The Helen Caldicott Foundation | Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants – a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants – a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants – a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Dr Ian Fairlie takes a closer look at childhood leukemia around nuclear power plants in the wake of IPPNW study on emissions during refueling and is in agreement with the IPPNW finding that the connection is there. The industry has long kept silent about emissions during refueling although they have almost always amortized release data to include times between and through refuelings to bring the “average dose rate” down to the lowest possible number creating a false impression of security. In fact, the level of radiation released during refueling is quite high.

Dr Ian Fairlie /The Ecologist  29th September 2014

From the article:

“Operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) contain large volumes of radioactive gases at high pressures and temperatures. When their reactors are depressurised and opened to refuel every 12-18 months, these gases escape creating a spiked emission and a large radioactive plume downwind of the station lasting for 12 hours or so.

However the emissions and plumes are invisible, and no advance warning is ever given of these spikes. The public is effectively kept in the dark about them, despite their possible health dangers.

For years, I had tried to obtain data on these spikes, but ever since the start of the nuclear era back in 1956, governments and nuclear power operators have been extremely loath to divulge this data.

Only annual emissions are made public and these effectively disguise the spikes. No data is ever given on daily or hourly emissions.

Is this important? Yes: these spikes could help answer a question which has puzzled the public and radiation protection agencies for decades – the reason for the large increases in childhood leukemias near NPPs all over the world.

Governments have insisted that these increased leukemias could not be caused by radioactive emissions from NPPs as their estimated radiation doses were ~1,000 times too low. But these don’t take the time patterns of radioactive emissions into account, and so are riddled with uncertainties.”

Click to access article in The Ecologist

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