Anti-Nuclear Is Bad For Your Health

Posted on Mon 04/04/2011 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

Once again, anti-nuclear fear-mongering proves more deadly than nuclear power itself:

WE’LL call him the Unnamed Farmer: last week he became the first person to die as a result of damage to the nuclear plant at Fukushima.

The 64-year-old from Sukagama, 65km from the reactor, hanged himself because his crops could no longer be sold….

A relatively elderly nuclear plant was in an area struck first by one of the five most powerful earthquakes in 110 years, and then by a 12m tsunami. The result has been partial meltdowns and radiation contamination well beyond levels declared safe. Even so, and despite this combination of catastrophes, it looks highly unlikely that leaked radioactivity will be great enough to cause serious long-term risk to human health. That compares with more than 10,000 people killed by falling buildings or in the tsunami…

There’s more. Looking back on past nuclear accidents, it is now apparent that the effects on human health – although sometimes appalling – were considerably less than predicted at the time. I recall the grim warnings after Chernobyl of tens of thousands of deaths. A recent UN report on the 1986 Ukrainian fire estimated that perhaps 2000 people developed thyroid cancer, having drunk contaminated milk, of whom a score or so died from it. Apart from those killed in the explosion or on site, the report found no evidence of other fatalities or adverse health effects.

The same was true of the much less serious accident at Three Mile Island in 1979. It was true, too, of the radiation effects of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. In other words, we are far more scared of radiation from nuclear accidents, or events, than the evidence justifies. The same UN report into Chernobyl argues that the psychological effects of the disaster, and the imagined radiation, were very significant….

You know why the Unnamed Farmer really died? Not because anyone would actually have been killed by his spinach – they would have had to eat tonnes of it to become ill – but because sales were stopped, just in case. That’s where the Merkel-Ashdown logic gets you.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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