UK Government message on radiation is not to subtle – and has a purpose

I’m in two minds about posting this. On the scientific side of my brain, I know the relative risks of the nuclear power industry and radiation. On the political side, I’m more than a little upset at the constant and often unsubtle message that radiation isn’t a problem, it’s fine.

It all started on the BBC about three weeks ago when “Bang goes the theory” did a little number of radiation and body scanners. Now I thought the link was between them, but now I see that “radiation isn’t a problem” meme getting it’s own legs and running forth.

I made this video as a critique (under fair use laws!).

Then two weeks ago, the same program ran ANOTHER article about radiation. This time about it’s dangers…..

In this video, they totally underplayed the number of deaths due to radiation. Now, I’m not sure who the were trying to kid or what their exact motivations are. But I have a pretty good idea.

Now today we have this fun little article about Bananas, potassium , Fukushima and so forth.

And we have this article denying that radiation detected in Tokyo is from Fukushima.

These are just four examples I could post immediately. They are far from the only current stories being put out by the BBC and you may want to find your own and post in the comments.

So what’s this all about?

Well, yesterday it was revealed by this news article, that the UK Government is currently looking for tenders to build the “next generation” of UK nuclear power stations. All this in the face of some rather negative press about a nuclear power station leak, Dounreay.

You see there are plans to build nuclear power stations all over the UK. From Angelsey, Wales (as shown here) to Trawsfynydd, Wales (as shown here), to Sizewell (here), to Hinkley, Wales again (here). Essentially, a lot of places with existing nuclear power stations are looking to build new ones and there’s a real push to go ahead.

But one of the biggest problems is the danger perceived by the public. But not to worry, legislation has been pushed through to allow the Government to push plans for “national interest” forward, over any protests of existing residents.

So how to persuade people that things are going to be fine. Well first of you start with a low rent, popularist “science” program, and propagate the meme that radiation isn’t as bad as we think. Next you need to tell everybody that OUR nuclear power stations are safe and not at danger from earthquake of tsunami.

One of the reasons behind this is the double whammy of being hit by fines from the EU for missing our CO2 target and the need to lower our emissions. The only way to do this, nuclear power.

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