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"We've got to stop these sorts of reports coming out, because they are really upsetting the Japanese population," says Gerry Thomas at Imperial College London, who is attending the meeting. "The media has a hell of a lot of responsibility here, because the worst post-Chernobyl effects were the psychological consequences and this shouldn't happen again."
Professor Gerry A Thomas
Chair in Molecular Pathology
Department of Surgery & Cancer
Tel: +44 (0)20 8383 2443
Gerry Thomas is dismayed by misconceptions about radiation – which is at low levels ever-present in the Earth’s atmosphere coming from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun. She says it's people's perception of radiation that scares them and the media plays on that fear. But she admits that nuclear authorities often have themselves to blame. On the 14th of March the Japanese government was assuring the world that no radiation had escaped while an American military ship with sensitive radioactivity sensor was detecting low levels of radiation 100 miles off the Japanese coast. The navy said the amount detected was not dramatic – less, in fact, than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation from, but the story, even before the explosion that is said to have exposed spent fuel rods, has shed doubt on the openness of the Japanese authorities who have been accused of playing down the significance of leaks in the past.
Originally posted by Maxmars
Yet, something tells me that they engendered the disbelief they are lamenting by their own desires to 'control' the sentiments of the Japanese people, and by extension, the world.