Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is the BFS impartial?

The recent study produced by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection definitely appears to be... methodologically dubious, to say the least. The fact that most of the discrepancy is the result of one infamous (and much studied) cancer cluster implies that the results are a fluke. But what interests me is the fact that the BFS seems to be intentionally spinning the results in the most onerous possible way:

The German researchers behind the new study, published online in the International Journal of Cancer, said they did not know whether radiation from the plants played a role in the cancers.

However Wolfram Koenig, director of the BFS, said: "Given the particularly high risk of nuclear radiation for children, and the inadequacy of data on the emissions of nuclear power plants, we must take the correlation between distance of residence and high risk of leukaemia very seriously."

Does anyone know if the entire study was an exercise in preconceptual science intended to legitimize the Germans' notorious anti-nuclear biases? It kind of looks that way to me.

Also, does anyone have any bets on how soon the Germans will reverse their anti-nuclear position? Given what will happen if they actually start shutting their plants down on the current schedule, they can't keep up their wishful thinking for too much longer. They seem to be so far gone, however, that it may actually take the widespread environmental and economic catastrophe that will result from this pig-headed policy to result in such a shift. Still, it can't be more than 15 years max.

No comments: