There is money to be made in Nuclear Fear. Consider this. In Japan over the last 10 years since the Fukushima accident, approximately 50 billion USD a year in additional fossil fuels have been traded to supply energy demands that would have been provided by Japan's shuttered nuclear plants. The ability to terrify people with the prospect of serious health harms from low dose radiation has kept most of the Japanese nuclear fleet idle and created an enormous market for LNG and Coal as well as a significant burden of disease secondary to particulate air pollution.
On June 12th 1956 the National Academy of Sciences released its report on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR.) It became part of the basis for a paradigm shift in radiation protection towards the Linear No Threshold model which proposes that radiation is a uniquely dangerous toxin with no safe lower dose limit.
The BIER report was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation whose endowment came directly from the Standard Oil Company. Did the Rockefeller Foundation and its fossil fuel baron patrons have a vested interest in exagerating the dangers of radiation to disparage a potentially disruptive, air pollution free technology that threatened the market share of the fossil fuel industry? Was their support coincidence, conspiracy or just good business acumen?
I am joined by Rod Adams, a former US nuclear submarine engineer officer, who runs the Atomic Insights blog and hosts the Atomic Show podcast to discuss this tantalizing question.