Health Effects of Nuclear Power Incidents

In a repeat of a presentation made to the London Branch in 2012, Professor Gerry Thomas of Imperial College presented a fascinating lecture on the myths and misconceptions about radiation. 

She covered the doses received by those in the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents and equated them to the types of doses that we experience and accept everyday from dental X-rays and aircraft flights. Professor Thomas went on to show public perception of radiation and the perceived number of casualties from each event compared to reality. Gerry also explained how the research community have had to modify their predictions of dose uptake after nuclear reactor accidents as a result of the Chernobyl and Fukushima events as they were previously modelled on the radiation effects of the Japanese bomb survivors.

It was also explained how the lessons learnt from Chernobyl were used in protecting the Japanese public after the Fukushima event.  From all of this it is clear that the misconceptions about the effects of radiation and the psychological effect of not understanding the risks are far greater than the radiation risk itself.  

The Presentation is available here