When it comes to the topic of Nuclear Power everyone has an opinion,
and they are either for or against it. There really is no middle ground,
and that is evident in the essays written by two highly respected
scientists. One of them, Dr. John W. Gofman is a strong believer in the
concept of exposure to radiation being fatal and dangerous to human health.
Especially if the maximum allowed limit of nuclear radiation, 170
millirems/year, is reached. An opponent to Dr. Gofman is Dr. Bernard L.
Cohen, a nuclear physicist turned environmental scientist, and ardent
supporter of the current scientific establishment. Dr. Cohen believes that
the general public has been manipulated by irresponsible journalists and
“sensation-seeking” scientists into thinking that any and all exposure to
radiation is harmful to human health.In this critique I plan on reviewing
some of the major issues brought up by each side and try to show how each
author has distorted or skewed data. Then I plan on giving my
interpretation and opinion on the future of nuclear power.
Dr. Gofman seems to have many confusing ideas about the concept of
nuclear power. First of all he shoots down the government for giving money
to nuclear industries and claims that doing this is “totally inappropriate
for government.” I don’t know if Dr. Gofman understands that we are kind of
running out of energy sources, and until we better develop things like
solar power to make them more useful and economical, we may need energy
sources like nuclear power in the very near future. Next he tries to
convince the public that the nuclear supporters and groups like BEIR
(Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) lied about their findings of the
number of deaths caused by radiation to be zero. He goes through a x-ray
radiation experiment where he finds the data of the BEIR committee to be
off, but still doesn’t prove that their data on radiation deaths is wrong.
In the second essay, D…