1. I saw Caldicott present a lecture on uranium at my local university during the year. While I understand there are people who peddle subtle disinformation and those who are otherwise ignorant to other views, Caldicott fits into neither group. She is a Liar. For a doctor and scholar who has been immersed in the nuclear debate for 50 years, there is no other word to describe her. I wrote several notes (i wish i had a dictaphone) paraphrasing the lies she wove as best I could- it was a difficult chore as they were coming thick and fast- and will list the three greatest whoppers that stuck in my mind:
    she claimed and then reiterated that there had not been a single study published that brought forward a different theory to the LN-T theory or one that tried to disprove it. Therefore the LN-T is the only valid analysis tool when dealing with radiation.
    Her view on radioactive half lives, it seemed, was the greater the length, the worst the waste scenario is: depleted uranium has a half life of uranium is 4 and half billion years! So when the sun has engulfed the earth, half of our nuclear waste will still be around. Therefore, Nuclear waste isn’t a 100, 10,000, or 1,000,000 year problem, it is a billion year problem.
    She finished her lecture off by getting a number of people to hold up ‘the number of nuclear bombs that could be made from a single reactor/s waste in a single year’ – I’m fairly sure it was 60. She then continued to note that there are several hundreds of reactors with multiple decade-long lives, so, in a couple of years, the world will be awash in nuclear weapons. Her last words were: if we don’t stop uranium mining, the world will end in a nuclear holocaust… She equates uranium mining with the proactive use of hundreds of thousands of nuclear bombs.
    It also irked me that she continually picked up her own works (and only her own) throughout the lecture, as if referencing them to validate a point she was making at the time. This will get you a failing grade in any secondary school grade so it should be well and truly beyond an academic.
    To be fair, after filtering through all the hubris, bad logic and lies, she made two good points only: nuclear bombs are bad and should be destroyed (how she would never say) and that radioactive release should be mitigated. She is also against nuclear medicine, so i guess she’s consistent in that regard.
    As all this relates to the article above: I think it’s important to a) disseminate accurate information, and; b) refute it when it’s not. Being silent when people are fed disinformation and lies is not a choice as most people will swallow what they’re fed, especially if they enjoy the taste. Tell them it’s poison and save them.

  2. Rod,
    Thanks forthe update on this issue. It is good to know Greenpeace’s possible end game for this report other then to keep trotting it out as a NYAS published scientific study. Now those of us who are active on boards and blogs can begin to prepare for the next major anniversary of Chernobyl as Dr. Rockwell discusses.
    Is there a path for NYAS nonmembers such as myself to register our compliants about this Greenpeace report? In essence turn up the heat on the NYAS both politically and technically. Would this approach be of any use?

  3. Some other comparisons for “Like using motorcycle accident statistics to predict automobile statistics.”
    -like comparing gas filled balloons to passenger jets.
    -like comparing socks to boots
    -like comparing igloos to brick houses
    -like comparing bicycles to armored tanks

  4. Rod – a big thank you for the update. I am appalled – how could any academic body even consider publishing a report that includes statements to the effect that ‘… science does not support the conclusions they reach, and therefore science is wrong’ as Ted Rockwell writes. I expect that the actual phrasing is weasel-worded, like the wording in the description of the report on the NYAS site:
    “According to the authors, official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments. ‘
    I’m not going to pay for access to the report. If there is a good and effective direct quote from the report that really says ‘all the science but ours is wrong’ it should be thrown in the face of anyone that tries to use the report to sow fear and distrust of nuclear energy. Politely, of course, but still confrontationally. Though not as confrontationally as NNadir is on his DailyKos blog. I’d love to see the quote from page 2 that says this – is it reasonable to quote just that bit here?
    Another observation: Helen Caldicott saying only 700 copies of the report were printed, then using this fact to bolster a ‘conspiracy of silence’ theory is pretty ridiculous when the full text is available 24/7 online. They’re ‘reluctant to print more’ because scholarship is (my impression is) increasingly digital and online, and printed documents are expensive. Another example of rhetoric with a goal of promoting uncritical thinking in an audience.

