NRDC: Watch out for Trojan horses

On April 12th the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Thomas Cochran presented their findings on the radiation impacts from Fukushima before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  It is commendable that Cochran
testified that
“It is not credible to expect the NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] staff to perform an unbiased review of its own past failings,”  or that U.S. nuclear plants with obsolete designs should be phased out rather than have their licenses routinely extended.

However, there should serious concerns about the organization’s release of the report co-authored by Cochran titled The Collective Effective Dose Resulting from Radiation Emitted During the First Weeks of The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident.

This report could very likely be used by the media to imply that there will only be 84 excess cancer deaths as a result of the disaster!  Here’s what Cochran/NRDC has done and why it is such a concern.

The Study relies soley upon The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s (MEXT) prefecture dose rate posts. Even in summary they acknowledge that their finding’s contain major uncertainties, they have gone ahead, using MEXT’s report as the basis for coming up with a projected impact of just 84 excess cancers.

A major part of what they fail to mention is that they are only basing their report on air-born radiation.  Once this radiation settles into fish, water and plants another major ingestion pathway of radiation is from food and liquids like milk.  Nor of course as they acknowledge do they even know where these readings are coming from or do they represent high or low averages for where they are coming from.  The report does clearly lay out that there are very large unknown factors in their numbers. There are many reasons for this group to realize that this is a moment when anti-nuclear sentiment is clearly to be found.

NRDC’s role in undermining the campaign to kill Indian Point is crucial to understanding this organization.  One of its former founding members also happened to become the chairman of Southern California Edison the owner/operator the San Onofre nuclear facility.

The fact that the report could very well likely be used as a beacon by the nuclear industry and the media to make claims that the Fukushima disaster is minimal in terms of real harm comes to mind.  On the west coast, whenever PBS or other major media outlets want an “environmentalist’s view” of the nuclear story, it will always be NRDC that is interviewed with no other viewpoints open for discussion or debate. Thus more “radical” findings like those of Chris Busby from the European Committee on Radiation Rish who has predicted cancer impacts from Fukushima in the hundred’s of thousands. What we will be seeing is a big violin story (gatekeeping from NRDC and the media, using this clearly biased and uncertain set of numbers as a way to downplay the real impacts from the disaster in Japan.

In my opinion, there needs to be very serious preparation for this surely to come scam that the NRDC will more than certainly be willing to play into!

NRDC: April 10 Fukushima Dose Impact Report

NRDC: April 10 Fukushima Dose Impact Report

NRDC Press Release

As could be seen by the recent Monbiot – Amy Goodman debate on Democracy Now debate the issue of radiation safety is one of the most dangerous discussion topics imaginable.  From the days when Dr. Gofman first suggested in the 1960’s that no radiation levels were considered safe up to the present, there has been a huge war over just what are the impacts of radiation on human health.

Video Debate between Monbiot and Caldicott.

The anti-nuclear movement has routinely been called heretics or just plain nuts in terms of the kinds of numbers various experts like Gofman and many others have used over the years.  These numbers vs. those being promoted by Monbiot and the industry  implies in his debate that their is a clear consensus on just what impacts do take place right down to being able to make claims like only 50 or so people ever died at Chernobyl.

For example, in this piece you will find an MD/PhD claim that excess cancer deaths at Chernobyl are a complete hoax.  And of course, this is exactly what UNSCEAR’s investigation purports to claim as stated.

Let me lay out the problem and the challenge to the anti-nuclear community and folks who have been for years posting numbers that are so different to those being promoted as good science by every major nuclear industry entity and the global media.

The history of radiation protections standards is all but an unknown concept to all but a very few people. It is this almost non-existent awareness of what has transpired over the last century of radiation impacts that represents the core problem of why today, absolutely nobody would ever believe the claims being made about ten’s of thousands or more deaths.

From the perspective of activists who have been steeped in this for years, they have either lost track of or fail to understand the fact that the general public has absolutely no awareness of the history of how radiation standards has been set, nor the skills to do more than balance what they may or may not think appear to be appropriate.

How could ever major nuclear safety body in the world appear to be saying one thing while opponents are saying something so completely different?

Its called Media Gatekeeping and it is the bane of thousands of issues that go misreported.  Public Relations strategists from Bernay to the present know exactly what they are doing when only a small percentage of the public knows the truth, and can thus falsely manipulate the rest of society simply by maintaining a lie and keeping those who might know better from gaining any kind of soapbox to present differing opinions or facts.

The only way you can open this brutal PR tactic is by exposing the historic roots of what has happened and do using the very same tactics that the nuclear industry has been using.

1. Set up an anchor strategy clearly laying out 5-10 major talking points about the history nature of the global failure to protect the public from radiation.

2. Have extended online pieces that clearly layout the first major crack in the other sides wall of silence and its brutal implications.

3. Build this as a core working strategy that clearly attempts to show the huge range and complex uncertainties contrary to the absolutists process that proponents have been using.

I attempted to start this process several  years ago but was ignored or misunderstood.  Now that this issue has become the make/break issue for this movement, its insane that this core strategic process hadn’t been worked prior to this critical point.

Helen Caldicott attempted to fix the mess she got the movement in with the debate here.

Chris Busby wrote a piece here about industry claims

Here is a somewhat more coherent attempt to deal with the problem.

Here’s one of Rosalie’s better presentations

However, as I state above, most writers in the movement fail to understand the strategic agenda of the health physics scam and just how successful it is at using its position of power going all the way back to the inception of the nuclear era to dictate what is safe or not. Thus it becomes necessary to carefully document and expose the historic facts of this “Nurenberg” offense against humanity and how it has been carried out over time.

If such a story is only offered a soundbyte reference it then belittles the scope of what has happened and why John Gofman would suggest that we need to carry out Nuremberg trials on those who have spent the last 60 years covering up the impacts of radiation upon the planet.

It is this very issue that drives ecology groups away from stronger anti-nuclear  support when people either are or appear to be completely crazy from what is called the official scientific consensus of official bodies around the world.

It is this problem that must be addressed now or be prepared to look like loonies.

Just as the Friends of the Earth did a study group a few years ago to locate weaknesses in the pro-nuclear PR wall, such strategies must be done again to open this issue up and it is my opinion that it can be done, if the historic facts of what has happened can be used to impugn the historic facts of just how wrong these people were. By starting out from a historic perspective it then makes it possible to show that these people were more than just fallible, but culpable in terms of why they were and are doing what they are doing.

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