In starting this group we aim to engage the public, the media and our politicians in a healthy discussion about the role of nuclear energy. The need for an evidence based approach to climate change mitigation is more pressing than ever. The need to combat the scourge of air pollution is immediate. Thus far physician organizations have by and large taken a negative view of nuclear energy.
Justified concerns about atmospheric weapons testing, fallout and nuclear weapons have motivated influential groups like Physicians for Global Survival and Physicians for Social Responsibility to unfortunately extend their fears to nuclear energy.
These physician groups have amplified concerns regarding low dose radiation into a public health panic and used their authority as trusted healthcare providers to cast nuclear energy in a very negative light.
The loudest and most influential physician voice has been Helen Caldicot whose abuse of the medical and scientific literature to suit her fundamentalist crusade against nuclear is well documented. Journalist George Monbiot describes this phenomenon and her tactics well in the quote below.
“Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate-change deniers, against which the green movement has struggled valiantly, calling science to its aid. It is distressing to discover that when the facts don’t suit them, members of this movement resort to the follies they have denounced.”
It is about time that a physician organization exists to combat these misperceptions and present an alternative evidence based vision.
All energy sources comes with drawbacks however we believe that nuclear energy represents the best available option. It is the only reliable, scalable tool in our arsenal with a proven track record to achieve deep and rapid decarbonisation. It is also the safest by Terawatt hour. The real but relatively small harms from civilian nuclear accidents pale in comparison to the ongoing daily death toll from carbon emitting energy sources such as natural gas, coal and biomass. We base this opinion on facts established by respected scientific bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Scientific Committee on the effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).
While renewable energy may have a role to play it is not capable of deep decarbonization and thus far requires back up electricity generation from combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. We are in agreement with IPCC models which forecast that nuclear must play a role in the fight against climate change.
We look forward to engaging. Feel free to contact us!