Nuclear Nightmares

Nuclear Nightmares

Ratings: 8.98/10 from 184 users.

Nuclear NightmaresNuclear Nightmares talks about how radiophobia, the fear of radioactivity, is widespread and yet not based on scientific evidence. After the Chernobyl accident, a lot of death toll numbers appeared in the news, some close to 400.000 people dead, but the reality is the only 57 (yes, 57) deaths can be directly or indirectly linked to the accident.

It appears that low doses of radiation are not harmful, since the body already has methods of defense. Only after a certain threshold, radiation begins to harm the body. More than that, low doses of radiation seem to start the genes responsible with the protection against cancer, therefore the number of cases of cancer in regions with higher than normal background radiation is actually lower.

Of course, it was normal for people to fear radiation during the Cold War and now, as our fossil fuel reserves are close to depletion, nuclear energy is something desperately needed to compensate. How much of this documentary was actually about dispelling the exaggerated fear of radiation and how much was about promoting nuclear power is for you to decide.

More great documentaries

33 Comments / User Reviews

Leave a Reply to Reba Cancel reply

  1. FredF

    "radiophobia"?! is this like the unreasonable fear of anthrax, small pox or a hail of automatic weapons fire? or Gas Co dumping thousands of gallons of benzene into your drinking water? fission products are "the gift that keeps on giving - forever" by killing everyone in the most gruesome and horrifying ways. if you're NOT "radiophobic", you're insane.

    of course it doesn't hurt if you ignore the gigawatts of sun, wind, tidal and geothermal energy falling all around you for free every day.

    lest you think radioactive waste is "clean", i'd love for you to demonstrate how "clean" you get from a barrel of radioactive cooling water.

  2. DUH DUH?

    57!? Nonsense, 600 Helicopter Pilots died shortly after Chernobyl.

    1. FredF

      D.D., I really hope that all of the helicopter pilots, firemen, miners who dug under the melt-down are honored by numerous solid granite monuments.. This is not even to mention the selfless thousands of medical staff who became ill or died helping save the ill, and prevent the exposure of the otherwise millions of potential ill and dead down-wind had they not acted. Being in the northern hemisphere myself, they helped save me and my family too, and I'm forever grateful. Let's not let this happen again to anyone. The health risks of nuclear energy and waste are an infinitely greater cost to humanity (and all life) than the benefit of the millions of toasters they serve. Here's to hoping we can all wake up to the smell of fresh and radio-isotope-free coffee.

  3. Dr Joseph

    Also, why aren't there any subtitles when most of the conversation in the entire movie is in Russian?

    1. FredF

      i was able to get CC to work during my view, maybe it was added due to your comment? if so, thank you for commenting!

  4. Dr Joseph

    The Russian doctor who published the true figures regards Chernobyl was put in prison. The most reliable sources now quote about 1 million dead directly or indirectly from the accident. Fukushima estimated to be at least 5 times worse.

  5. scott

    nuclear nightmares,,,, has numbers in the hundred of thousand dead

  6. Uselesseater

    one word

    1. FredF

      one reply
      Gobs of long term free energy that doesn't hurt anything and no company can create a market share of.

  7. Kenneth Vallberg

    This documentary must have been paid for by some nuclear lobby organisation. The definition of stupidity: the unability to lern from previous experiences. This must be the case here especially when the terrible accident in Tjernobyl is taken in account.

  8. a11possibility

    Has anyone mentioned magnetic energy power or hydrogen powered homes? Anyone ask why power has to be centralised? Who ever got the impression that we have to rely on nuclear power has been watching far to much mainstream media. Centralised money makers want you to pay for your energy regardless of independent systems which are perfectly logical and would cost next to nothing once installed. Anyone who digs around outside mainstream media will find plenty of procedures which would give you independent power to your home or car that will never see the light of day

    1. FredF

      No worries, humanity won't be around much longer anyway. Maybe two or three more generations? We're joining the list of species we've extincted, and our bigger brain has counted for nothing.

