nuclear madness?

Following Obama’s commitment to expand the future use of nuclear power, Democracy Now! hosted a debate yesterday between British journalist George Monbiot and Australian physician and environmentalist Dr. Helen Caldicott.

Caldicott, who was author of Nuclear Madness (1979) and Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else (2006), insists that there is “an unholy alliance” between the IAEA and WHO to deliberately cover up the health impact of previous nuclear accidents and the dangers of low-level radiation.

Click here to watch the same debate on the Democracy Now! website.


Filed under analysis & opinion, nuclear power, Uncategorized

4 responses to “nuclear madness?

  1. darren

    That was interesting. Panorama did that doc based on the report by the UN a few years ago saying only 40 odd people died. The reporter goes to the area and finds all kinds of wildlife virtually unaffected. I do remember an issue concerning Panorama’s difficulty in locating any of the first responders from the Russian military though, with an unrelated report years before suggesting they had all died.
    What a tangled web we seem to lay for ourselves, either its ok or its devastating, like so many polarised issues, but you would have thought that by now we should have the intellect as a species for our greatest minds to agree which side of the fence to roll….


  2. Marta

    I’ve had a look at the UN Scientific Committee’s website (, and I don’t understand why Monbiot feels so reassured by the data they report. It is true that UNSCEAR are a lot more optimistic about the consequences of Chernobyl than Greenpeace or the New York Academy of Sciences, but they still admit that “there had been up to the year 2005 more than 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer reported in children and adolescents who were exposed at the time of the accident”, and they also accept the possibility of long-term effects. If one takes all of this into account, plus the actual deaths, the economic consequences and the numbers of displaced people, I don’t see how anyone can deny Chernobyl was a major disaster. As to Monbiot’s view that the USSR’s inefficiency was to blame, I don’t find that reassuring, either. The Japanese are being taken to task in a similar way now, and who would have predicted that they, of all nations, would have inadequate technology?


  3. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would ask: has George’s career been leading to this moment?

    The nuclear industry was born in secrecy. I had a phone call recently from a Sellafield widow asking why no one has yet been called to account for the nuclear industry body parts scandal – body snatching on a grand scale which has gone on over decades and involved the complicity of doctors, coroners, hospital administrators and pathology departments. Helen Caldicott is absolutely right – the nuclear industry cannot operate in the light of day because we would say NO MORE!

    The reason that there is a Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases for nuclear workers is to buy silence – one of the conditions of receiving compensation.


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