, gloves and booties, there are people living in other places like Norway, Brazil, Iran, India where folks have lived normal lives for countless generations with radiation levels as much as a hundred times greater than the forbidden areas of the Fukushima homes.
At Fukushima this is no abstract issue. People are being told they cannot return home for an indeterminate period – perhaps years. And efforts to decontaminate their home sites may require stripping off all the rich top-soil and calling it RadWaste. People formerly living there have been reduced to economic poverty, clinical depression, and even suicide.
There is good scientific evidence that, except for some hot spots, the radiation levels at these home-sites are not life-threatening. The current restrictions are based on a desire to be “conservative.” No matter how well intended, this “conservatism” is cruelly destructive. The respected radiation authority Wade Allison, author of Radiation and Reason, has proposed that the current permissible radiation dose be raised 1000-fold, which he says is still well under the clinical data on which he bases his proposal. Other radiation protectionists are beginning to feel concern for the harm their rules have caused and are joining in the cry for quick action as the Japanese head into Winter.
It’s time this draconian situation is resolved. A simple declaration of the facts about radiation protection from the proper authorities would be a good first step.
Signed: Ted Rockwell