  9. Liza Salisbury-Pierce

    Read the reports from Chernobyl published by the
    New York Academy of Sciences which was put together by Alexei Yablokov from Russia.
    There are many diseases caused by exposure to radiation. One is cataracts of the lenses so people can go relatively blind. One is premature aging of children, that is called Progeria; they age very fast. Diabetes is virtually an epidemic around Chernobyl now. Thyroid abnormalities, hypothyroidism where the thyroid does not pump out enough hormones so you get what is called Myxedema, very slow, you put on weight, your hair falls out, your mental capacities decline and your appetite goes away and your periods stop. And that is a nasty disease. Also of course, it causes thyroid cancer and lots of other abnormalities. Babies who were in utero at the time of the accident were exposed to radiation which damages the developing nervous system. So in Sweden, they have done a survey of babies who were in utero at the time of Chernobyl and they have lower than normal IQ’s. There are towns around Chernobyl full of the most grossly deformed children because they were damaged in the first 3 months of intrauterine life where limbs grow and brain grows and heart grows and so radiation can damage the cell that is going to form the left half of the brain for instance or the right arm, like Thalidomide did. We have never seen so many grossly deformed children as you see in those towns in Chernobyl. There is a film made about it called “Chernobyl Heart”. If you read that book from the New York Academy of Sciences, it is called Chernobyl, it is I think the most alarming medical survey that I have ever read in my medical existence. Radiation can just do a whole lot of just dreadful things.

    : Tritium is radioactive hydrogen; instead of being H2 it is H3. And tritium cannot be contained in anything except gold. So you cannot operate a nuclear reactor without it continuously releasing the air and the water that is used to cool the tritium. Tritium, it is a tiny, tiny, tiny particle and it combines with oxygen to form tritiating water, H3O.
    So if you are near a reactor and there is an inversion system and there is fog and you go outside and the fog lands on your skin and the tritium can get right through the skin. Now the skin lets nothing through. It is the most important organ in the body. Tritium also concentrates in food and it is in the water and it combines in the DNA molecule which is the gene. It is incredibly carcinogenic. And although the nuclear industry pooh-poohs anyone who worries about it, if you look at the Journal of Health Physics, there is a huge
    number of articles about the toxicity of tritium. And there has been
    testing on mice and rats for years and years and years. And so it induces brain tumors, muscle tumors, all sorts of cancers all over the body and mind you, every cancer can be caused by radiation. Every cancer we describe in medicine can be induced by radiation. It also causes very gross fetal abnormalities and birth deformities. So tritium is a very, very scary element. It is used in exit signs and of course it is leaking out of them. It is used on watch dials and it leaks out of the watches, it leaks out of everything you put it into. And I think the Germans did a study to look at children under the age of 5 years living within 2 miles of 16 reactors and found that those children had double the incidence of leukemia and a high incidence of solid cancers. And the French verified that study by doing a
    study of their own around their reactors. So it is very dangerous to live near a reactor and children are 10 – 20 times more sensitive to radiation than adults. They get cancer much more readily. And fetuses are thousands of times more so. So no women of childbearing age or children should live near a reactor. That is never talked about and it is partly because of the tritium that gets in.
    Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Helen Caldicott

  10. Crayrail

    Nuclear is the only viable way to transition away from fossil fuels. Wind and Solar do not put out nearly enough to keep pace with demand. I once was ardently anti-nuclear but physics are a subject I came to late. We must reduce as low as possible the amount of green house gasses entering the atmosphere to stave off further runaway warming. Nuclear, as terrible as it might seem, has to be part of the answer.

