(UPDATE 2) Further pondering on Dr. Allison's reply, I think Dr. Allison may be confusing the "science" with "natural phenomenon" such as radiation.
Science is a systematic organization of knowledge gained from hypothesizing, speculating, observing, testing. Science is not free of non-scientific intrusion or intervention, and is limited by available technologies to observe and test at any given time in history. The earth going around the sun was a natural phenomenon from the beginning of time, but it was not part of the accepted science, and the proponent was put under house arrest for the rest of his life. That the earth's crust is made up of plates is a fact, but it was not at all part of the accepted Earth science until mid 1960s.
(UPDATED with Dr. Allison's reply, at the bottom. 10/15/2013)
That's in my humble opinion, but yet another nuclear expert tells me I'm mistaken.
Probably after seeing the post about the South African nuclear physicist, Dr. Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Oxford, kindly sent me links to support their position, which I thought I might share with you readers:
...not even a significant casualty from radiation. This was expected as soon as figures for the scale of the radiation released became apparent, www.bbc.co.uk/news/
world-12860842 Much suffering and death would have been avoided if the evacuees had gone home within two weeks. http://www. radiationandreason.com/ uploads//enc_ RadiationScienceandSocietyOct2 013.pdf
an international scientific view http://www.
radiationandreason.com/ uploads//enc_SPUR-1.pdf with unfiltered public comment overwhelmingly supportive http://www. radiationandreason.com/index. php?SPUR-RnRSee also other links at www.radiationandreason.comWade Allison
Wade Allison, MA DPhil
Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Oxford, UK OX1 3PG
"Radiation and Reason" http://www.radiationandreason.
com (Oct 09) ISBN 9780956275615
In Japanese http://goo.gl/9lL5u (July 2011) ISBN 978-4198632182"Fundamental Physics for Probing and Imaging" http://www.oup.co.uk/isbn/0-
19-920389-X (Oct 06)
Here's my quick email back to Dr. Allison, though it is highly likely we simply talk past each other:
Dr. Allison, I do not think nuclear technology exists in vacuum. In case of Japan, as in other countries, building nuclear power plants has been the national government's policy. It's been heavily subsidized by the government, with plant builders, operators, and municipalities showered with enormous amount of money and preferential treatment. Regulatory agencies collaborated and colluded with the plant operators to mask technical problems, for decades. Nuclear scientists have been enlisted to "educate" the populace how safe the nuclear power plants are. The populace have been encouraged to use more and more electricity even where cheaper alternatives exist, which in turn has justified more nuclear power plants. Particularly in Japan, nuclear power plants have been made possible only by cheap, subcontracted labor force who operates and maintains the plants, with hardly any medical supervision and with faked cumulative dose. Most people turned the blind eye to that fact, until this accident.
When the shit hit the fan in Fukushima, it was not just the matter of whether anyone died of acute radiation sickness that defined the accident as "nuclear". It was the failure of the national and local government on responding to a rapidly unfolding nuclear accident at Fukushima I NPP. It was the failure of the plant operator TEPCO who couldn't do what it took to contain the accident, as they were more concerned with pleasing the national government and the nuclear regulator. It was the failure of the nuclear regulatory and safety agencies (the latter staffed with nuclear scientists from top universities) to even adequately assess the progress of core melt and the release (intended and unintended) of radioactive materials from the plant that contaminated the wide areas in Tohoku and Kanto and inform the populace intelligently. It was the failure of academia who not only failed to give actionable information to the citizens but ended up exposing the citizens to totally unnecessary, avoidable radiation; Dr. Yamashita gathered Fukushima residents to tell them not to worry, while a fresh batch of dense radioactive plume was descending in Fukushima between March 20 and 23, 2011.
The jury is still out on the long-term effect of low-dose radiation exposure. The plant workers have been exposed to moderate to high dose of radiation over the past two and a half years, and you cannot compare this exposure to a targeted, medically supervised high-radiation treatment.
It was, and is a nuclear disaster politically, socially, academically, psychologically, and for many, personally. To claim Fukushima was not a nuclear disaster just because no one died of acute radiation exposure is nothing but sophistry.
10/15/2013 Dr. Wade Allison's reply, saying I have a nuclear fear from Cold War (I doubt it, but) and the science is impervious to any political, social, and other types of consideration. In other words, we do talk past each other:
As the story of King Canute demonstrated many years ago, the forces of science (physics/biology/medicine) are uninfluenced by man's intrigues which you describe. These are irrelevant when radiation meets living tissue -- about which almost all is now known. Radiation as a danger is irrelevant to the survival of man, but population, food, water, economic and political stability, and climate stability are not. Of course if nobody can trust anybody else, as you suggest, the population that the world can support would be tiny. That would be destructive for no reason and would result in widespread conflict.
You are still in the grip of the nuclear fear that was Cold War propaganda for which there is no scientific basis. I agree that you are not alone, but scientific reality is not settled by a vote. Science is impervious to questions of shit and fan.
Well Dr. Allison, the lesson, if any, from Fukushima nuclear accident is that "the forces of science (physics/biology/medicine)" were and are indeed influenced by man's intrigues. Declaring they are uninfluenced doesn't make it true. So many scientists in nuclear physics, engineering, biology, and medicine have rushed to speak words designed specifically to tell the populace that everything was OK, and their words had nothing to do with hard science. The government scientists conducted the medical survey of the residents in the affected areas in Fukushima, not because they wanted to collect scientific information but because they wanted to calm down the residents.
Instead of scientifically and rationally explain what's been going on, nuclear scientists and their followers on the side of Dr. Allison, label people, like me who raises questions on both sides, as being gripped with irrational nuclear fear. And of course those experts and their followers on the other side label people like me as "nuclear shill". Can't win either way.