October 5, 2014
Professional antinuclear writer Harvey Wasserman has a long history of accusing the world’s nuclear community of all sorts of dastardly deeds. He proclaims cancer epidemics where none exist and openly assures everyone that there is an international conspiracy between the nuclear community, all national governments and the popular Press to cover up what he calls the truth. He’s a slick rhetorical con artist who preys on the world demographic that suffers from radiophobia and the Hiroshima Syndrome. Now, he’s taken his fantasy-based claims to Russia, and one of their news outlets is sucking it up like a thirsty sponge.
Last Sunday, Wasserman was interviewed on RIA Novosti (RIA) (1), a Russian Press outlet under the egis of Russia’s Ministry of Communications and Mass Media. Before we get into the meat of the matter, it is important to note that Russia is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas. Japan is the world’s biggest importer. Currently, Japan gets a bit over 10% of its gas from Russia, but as long as the Japanese nuclear moratorium remains in place, its gas imports will continue to grow. Russia wants as much of Japan’s natural gas business as possible. Japan’s gas imports have swelled from about 95 billion cubic meters in 2010, to currently more than 140 billion m3 due to keepingits nukes shuttered. Russia’s government-backed gas industry will do what it can to try and keep Japan from restarting nukes. The Wasserman interview on RIA seems pointed directly at the millions of Japanese who fear nuclear energy, hoping they will keep pressure on Tokyo to refrain from restarting nuclear plants. It’s good for the Russian economy.
Now for the Wasserman rebuttal…
As has been his modus operandi for decades, Wasserman cherry-picks evidence, twists the out-of-context factoids, and uses his contrived “evidence” to try and convince naïve minds that his paranoiac fantasies are real. He knows how to make his appeal as emotionally-inciteful as possible…in this case irresponsibly alleging that Fukushima has caused 50% of the children from near the accident site to contract thyroid cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As we have shown in our reports, Fukushima Child Thyroid Issue and Fukushima Children are NOT Dying (2), the data from Fukushima’s medical survey has nothing to do with the nuclear accident. In fact, the children of Fukushima have the lowest frequency of thyroid anomalies of the four prefectures taking part in what has become a nation-wide study. The study itself is unprecedented. There had never been a child thyroid study anywhere in Japan before. The consensus of actual researchers in Fukushima says the number of anomalies found is shocking because of the survey itself. It seems the rate of anomalies is typical of all children in Japan, but until the Fukushima accident no-one had studied it before. Dr. Choi Kin of Hong Kong Medical Association says no one can scientifically prove the increase in cancer incidence was from Fukushima, and that other causes are most likely the root-cause.
But, Wasserman doesn’t merely allege that the confirmed cases have been discovered, but he says they have all died, “We’ve had a 40 times the normal thyroid cancer death rate”. This is a bold-faced lie! None of the children with confirmed cancerous growths have died. In fact all of them have had the growths surgically removed and are completely free of cancer. The RIA report also makes the following confabulated statement in support of Wasserman, “48 per cent of some 360,000 young people have recently been identified as suffering from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities.” This is also a fabrication. 48% have detectible anomalous thyroid growths, but they cannot be honestly called “pre-cancerous”.
Regardless, Wasserman immediately begins to weave his irresponsible conspiracy theory. He states, “It is actually the corporate press that is refusing to cover this. There has been some coverage among the websites, like the one I edit – nukefree.org, and especially now, after net neutrality goes away, this coverage won’t get anywhere. The reality is that the corporate media has clamped down [entirely] on this.”
Why? Wasserman claims several reasons, all of which have no foundation in truth. First, “The very pro-nuclear Shinzo Abe regime has passed a State Secrets Act, where you are actually in jeopardy for your health and safety if you publish facts about the damage from Fukushima.” In actuality, the only part of the Act that has anything to do with nuclear energy is specific to the security measures taken at nuke sites. But, Wasserman wants everyone to think the Act has put an end to all Press coverage on Fukushima. Anyone following my Fukushima Accident Updates blog knows that there has been no such clamp-down.
Wasserman extends his conspiracy notion to Russia itself, saying, “the Soviet Union and the old Soviet Union states – Belarus and Ukraine – have not been particularly forthcoming about what was happening [at Chernobyl] either.” Then, he relates his conspiracy notion in earnest, “The corporate nuclear industry with its power within the corporate media does a very good job of suppressing the health data that shows the damage and, of course, the denials are automatic and extremely well-funded.” Then he says the UN, IAEA, and World Health Organization are all in on the monumental, albeit fictitious, cover-up! In other words, the world can trust Harvey Wasserman, but cannot trust anyone who disagrees with him.
Harvey Wasserman is little more than a street corner prophet of nuclear energy doom. But, his longevity as voice of mortal nuclear energy danger makes him appear as an expert to sympathetic Press outlets, such as RIA. As long as he is proffered as a voice of reason, Wasserman will continue to infect the naïve masses of the world that suffer from radiophobia and the Hiroshima Syndrome.