Down to Tin Tacks – D. Bradbury’s “A Hard Rain”

I have just recieved permission from David Bradbury, Frontline Films, to transcribe and post here dialogue and still images from his film “A Hard Rain”, copyright 2007. The sections I will be transcribing from the DVD include Dr Chris Busby’s description of hot particles and cancer excess due to Sellafield (emitter previously known as Windscale), and Dr Eric Wright, critic of Busby’s who none the less confirms the cancer excess and discounts Sellafield emissions as the causative agent. I will then transcribe the same Dr Eric Wright’s description of his own findings that single tracks of alpha radiation fired into stem cells result in cellular abnormalities in the descendent cell lines. And that reminds me. In a previous post I put up the entire text of a US document regarding the Hot Particle problem. It talked about Plutonium HP’s in lung. It cited mouse skin test results. It quoted and knocked Tamplin. It failed to mention the mobility of hot particles from lung to lymph node. I have (on a hard drive somewhere, will have rummage through them) a US document from the 80s disputing independent US research of a US Beagle study showing very strongly that hot particles enter the lymph system from the lung to be entrapped by the lymph nodes.

Frontline Films: http://www.frontlinefilms.com.au/

Even though this 4 year old documentary film presages Japanese reactor failures, the Australian mass media refuse to screen this highly relevant film.

Partial Transcript, “A Hard Rain”, Frontline Films, Produced by David Bradbury, 2007.
Time mark: 41min:57seconds.

David Bradbury:
“This is Sellafield. Britain’s nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. It’s been surrounded in controversy since it was opened forty years ago. “

Peter Bunyard:
“The nuclear industry assures us that nuclear power is now safe. That Chernobyl is now something of the past. Yet just in the past 2 years we’ve seen a massive leak take place at Sellafield without the operators actually knowing that the leak was taking place. It went on for more than six months before they discovered that as much as 20 tons of uranium plus plutonium had leaked into the ground. Enough nuclear material to make a great many nuclear bombs.”

Dr Busby:
“Any power station that is going to be at all able to function economically is going to normally release radio-nuclides to the environment. There is no argument about that. They cannot make them so that they don’t produce radio-nuclides.”

“But Sellafield is primarily a reprocessing facility. So what they do is take all the crap from the power stations anyway, all the waste fuel, and they attempt to reprocess it. And what that means is remove the plutonium from it. So we know that the material coming out of Sellafield – plutonium, strontium, cesium, – man made radio-isotopes – are pumped into the Irish Sea and they fetch up on the shore. “

David Bradbury:
“Busby and his team were employed by the Irish Government to find out why there was an unusually high incidence of cancer along the Irish and Welsh coasts. “

Dr Busby:
“When the waves crash into the coasts it stirs the mud up and shoots it up into the air and it becomes electrically charged and it drifts ashore with the prevailing wind. So anybody living within the sea spray zone – which is about a kilometre to 2 kilometres – inhales it. It gets into their body. “

“Measurements were made on autopsy specimens and they found that the plutonium was in the lungs and it was in the tracheo- bronchiole lymph nodes.”

“So we followed the plutonium from Sellafield into the Irish Sea, into the silt, and we see the transfer into the people. And in the early nineties they started to measure plutonium in childrens’ teeth, and in sheep droppings right across the whole of the United Kingdom. And they found that the plutonium from the Irish Sea was coming ashore across the UK, and it was in childrens’ teeth with a significant trend all the way from Sellafield right across the whole country. And in fact now they have found cesium from Sellafield right up above Norway. “

“And between 1974 and 1989 in Wales 5,500 people in the coastal strip contracted cancer and over 3,000 of those people died. And they wouldn’t have died if Sellafield hadn’t been built or hadn’t produced it’s radioactive waste. “

“I mean you should talk to Meacher. He was the Environment Minister for the United Kingdom. He’s a Big Cheese. He’s been in the Labour Party as a Minister for a very long time. He got kicked out by Blair because of all this nuclear stuff.”

