A Brief History
The first Environmental Impact Statement for a nuclear power plant was for Calvert Cliffs. Norm Frigerio started gathering cancer data and natural radiation background levels, as required under the law. When it became clear that the cancer rate was inversely proportional to the radiation level (more radiation, less cancer) someone decided that this information was unwelcome, and canceled Frigerio’s project. The report was never published. Why?
In early 1997, when the Washington Post hired a new environmental reporter named Joby Warrick, I brought him over to my house and spent several hours showing him data on our radioactive, hormetic earth. He wrote a major article, cited on page 1, describing how participants in open-air nuclear weapons test were outliving their unirradiated companions, nuclear shipyard workers had lower cancer rates than non-nuclear workers, etc. His article received great international attention, and we planned further pieces. But then he failed to return my calls, and started writing page-one anti-nuclear pieces, for which he ultimately won a Pulitzer prize. Why this reversal of the truth?
When Ted Quinn was outgoing ANS President and Andy Kadak was incoming, they and I and others carefully worked out a new ANS Position Statement on low-dose radiation and LNT. After sending it in to ANS HQ to be published, strongly warning that not a word should be changed, it was canceled without explanation. We were told merely that others had to be satisfied, but these others were never named, nor required to state their case. What truth were we being protected from, and why?
Cohen’s radon data are discounted because of generic limitations of epidemiological studies, though in practice, these concerns are not applicable to his specific case. But, we are told that the only really reliable type of evidence is case-control studies where individuals are followed to their death. So Otto Raabe gives us a solid population of radium dial painters whose individual body burdens of radium has been measured. Immediately, funding to follow these individuals further is canceled. Why is this data not welcome?
Now, today, I am being told that we dare not tell people about hormesis, even though no knowledgeable scientist I know would argue against it. Why do we try to hide this open secret? I don’t find, in talking with people in various circumstances, that they find this concept hard to understand or hard to accept. We can’t stop people from looking at the data, though we seem to be trying awfully hard. Google will tell anyone who asks that natural radiation levels are high in mountain resorts, where the cancer level is low. Radon spas brag about their high radioactivity and many governments pay for their hormetic effects. How long can we hide such information? Why would we want to?