Nuclear power: Are we too anxious about the risks of radiation?

September 30, 2020, 11:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Following U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent restatement of the United Kingdom’s commitment to nuclear power, BBC News chief environment correspondent, Justin Rowlatt, wrote an article aimed at separating fact from fiction regarding the safety and benefits of nuclear energy.

Among his points, Rowlatt defended the use of nuclear power to combat climate change, examined the data behind deaths from radiation exposure directly caused by the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents, and explained that exposure to low levels of radiation is not a major health risk.

He said it: “Of course, the fear of radiation isn't the only reason people oppose nuclear power—there are worries about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and waste disposal, not to mention the huge cost of building new nuclear power stations and then decommissioning them. But here's the thing: If we were a bit less concerned about the risks of low levels of radiation, then maybe we could make a more balanced assessment of nuclear power.”

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