  11. SamUk88

    Having read some of the comments below, it seems to me that your only justifying the blurb when it says 'the fear of radioactivity, is widespread and yet not based on scientific evidence.' You talk about questioning the information we receive, how about questioning the scare mongering we've received from the media? Funnily enough a paper declaring evil scientists are trying to give us all radioactive poisoning sells a fair few more copies than one saying 'hey we have a relatively old, well investigated form of energy production, yes it still has flaws like the archaic forms of energy generation we use today but it is eventually going to be one of our only economically/logistically viable options'
    I am not saying Nuclear Power is perfect, in a perfect world we would be able to run the world off renewable energies, there'd be no waste products or excess CO2 but unfortunately that's not the case.
    Fossil fuels will run out, its an inevitability, renewable energy can simply not fill the energy deficit they will leave behind.
    Currently the only energy generation technology capable of filling it's shoes is Nuclear Power.
    I'm a Physics student and have studied aspects of Nuclear Power, I have listened to lectures by much cleverer people than probably you and definitely I, who ardently support Nuclear Power. They have very little financial gain in the concept of the Nuclear Renaissance and I'm fairly confident they're not on a crusade to give us all cancer.
    Mistakes have been made, and disasters such as Chernobyl should be neither down played nor ignored, but they also should not be used to hinder progress.

    1. FredF

      Sam, Please visit - the US National Renewable Energy Laboratories that's right down the road from me. There is plenty of science-based evidence that "alternative" and "renewable" and most significantly - freely sourced energy is so absurdly abundant we could never use even a small fraction of it all. See if you can cite any wars fought over sunshine, wind, geothermal (ask New Zealand or Iceland) or waves.

  12. pollyuk

    Scientists have also shown that genetic mutation in smaller mammals reduces in each succesive generation. How many generations of these small creatures had passed, since the incident, to their capture and testing?
    This documentary didnt actually cut the throats of those Chernobyl children, the doctors did in a bid to cure them of thyroid cancer (thousands of them!) is the BBC going to compensate them?
    Peter, Tokyo, Japan (post Fukishima incident) 24/05/11

  13. jj

    this is frightening propaganda. this is a documentary to trick people into letting their government build nuclear power plants. the incidence of congential birth defects and cancers in and around chernobyl has increased by 10,000 percent since 1986.

    1. cezy

      Agnotology: culturally induced ignorance or doubt.
      The tobacco lobbies were among the first to use such methods

  14. JK

    Hello Reba, could you please share your source? I also believe that's a high number. Thanks

  15. Peter

    To Cassiopeia, of course that site will say its not as big of a deal as the people of Chernobyl and the surrounding areas would say. That article is put out by the people in charge of these nuclear plants and what not, they will lose their reputation and possibly their jobs if they didnt fix the results and lied about the situation.

  16. Kush

    I am a musician from Adelaide who travelled to Ukraine at the invitation of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture in 1991. The tour was of Western Ukraine with a Uke dance ensemble. All our profits went to the Chernobyl Foundation in Ukraine. Anyway, we did a concert in a sanatorium for radiation affected kids one day. Firstly the place was next to impossible to find; roads were blocked or impassable, no signage, generally it was obviously hidden. We did a little concert for the kids - well, the ones who could walk it turns out - and then we visited the hospital. There were 3 wings of wards full of children that could not get up from their beds. One distressed mother ran up to us and asked us to talk to the director; as we were from the west she thought we could do something about the fact that they had no medication/medical equipment etc. The director readily agreed and asked us to bring our video to record the interview. At this interview he told us that no authority in the soviet union wanted to know about them; made claims that all money would stop in Moscow and nothing reached them. He claimed he had nothing to hide and if he could work in lots of other places but them this would have been another resource they would have lost.
    I still have the video of that day, the interview and of lots of these very sick kids - nothing of inside the actual hospital however - I can't say why we didn't video that. Maybe we were just too traumatised. There were at least 100 kids in those 3 wings of the hospital in beds - apart from the ones that were at our concert and many of *them* looked sick. A troop of about 40 people can attest to the facts I am laying out here. Suffice to say I remember the bus we travelled in was very quiet for the whole trip home..
    At the time, there was a Chernobyl Foundation in most major cities in the west. What was apparent was that none of this money had ended up at that hospital - at the very least. Where it was I have no evidence for.
    This propaganda does not surprise me in the least. You need to be educated on how the Russian and Soviet Governments has in the past covered up facts in the past if you believe any of this. I would say at least 57 those kids are not around today and saying that this is the entire balance of deaths because of Chernobyl!
    I recon that someone needs to go to confession for saying this stuff.

