U.S. scientists suppressed evidence to promote LNT Rule that hinders nuclear power and medicine

Edward Calabrese - Paul Selby

This paper reports that William Russell, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), conducted a large-scale lifetime study from 1956 to 1959 showing that exposure of young adult male mice to a large dose of acute X-rays had no treatment effects on male and female offspring concerning longevity or the frequency, severity, or age distribution of neoplasms and other diseases.

Despite the scientific, societal and crucial timing significance of the study, Russell did not publish the findings for almost 35 years, nor did he inform governmental advisory committees, thereby significantly biasing decisions made during this period which supported the adoption of LNT for risk assessment.

Of further significance, Arthur Upton, an ORNL colleague of Russell during this study and later Director of the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), was also fully knowledgeable of this study, its findings and its negative impact on the acceptance of LNT. Upton later worked along with Russell to publish these data to dispute the case-specific claim that children developed cancer because of the radiation exposure of their fathers as workers at the Sellafield nuclear plant.

While the duplicity of Russell’s and Upton’s actions is striking, the key finding of the present paper is that Russell and Upton intentionally orchestrated and sustained an LNT cover up during the key period of LNT adoption by regulatory agencies, thereby showing an overwhelming bias to enhance the adoption of LNT.


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