Comment 79710

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2012 at 21:10:27

The reason Hiroshima keeps coming up in these discussions is that the two atom-bombings during WWII are still our largest source for direct knowledge of the effects of nuclear radiation on people. Even now, people are suffering excess cancers from those bombings, many of whom received well under the 100msv "safe" level quoted so often in the past year. We do not know how many died or got cancer as a result of Chernobyl - it will be decades before we're able to study rates the same way.

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, I read a lot of emphatic dismissals of the dangers. I certainly wasn't too popular with many people here for what I wrote, which, in hindsight, still didn't come close to what we now know took place at the plant. Over and over, people complained that anti-nuclear statements were "un-scientific" and backed by no evidence. Since I lived, at the time, with an X-ray tech, I borrowed an old textbook and did a little homework. It quickly became clear that many of the pro-nuclear claims being made were utterly untrue, or at the very least, taken grossly out of context.

Greenpeace isn't the "religion" that scares me here, "science" is. There are a frightening number of people who believe absolute truth can be found with white coats and big words. It doesn't. Any fantasy can be dressed up to look like science, but without things like research, rigorous testing and peer review, one might as well be preaching with a big hat and funny robes.

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