Downplaying Deadly Dangers in Japan and at Home via Nation of Change

Ever since the start of nuclear technology, those behind it have made heavy use of deception, obfuscation and denial–with the complicity of most of the media. New York Times reporter William Laurence, working at the same time with the Manhattan Project, wrote a widely-published press release covering up the first nuclear test in New Mexico in 1945, claiming it was nothing more than an ammunition dump explosion. The Times and Laurence went on to boost nuclear power for years to come (Beverly Deepe Keever, News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb).

Now most scientists acknowledge that any amount of radioactivity can lead to illness and death, especially in fetuses and children whose cells are dividing more rapidly than in adults. As the National Council on Radiation Protection (No. 136, 2001) has said: “Every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremental increase in the risk of cancer.” Or the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“Fact Sheet: Biological Effects of Radiation”): “Any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer.”

Indeed, the senior scientist in that study, Dr. Alexey Yablokov, at a March 25 press conference in Washington, D.C., pointed out that because of the multiple nuclear power plants and spent fuel pools involved in the Fukushima disaster, and “because the area is far more densely populated than around Chernobyl, the human toll could eventually be far worse.” The New York Times did not cover or run a story on that press conference at the National Press Club–or the New York Academy of Science’s book.

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2 Responses to Downplaying Deadly Dangers in Japan and at Home via Nation of Change

  1. norma field says:

    This dates from April of 2011, but its comprehensive and comparative review of the negligence amounting to complicity of the media in obfuscating and downright concealing the risks and consequences of actual accidents continues to be relevant.

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