    1. FredF

      I am so terribly sorry that you were greeted by such horror, but am certain you raised the spirits of the sick kids that would otherwise been stuck in their own heads and misery. I hope you can keep performing and stay brave.

  17. Anthony

    Oh and a further note to those who say that animals in the surrounding area show no signs of cancers etc. that's mainly because those animals that develop deformities obviously die out due to natural selection as they cannot feed, meaning that only healthy animals are observed by scientists.

  18. Anthony

    the death toll of 57 is pure misinformation on behalf of the Then Russian government, they deliberately underplayed the figures no-one will EVER know how many deaths can be directly attributed to the incident and I mean no-one. the Russian Government did not take steps to document the incident both during and after. Its interesting but the malignancy of the disaster is such that we try to wipe the true nature of it from memory and the impetus to do so is furthered by the rising cost of fuels and so on.

  19. Leein

    I think it is great that people have an opinion. I agree with the previous statements. Is it not interesting that radiation is a problem. We live in a universe of radiation. Starts to sound like global warming upstarts. I love documentaries, especially when I can get real info, but really some of these "docs" are tv global retards. I hope there are people being critical of the nature of information.

  20. Frnk rzzo

    I recommend watching another documentary about the subject. Its called the battle of chernobyl.They did a really good job on this one. I think it might be on this website under the military section. Of course the soviet union lies. Thats what they do. 57 was the number of deaths that they fed to everyone to make themselves look good.

  21. Moral Arbiter

    57 is a small number compared to the hundreds and possibly thousands of people who have died producing energy the conventional way. How many people have died in the west as a result from nuclear energy? I think the number is one from the three mile island incident. If you watched the documentary without gawking and disgusting yourself over it, Mike C, you would have noticed that they also tested the animals there that hadn't been removed from the excluded zone. Those animals showed no sign of having any higher rates of cancer or defects compared to other animals in other areas. Man, it's like you just went off into a little rage all to yourself, stuck your fingers in your ears and closed your eyes.

    And Reba, where did you get the information that 2,000 people died in the explosion? As far as I'm aware, two people died as a result of the actual explosion. In my eyes, you're filled with misinformation and that means you're in no position to argue anything. Ta ta!

  22. Ken

    Reba is right, far more than 57 people were killed by the Chernobyl disaster. All those helicopter pilots, clean up crews and scientists, not to mention the surrounding civilian popluation that was not immediately evacuated.

  23. Reba

    Ok only 57 deaths related directly or indirectly to Chernobyl....GOOD GOD!! There were 2000 PEOPLE KILLED IN THE EXPLOSION not to mention the many more THOUSANDS that were called in to fight the fires and then build that hastily constructed "toomb" that is about to colapse. Hell, just the thought of the people that died from those 2 things alone makes alot of the GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS cry! Only 57 deaths...hey, take a look at the documentary on here called Chernobyl Heart....or better yet...GO THERE and take a look at the "abandonded babies homes" and talk with the WESTERN doctors (not just from america) that are fixing the many of the kids that were born right around that time have Thyroid Cancer and/or holes in their hearts (the affliction that the documentary Chernobyl Heart gets it name from)

    there REALLY should be a law against people putting things like this causes problems...causes people to think that things like Chernobyl and the effects of a disaster like that are "nothing"

    i mean GOOD GOD! 57 deaths...i cant believe that the people that made this documentary would have the balls to say that!

    i guess all the people that died at the reactor and from fixing the reactor and all the kids that have died of cancer got it from what....eating borched?

  24. cg

    i'd really like to see the end of this doc, if anyone knows where to find it.

  25. Mike C

    if you watched this you will have noticed that they monitor the health of all people linked to Chernobyl. so watch the movie before commenting.

  26. anonyous

    Of course cases of cancer around Chernobyl are lower, because most young people moved out to the cities and they contribute to rise of cancer cases there. Nuclear power plants are not ecological or chep either, but they are a nice way of making money pretending you're "green". And according to CNN there's about 50 leaks a year just in EU from nuclear power plants.