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Just how dangerous is radioactivity? There's no simple answer but it's perfectly clear that releasing some radioactive substances to the environment causes far more damage to health than is predicted by the prevailing model of radiation risk.

The Low Level Radiation Campaign has been dealing with the science of radiation risk since 1993. Our programme of research and publication in the scientific literature reveals that

  • the LifeSpan Studies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors which radiation risk agencies depend on are silent on the effects of internal fallout;

  • the use of "average dose" for predicting the health effects of internal contamination is wrong;

  • radioactive pollution causes cancer, leukaemia, infant mortality and birth defects;

  • the health damage is strongly associated with particles of Plutonium and Uranium.

By revealing the scientific nonsense behind official risk models we have helped UK veterans of nuclear weapons tests to win pensions appeals. We have helped to win many law suits in the USA involving injury and loss from releases of radioactivity.

From 1997 to 2000 we successfully campaigned against a European Directive that would have allowed the nuclear industry to increase the levels of radioactivity in scrap they could sell for unregulated recycling.

Most recently our scientific expertise has enabled us to show that Natural Resources Wales and CEFAS have failed to monitor for Plutonium and Uranium particles in sediment at Hinkley Point, and that CEFAS has failed to reveal that their own tests contain evidence that the sediment contains Plutonium and enriched Uranium. We have produced actual images of particles.

Our programme of engagement with government and regulators since 1997 initially led Yvette Cooper and the late Michael Meacher to set up a Westminster Government Scientific Advisory Committee in 2003 (CERRIE, the Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters) which included two LLRC representatives. Our participation in the long-running Safegrounds stakeholder dialogue (1999-2012) led to publication of two documents on the insecurity of the official risk model.

We now face a vicious and unscientific backlash. The UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, regulators like the Environment Agency and advisors like the Oxford Martin School, COMARE and Public Health England are misrepresenting and evading evidence of effects from internal radioactivity. The crucial Safegrounds documents have been deleted from the record.

The nuclear power lobby argues that

  • there is only reliable evidence of harm at high doses;

  • that some costly safety measures should be scrapped;

  • that pensions should be withdrawn from Fukushima evacuees so they will have to return to the contaminated zones;

  • that evacuation in future emergencies is unnecessary.

The failure to address evidence shows that a scientific revolution as described by Michael Polanyi and Thomas Kuhn is in progress. The question is whether yet more irreversible pollution from a new generation of nuclear bombs and power stations can be prevented before governments and regulators abandon the flawed risk model.

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