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What is The Hiroshima Syndrome?
What is “The Hiroshima Syndrome”?
The Hiroshima Syndrome is the psychological distress which may be defined as the mortal fear of nuclear energy, which is based on one or more three fundamental beliefs...
(1) Uranium is an explosive, thus a worst-case nuclear reactor accident could conceivably result in a nuclear detonation,
(2) Nuclear power plant atmospheric releases are the same as bomb fallout,
(3) There is no safe level of radiation exposure.
All three beliefs trace their historical roots to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The first two come directly from the bombing itself, and the third from an assumption used to set regulatory standards based on H/N survivor data covering the decade after WWII. Any and/or all of the three beliefs became widely held in populations around the world, largely due to cold war secrecy. Over the three-plus decades following WWII, the beliefs became paradigm…a foundation of understanding held without question or doubt…in the minds of many. The perceived threat of nuclear energy to human health, based on these paradigms, is routinely presented in apocalyptic terms spawned by (again) Hiroshima/Nagasaki.
These are three realms of misconception which went uncorrected for nearly 35 years after Hiroshima in 1945. The first two misconceptions literally erupted into full-blown paranoia with the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, generating fears of a nuclear detonation followed by mental images of the fallout victims of Hiroshima/Nagasaki. TMI also brought the no-safe-dose concept to the public mind for the first time. Chernobyl, and now Fukushima, have cemented the “unsafe at any dose” misconception firmly into a large number of people in the world, resulting in “radiophobia” (mortal fear of radiation) infecting millions, if not billions. These three misconceptions have become paradigm and have produced what can be understood as a severe psychological disorder impairing rational judgment. It generates phobic fear so stark that it consumes the mind. The condition itself - a mortal fear of nuclear energy - can be thus understood as “The Hiroshima Syndrome”.
This site has been created in the hope that these misconceptions can be corrected through education and the damage done by the Hiroshima Syndrome can be healed.