Nuclear naysayers want to scare you, but where’s their proof?

Nuclear naysayers want to scare you, but where’s their proof?

It seems that folks in a little English town called Burnham-on-Sea are having a bad time of it: They’ve reported that the cancer rate among its residents is five times higher than the rate of the rest of the country. Oh, and I guess I should mention that Burnham-on-Sea is a few miles away from a nuclear power station called Hinkley Point. I say this like it’s an afterthought-an insignificant detail-because it is insignificant. Though that’s not what Dr. Chris Busby would like you to believe.

Busby compiled a “study” with the help of a group of residents from Burnham-on-Sea. The research, which is based on the results of a door-to-door survey of 1,500 local people, claims that cervical and kidney cancer rates in the town are five times the national average, with the leukemia rate four times higher and the breast cancer rate double the national average. Neither the Hinkley power company, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, nor the local health department seems to take Busby seriously. The Department of Health simply released a statement that said, “No known health effects have ever been associated with radioactive discharges from current nuclear sites.”

They’ve shrugged Busby off for good reason: He’s never published any of his reports in a professional medical journal. Why not, you might wonder? Well, respectable publications generally attempt to publish studies that have at least some basis in science, and Busby’s reports are childishly simple and lacking in credibility. And judging how bad some of the published studies can be, the fact that Busby’s have never even made it that far should tell you something.

Berating progress for the sake of the bottom line

Busby, it turns out, runs a fear business-an “environmental consultancy” firm called the Low Level Radiation Campaign-and makes his living out of producing these anti-nuclear reports. The Burnham-on-Sea “study” wasn’t even conducted by Busby but by complete amateurs calling themselves “Parents Concerned About Hinkley,” a pressure group. Then Busby “analyzed” their findings.

With “proof” like this, it’s no wonder the average American and the average Brit think nuclear power is the work of the devil. Remember, these environmental groups have proven themselves to be unreliable and dangerous. They are a reincarnation of the British Luddites of the 19th Century, who set out to destroy Western industry. Fanatical and self-righteous, they stop at nothing to gain their ends. They would burn down a 10,000-acre forest if they could pin it on the evil timber company that replanted the farmed trees in the first place. They are opposed to everything from lasers to leather. And the fanatical fire is only fueled by the government and wealthy pinkos (who never worked for a dollar in their entire lives), both of which heavily finance these pious revolutionaries.

Unfortunately, this sort of insanity isn’t merely a foreign concept: Similar wackos are undoubtedly devising twisted plans right here in the U.S. I am not much of an Abe Lincoln fan, but he got it right when he said that if this country is to fall, it would be from forces within. RH


“Resort near nuclear plant is worst cancer cluster” The Observer, 7/14/02