1382: IAEA/WHO Spinning The Legacy of Chernobyl
From Richard Bramhall, LLRC:
Fallout: The Legacy of Chernobyl (BBC Radio 4, 26 April 2011 20.00 – 20.40) You can listen here.
( http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b010mckx )
This programme expressed the IAEA / WHO view that there has been no observable impact on health except for thyroid cancers caused by a failure to distribute stable iodine, and a few deaths and illness among highly irradiated firemen.
Professor Geraldine Thomas is heard saying:
The fact that there has been cancer incidence in Belarus subsequent to the accident is not surprising because there is cancer incidence in this country (UK) and we weren’t exposed to the radiation from Chernobyl.
BBC programming has featured Professor Thomas many times since the Fukushima disaster. She speaks as an expert on radiation and health but she seems not to know that after Chernobyl the average land contamination in the United Kingdom was 1,400 Becquerels per square metre radioactive Caesium 137 (data from UNESCO and UNSCEAR). Some 300 farms are still subject to restrictions on the sale of livestock.
When we have analysed the programme in more detail we will issue further briefings.
Complaints should be lodged with the BBC within 30 days of transmission. In our opinion the grounds for complaint are that the programme failed to meet BBC editorial standards on impartiality. See how to complain here
The 2006 BBC tv documentary Nuclear Nightmares treated Chernobyl in the same way as this new programme. LLRC took a complaint against Nuclear Nightmares through all the formal stages, ending with an appeal to the BBC Trust. The Trust ruled that the programme was biased and warned all departments
In making this decision the Committee believed it was important to remind all programme areas that they had the same responsibility as news programmes to ensure impartiality “” particularly when dealing with a controversial subject. It was, therefore, important for a programme to provide appropriate and proportionate opportunity to reflect those other views.
Fallout: The Legacy of Chernobyl makes it clear that the warning has been ignored.