Film timing mark 45 minutes 13 seconds.
Micheal Meacher, MP, ex-Environment Minister, Blair Government.

“Well, after Chernobyl it is taking a fearful risk. However well things are built, however good the technology. there are always, sometimes, human errror. There is a terrorism risk, because if you wanted to damage this country I wouldn’t bother about hitting Parliament, but if you hit Sellafield with a plane, rockets, grenades or whatever, you could do fearful damage, and cause very lethal consequences. There are of course also the risk of leukemia and cancers, from nuclear power stations. That has been indicated in every nuclear power station which has been studied. There is clear evidence of that. An incidence of cancer and leukemia, particularly amongst young children which is far higher than the average for the country.”

David Bradbury

“One of the greatest challenges I’ve had in making this film was to weave my way through the scientific complexity and at times, contradictions, that I came across. Knowing that Dr. Busby has his detractors, I jumped on a train and headed north to the University of Dundee in Scotland. I went to see Professor Eric Wright, one of the world’s most respected scientists on internal radiation. (note: “internal radiation” is radiation emitted by radioactive flecks lodged in the body – Hot Particles. External radiation is radiation emitted from a source located outside the body.)

Flim timing mark 46 miutes 38 seconds.

Professor Eric Wright, University of Dundee
“A number of groups, including those associated with Chris Busby, have suggested that there may be increased frequencies, or increased incidences, of diseases associated with nuclear power plants or similar sorts of institutions. When they have been rigorously analised by epidemiologists, the people who actually do these sorts of calculations, then to date, Chris Busby’s data has not stood up to critical evaluation. It’s sort of tempting to see a community around a huge nuclear power plant that has an excess of childhood, which indeed it does. I don’t think anyone os going to disagree with the basic observation that there has been quite a long standing increased incidence of childhood leukemia in that particular geographical region. I think it’s quite tempting to say “A Ha, it must be something to do with the nuclear power plant. However, to date, I think, the evidence from risk factors have tended to suggest, well, that probably isn’t the explanation.

(Paul’s note: it isn’t the explanation governments want admitted into the public arena. The Professor doesn’t actually give the cause of the excess leukemia. He confirms Busby’s obervations of the excess illness and deaths, and one is left to wonder what is distinct about populations adjacent to nuclear power plants and other such institutions apart from those radio-nuclide emitters. The official line has to be apparently that radio-nuclide emissions are safe and that children suffering excess leukemia must be the victims of something other than those emissions.)

David Bradbury.

“Wright may give little comfort to Busby’s conclusions, but on the other hand his own research supports concerns about internal radiation at the most fundamental level.”

Professor Eric Wright, University of Dundee

“We were able to irradiate a single stem cell with a single alpha particle. And the lowest dose you can give to an individual cell is a single particle. When you irradiate a target stem cell, it’s descendents can have a very high level of what appear to be spontaneously arising mutational changes.”

David Bradbury

“Wright’s research shows that by bombarding just one human stem cell with the lowest dose of radiation possible, a single alpha particle could cause mutations.” (the lowest effective absorbed dose would be a low LET single x ray photon, 20 times lower than a single alpha particle in ionisation effectiveness. A single alpha particle hit is the lowest dose of alpha. If that same alpha hits another cell, either by LET or ionisation, I guess the absorbed dose is doubled. Alpha is capable of traversing more than one cell in vivo. At any rate, all the forms of ionising radiation can have varying levels of energy per photon (X, gamma) or particle (alpha, beta, neutron. Just not all bullets fired from different guns have the same velocity or impact.)

Professor Eric Wright, University of Dundee

“If you have a sort of chronic exposure and you’ve got lots of alpha hits on a population of cells, then you do open up the possibility of multiple hits producing enhanced damage.”

One Response to “Down to Tin Tacks – D. Bradbury’s “A Hard Rain””

  1. Enhanced mutation of bacteria by radiation – Huff Post 9 Jan 2012 « Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog Says:

    […] See also earlier post: https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/down-to-tin-tacks-d-bradburys-a-hard-rain/ […]

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