The Russian radiation legacy: its integrated impact and lessons.

The Russian radiation legacy: its integrated impact and lessons.
 Environ Health Perspect
 v.105(Suppl 6); Dec 1997
 PMC1469939

by Dr Marvin Goldman, Harvard University, former AEC.

“We were able to use satellite images to delineate the Chernobyl damage to the adjacent radiosensitive pine forest that runs 8 to 10 kms west of the Chernobyl reactor . Infra red images were taken weekly by the Landsat 4 Thermic Mapper Satellite as it passed over most of the Earth. Images from Chernobyl region were used and by enhancing the infrared reflectance wavelengths for those bands corresponding to chlorophyll and moisture, it was possible to discern living from dead pine trees. Thus, from an altitude of 700km, a crude spatial and temporal map of the heaviest hit region was developed……the trees had actually received doses of over 100 Gy.

“Children under 15 years of age rarely show thyroid neoplasms; the normal rate per 5 year interval is thought to be less than 0.5 per million children. With what appeared to be a very short latent period, about 4 to 5 years, (NOTE: as the most common, but NOT the shortest latent period, latency potentially covering decades at its longest, and less than a year at its shortest. .P.Langley) the comparable rate since 1990 seems to have increased up to 3 to 100 per million children..”

Another consequence of the Chernobyl accident is related to communication, miscommunication, and a lack of communication. A serious cloud of doubt arose. Especially about the manner in which the initial official information was disseminated. Fear precipitated by exaggeration in the popular press was mixed with public pronouncements attempting to minimize the risks. This contributed to a resulting widespread radiophobia….” (P.Langley, Well it would, wouldn’t it, if you misdiagnosed profound distrust of government and nuclear authorities. Or if one was trying to present a nuclear disaster in the best possible light by blaming the victims. As they tend to do, habitually. In the face of a dead and dying forest, in the face of classroom after classroom suddenly containing children scheduled for surgery, the nuclear industry expected the captives of the USSR to conduct themselves in the same way as usual?)

I wonder how Dr Goldman and other authorities separated : the Grief process, and resultant anger, and the accurate perception of the losses of oneself and one’s companions, including the imposition of severe sickness upon the children, by nuclear authorities , and other contributors to “deviance” within their meaning of the label “radiophobia”.

When a nuclear facility behaves in a way the experts had asserted would never happen, why is it that the first book the nuclear experts reach for in their cleanup mission, conducted within the media, the journals and the medical centres of the afflicted region, is the Psychiatric Diagnosis Manual DSM IV (Diagnostic Statistics Manual edition IV)?

If one is to believe the industry reports, the price of land in the affected area must be artificially deflated by the totally irrational fears held by the owners. Rush in for a bargain. You might score an entire forest for next to nothing.

Just because Goldman had access to the Soviet data does not mean that it is OK for authorities to react like Stalinists to the suffering they themselves imposed upon afflicted populations.

The USSR was so firmly acknowledged as an abuser of the principles of psychiatry that it was banned from the membership of Western Professional Psychiatric associations.

It is more than depressing to know that the citizens of the Soviet satellite nations of Ukraine, Belarus and others have again been subject to the same psychiatric abuses long suffered in the USSR. Since Chernobyl the
West has taken over the function of “diagnosing” and “treatment” of dissidents.

Even though it thoroughly knows, as proven by Goldman, above, that the uncertainty, unhappiness suffered by those afflicted by nuclear disaster is created and encouraged by nuclear authorities themselves. to quote:
1. “consequence of the Chernobyl accident is related to communication, miscommunication, and a lack of communication….”

Are we supposed to doubt that the actual cause of the consequences were not caused by nuclear technology?

Why is it even today Goldman could have described the response of world nuclear authorities as displaying the same lacking – can anyone really say that quote 1. does not apply to the Japanese government and its delegates?

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