Chris Busby, who came to talk to us about low-level radiation and its potential for causing ill health, has just published a book after a five year gestation.  The title is from a Louis MacNeice poem about people drowning out the howls of wolves with laughter – and obscuring the threat.

Dwight Eisenhower, wartime commander and US Republican President at the beginning of the ‘cold war’, warned of the vested interests of the “military-industrial complex” driving the political agenda. Chris Busby has identified a series of events dating from this period when there was enormous pressure to outdo the Soviet block in nuclear technology and military power.  He explains how he has come upon a series of misrepresentations, suppression of information, statistical distortion, bias, and cover-up. The truth about the effects of ‘A’ bomb testing, accidental leaks of radioactivity, and ‘legitimised’ discharges of low-level radiation to the environment has been continuously subjected to the malevolent influences of the ‘establishment’ so that the impacts of radioactive pollution on human health are not widely known or understood. He reveals the extent of veterans’ health problems to mitigate the political and economic costs of acknowledging blame, suppression of information regarding plutonium in children’s teeth, distorted statistics of childhood leukaemia clusters, and much more that stands in the way of the vested interests of the nuclear industry and its supporters in governments and elsewhere.

Resources have been poured into telling us the nuclear industry poses no threat to health, yet comparatively little has been committed to understanding the mechanics of the interaction of radioactivity and human cells though inconvenient evidence shows that exposure to radioactivity and human pathology are intimately associated; and measurable increased radioactivity is detectable in environments thousands of miles from discharge sites. It is a familiar story of an industry effectively dictating its own terms of regulation, a cartel which needs challenging.

Noel Hamel

WOLVES of WATER, ISBN 1897761-26-0: 528 pages including colour plates, diagrams, tables, references and appendices, for help in the preparation of which the author is indebted to the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, is available at booksellers; price £12.