  5. Caldicott has been spending the last little while scrambling to rebuild her slowly eroding relevancy. Anyone following her career closely cannot help but note the string of canceled engagements due to lack of interest, and the fact that many in the antinuclear movement are beginning to slowly distance themselves from her suggesting that she is too militant, when in fact they privately say that her exaggerations are becoming transparent to the target audience undermining those that are attempting a more nuanced approach.
    This being the case, her involvement with this stupid report may do more harm than good to its backers.

  6. Under the Know-Your-Enemy philosophy, I just spent some time on the Greenpeace International website to see if I could find out where their funding comes from. Apparently national and regional sections have some significant financial autonomy.
    Actually, I don

    1. “I also wonder what would happen (other than fireworks) if straight-talking pronukes, rather than just excoriating Greenpeace online, joined, went to the meetings, and persuaded them how they were getting it wrong.”
      Have you ever been to an anti-nuke meeting?
      I have. It’s an interesting experience.
      Believe me, they don’t want to listen to reason or persuasion. They’re mostly nice folks — although they tend to be drawn from the more artsy or granola-oriented segments of society. They can be very polite and pleasant as long as they assume that you agree with them. If you make the mistake of contradicting them — even as innocently as politely pointing out a minor mistake of fact — watch out. They quickly change to angry, frustrated people, which is what they really are at heart, and their anger will be directed at you.
      The problem is two fold. First, these people are often emotionally wedded to this issue. In many cases, their feelings have been intimately bound to the many false claims and arguments for a long time. In addition, they tend to be very poor at critical thinking, because they rarely allow themselves to be put into an environment in which their beliefs are seriously challenged. The echo chamber in which these people live is amazingly small. This would not be surprising if these were uneducated, ignorant yokels, but the vast majority of them are well educated, with some holding advanced degrees. Nevertheless, these people, having spent plenty of time in the academy, choose to live their lives in a small, narrow-minded world that requires little thinking. It’s quite baffling.
      Most of these people don’t want their worldview challenged. It is possible, though not easy, to change the minds of some, but only if you do it one-on-one or in small groups. You’ll accomplish nothing but stirring up an emotional hornet’s nest if you try when they are gathered en masse to reaffirm their orthodoxy.

  7. By the way, they also seem to have a permalink called “Chernobyl Anniversary” with a lot of generic misstatements but it looks like it hasn

  8. “Surprisingly, the report itself makes it easier for us: it concedes, starting on page 2, and repeatedly thereafter, the case we’d otherwise have to make from inference. The Report says that science does not support the conclusions they reach, and therefore science is wrong.”
    Assuming Rockwell’s description is correct, that’s all you need to know about this report. It isn’t scientific, and therefore has no place in a serious discussion of the casualties caused by the accident. Some relevant quotes from the text of the report on its dismissal of the scientific methodology would make this perfect.
    As for Caldicott’s “conspiracy of silence”, why would anyone be interested in a report purporting to be scientific that rejects the scientific method? I’d think the NYAS should publish it – after repudiating it – perhaps with the full proceedings of the repudiation committee as a forward – just to prove it isn’t being covered up.

  9. Zbigniew Jaworowski, whom many of you know, has written a 25-year review of Chernobyl (16 pp.) which is freely available on our website, and is a good rebuttal to the Chernobyl scare stories:
    Jaworowski was in charge of radiation protection in Poland at the time of the accident, and so his perspective is
    particularly interesting.
    His update, which is also available, covers the decision of Belarus to resettle the former Chernobyl exclusion zone:
    We have many articles on liar Caldicott, Greenpeace’s funding and lies, and the royal genesis of the environmental movement that are not available electronically. Perhaps we should scan and post some of that material.

    1. The observations that Jaworowski makes on thyroid cancer perhaps explain something I have been hearing from anti-nukes once or twice; that children in the Chernobyl area are still being detected with high numbers of thyroid cancers. Clearly this is impossible to link to I-131 from Chernobyl’s destruction but increasing screening seems very likely to be the reason.

  10. I once got to see some of the pages of the report. Essentially, they construe ANY increase in ANY disease as an effect of Chernobyl. I am surprised the NYAS would want to put their name anywhere near such a blatantly poorly prepared document.

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