For the last 50 years the world has lived in fear of radiation. Hiroshima, Nagasaki and accidents at nuclear power stations struck terror in people everywhere – but Horizon: Nuclear Nightmares has uncovered evidence to suggest these fears could be unfounded.
Horizon: Nuclear Nightmares (first aired on BBC TWO, Thursday 13 July 2006) speaks to a number of scientists who are asking whether we need to think again about the dangers of radiation as there is evidence to suggest that there is a threshold below which radiation may be harmless – or even beneficial.
The programme examines in detail the aftermath of the ultimate nuclear nightmare – the explosion and fire 20 years ago at Chernobyl Reactor number four. The results of the investigation are astonishing. In the aftermath of Chernobyl experts predicted tens of thousands of deaths from cancer.
Yet, when the authoritative UN Chernobyl Forum report - compiled by scientists from organisations such as the WHO - was published late last year it put the total death toll from the accident at just 59.