If You Love This Planet, Dr. Helen Caldicott

Ian Fairlie on the significance of the Fukushima disaster


Ian Fairlie

Dr. Ian Fairlie

Dr. Ian Fairlie joins Dr. Caldicott on the program in this interview recorded in July, a few months after the Fukushima accident. Dr. Fairlie is a radiobiologist from Great Britain. He works as an independent consultant in the field of radioactivity in the environment and advises environmental organizations, the European Parliament as well as local and national authorities in several countries. Dr. Fairlie studied chemistry at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and radiobiology at Barts Medical College in London. He wrote his doctorate on the effects of radioactive contamination in the vicinity of Sellafield and La Hague. Dr. Fairlie lives in London and published the Torch Report - The Other Report on Chernobyl, commissioned by the European Greens in 2006. His area of expertise is the dosimetric impacts of nuclear reactor emissions. He has written extensively on epidemiology studies of child leukemias near nuclear facilities, and the hazards of tritium. A few
of the topics Dr. Caldicott and Dr. Fairlie address are the ongoing criticality at the Fukushima reactors, the internal emitters being released from the accident site, hot spots in Europe and the northern hemisphere from the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown and now Fukushima, and the continued push for nuclear power around the world despite Fukushima. Read the October 2011 articles Fukushima victims are desperate, angry and Japan still considering total nuclear power pullout. Read Dr. Fairlie’s October 2010 article The risks of nuclear energy are not exaggerated. Dr. Caldicott mentions the report released by the New York Academy of Sciences that determined that 1 million people have died as a result of Chernobyl. Listen to Dr. Caldicott’s interview with report editor
Dr. Janette Sherman

2 Responses to “Ian Fairlie on the significance of the Fukushima disaster”

  1. Tim Cook Says:

    My in-laws are from Fukushima and my wife and I are naturally concerned about their future health. I am curious, however, about the places in the world with naturally occurring high levels of radiation and the effects that that has on the people living there. Claims are made that where radiation levels are highest (e.g., Ramsar, Iran, where radon radiation is apparently much higher than the new elevated Japanese limit), the level of cancer is not appreciably different than in control populations. First, I’m wondering if you think this is true, and if so, what accounts for it. Also, does this relate to Fukushima and Chernobyl where the radiation is not naturally occurring? I hope you can discuss this on your program sometime. Thank you for your important work.

  2. Idou Hamano Says:

    Hello Tim Cook,

    Radon is a noble gas, which means its biological half life and biological concentration characteristics are very minimal. Last I checked, Fukushima released at least 31 different radioactive isotopes (almost twice as many as Hiroshima). Some of these are known to be very carcinogenic due to their propensity to concentrate in different organs and remain their for very long periods of time. However, we probably do not know the true impact of most of these isotopes and certainly do not know the level of contamination in the local population. We probably will know eventually from this very large experiment, courtesy of TEPCO and the Japanese government . . .