Over the last fortnight, I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice. I began to see the extent of the problem after a debate last week with Helen Caldicott. Dr Caldicott is the world’s foremost anti-nuclear campaigner. She has received 21 honorary degrees and scores of awards and was nominated for a Nobel peace prize. Like other greens, I was in awe of her. In the debate, she made some striking statements about the dangers of radiation. So I did what anyone faced with questionable scientific claims should do: I asked for the sources. Caldicott’s response has profoundly shaken me. For the last 25 years, anti-nuclear campaigners have been racking up the figures for deaths and diseases caused by the Chernobyl disaster and parading deformed babies like a medieval circus. Read the story here.
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