Bobby and the PAM process

by nuclearhistory

Radiation Hormesis holds that the the biochemical response described in papers which produce disabling symptoms of radiation fatigue are a health benefit of low dose radiation. This is clearly explained by Bobby Scott (DOE funded member of Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, New Mexico) in one of his many papers. Download the full pdf from : (which is

“The LNT Hypothesis vs. RadiationHormesis: Implications for Managing Radiological Terrorism Events”, Bobby R. Scott, Ph.D.Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque NM, USA Seminar, NIH/NIAID, Bethesda, MD February 14, 2006 and turn to pdf page 15.
The diagram which Scott claims is the beneficial response:


No doubt he is watching events unfold in Japan with keen interest.

Pam Sykes states her experimental medical treatment is based upon the principle of Adaptive Response.

One of her co-authors, Bobby Scott, claims it as being based upon Hormesis.

BUT: “Hormesis is a hypothesis that emphasises the possible beneficial effect of low doses of radiation and claims the necessity of a low-dose exposition to get some benefits while excluding any risk. However, this concept is controversial.

According to the hormesis model, people should be exposed to low radiation dose unless it is demonstrated with certitude that there is no benefit from such exposure. The possibility of adverse effects is not even considered.

We may wonder why the proponents of the hormesis model acknowledge a radiation threshold value for harmful effects, but reject it for beneficial effects.”


“The theory of “adaptive response”, (not to be confused with hormesis) shows that a low dose can reduce the effect of a higher dose when administered after a short time delay. This theory is based on substantial evidence.” “Low-dose ionizing radiation exposure: Understanding the risk for cellular transformation” By L. DE SAINT-GEORGES,*

Given that Hormesis has been a false guide in Japanese nuclear industry for a number of years (Shimizu), one can see the basis for the inadequate protection being afforded the occupants in radiation affected areas of Japan. In my opinion based upon the emerging evidence of radiation fatigue within those areas.

I await with keen interest the medical treatment promised by Sykes et al.

As I said at the start of this blog, any advance in oncology is urgently needed. But, in the absence of any such new treatment, it is poor form to use one concept (Hormesis) to call for the non cleanup of contamination sites (Scott) while hiding behind exported research which uses another (Adaptive Response.)

Scott has called such cleanups a waste of money.

“Addressing the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy in Adelaide, chair of the uranium company Toro Energy Erica Smith said the true cost of coal was not yet being paid for by the community. She also said that there was a strong argument that some radiation “was good for you” …..”

Adelaide Advertiser newspaper, August 13, 2011 page 7.

Smith does not cite her sources. Her view is crap. As I have explained, the view among responsible nuclear authorities is that hormesis is seriously flawed.

And Smith cannot claim the benefits of Adaptive Response for the promised oncology treatment, if it ever emerges, is based upon a timed, highly defined TRANSIENT exposure.

You don’t get that from uranium tailings, Ms Smith. Unless Toro can come up with a free and enjoyable way of scrubbing out one’s lungs. In my opinion.

The average Australian is aware of alpha and beta. Especially in the bush.

Toward the end of its track, a particle (alpha, beta) has lost substantial energy.
In a laboratory, cultured organ cells can be exposed to transient alpha.

I doubt very much if Toro Energy has geologists with sufficient expertise to apply DOE Los Alamos findings in the real world populated with diverse species interacting with a contaminated environment.