All the speakers were very interesting, except one who drove me crazy.
Who drove me crazy? David Brenner. He drove me crazy because he began his presentation by emphasizing uncertainty in our understanding of radiation effects. But, then he gave us a low-ball figure for mortality with certainty.
I agree that there is considerable uncertainty in predicting risk, not simply because our knowledge is limited and contested but also because radiation effects are mediated by age, general health, diet, vector of exposure (e.g., internal versus external), cummulative body burden, synergistic effects from other carcinogens in the environment, etc.
I recently read that parents with high levels of exposure can have children that are radio "sensitized" and are therefore more vulnerable to radiation damage from exposure levels not likely to cause disease in other populations.
I would cite the source but I'm typing from my ipad in NY and don't have access to my research piles.
The thing is that predicting disease and disability is fraught with uncertainty.
Yet, then Brenner used a very conservative estimate to give us a very fixed number of likely deaths from cancer with no accounting for his calculating, with no variability in risk afforded to children or unborn beings, with no acknowledgement of internal doses, etc.
Helen Caldicott wasn't too comfortable with his presentation and called him on the issue of internal contamination, whereupon an ingested or inhaled radioisotope decays beta and gamma radiation intenally thereby directly targeting organs known to bioaccumulate the radioisotope (e.g., radiocesium in the heart).
His response was that the effect of an external X-ray is no different to a cell than a beta particle.
While that may be true, what his comment overlooks is the fact that beta decay from an ingested radioisotope like cesium-137 is ongoing and has longer duration.
Darn. NOw the italics are on and I cannot figure out how to turn them off on my ipad, which is driving me crazy today.
Brenner did acknowledge that alpha particles - emitted from isotopes of uranium and plutonium - is worse because its energy can sever DNA.
However, he stated that very little plutonium was emitted from Fukushima.
Gundersen agreed, although he stated earlier that unit 3 had a detonation which spread fuel far and wide.
I wanted to remind the speakers of the plutonium that was found in Lithuania and fingerprinted to Fukushima by the Cesium 134 to 137 ratio but the audience had no opportunity to speak.
Brenner is a smart guy. He studies the bystander effect and understands genomic instability.
My question is WHERE is he getting his GRANT MONEY?
Follow the money and we will probably understand why he was so very eager to discount internal contamination and intergenerational effects.
please disregard the typos. I'm really struggling typing on this ipad.