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Pro Nuclear Environmentalists trivialise Chernobyl with lies about psychological trauma

Radiation harm deniers? Pro-nuclear environmentalists and the Chernobyl death toll, Ecologist, Dr Jim Green 7th April 2016“……..Psychological trauma

liar-nuclear1Finally, PNEs [Pro Nuclear Environmentalists] also trivialise Chernobyl by peddling the furphy that the psychological trauma was greater than the biological effects from radiation exposure. There’s no dispute that, as the WHO states, the relocation of more than 350,000 people in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster “proved a deeply traumatic experience because of disruption to social networks and having no possibility to return to their homes.”

How to compare that psychological trauma to estimates of the death toll, such as the UN/WHO estimate of 9,000 cancer deaths in ex-Soviet states? Your guess is as good as mine.

Perhaps the biological damage and psychological trauma can be compared and ranked if we consider the second of the two defensible positions regarding the long-term death toll – UNSCEAR’s position that the death toll is uncertain. Does the psychological trauma outweigh the 50 or so known deaths, around 6,000 non-fatal thyroid cancers (withanother 16,000 to come), and an uncertain long-term death toll?

The argument only begins to make sense if you accept the third of the two defensible positions regarding the death toll – the view that there were no deaths other than emergency workers and a small number of deaths from thyroid cancers. Thus Mark Lynasasserts that “as Chernobyl showed, fear of radiation is a far greater risk than radiation itself in the low doses experienced by the affected populations” and he goes on to blame anti-nuclear campaigners for contributing to the fear.

But the trauma isn’t simply a result of a fear of radiation – it arises from a myriad of factors, particularly for the 350,000 displaced people. Nor is the fear of radiation necessarily misplaced given that the mainstream scientific view is that there is no threshold below which radiation exposure is risk-free.

Most importantly, why on earth would anyone want to rank the biological damage and the psychological trauma from the Chernobyl disaster? Chernobyl resulted in both biological damage and psychological trauma, in spades.

Psychological insult has been added to biological injury. One doesn’t negate the other.

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter, where a version of this article was originally published. Nuclear Monitor, published 20 times a year, has been publishing deeply researched, often critical articles on all aspects of the nuclear cycle since 1978. A must-read for all those who work on this issue! http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987515/radiation_harm_deniers_pronuclear_environmentalists_and_the_chernobyl_death_toll.html

 

April 8, 2016 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, psychology - mental health, spinbuster

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