PRESS RELEASE - 19 April 2011
Stop Hinkley supporter denounces SAGE & urges adoption of ECRR risk model
A Stop Hinkley member has criticised the government body handling the Fukushima crisis – SAGE (Scientific Advice Group in Emergencies)  – by continuing to minimise the impact and underplay the health risks.
The supporter expressed unease about the calibre of advice coming from SAGE stating “within days of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and crippled the nuclear reactors at Fukushima , concerns were being expressed about the quality of SAGE'S advice.”
"When I heard Sir John Beddington, the UK 's Chief Scientific Adviser and Chairman of SAGE, on the radio I became enraged at what he was saying.” she said. All of the reactors suffered a loss of cooling mechanisms and went on to be rocked by a series of explosions and other problems. “He was so laid back I was half expecting him to go on and say that TEPCO should call a plumber!"
"Anyone with any common sense could see that it was more serious than the picture he was giving of ‘a small risk of a small amount of exposure' ", she continued, "I had already sent a flurry of emails to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office telling them to evacuate our nationals from Japan, so Sir John's comments were totally unacceptable I felt.”
The government's civil contingencies' website claims that the work of the Governments Chief Adviser (John Beddington) and the Government Science Office is "to ensure that all these stages are underpinned across Government by strong science - whether research or advice". One has to question whether advice being offered by John Beddington and his SAGE panel, is based on rhetoric rather than research.
Ministers were later described as also being ‘spooked' in the media by Sir John's ‘misinformation' and ordered the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice to be changed themselves. 
In advice given to British nationals residing in China on the 18 th March, SAGE claimed that it was “wholly wrong” to compare Fukushima to Chernobyl (they have now hastily removed this statement from their website).  Since then, SAGE have continued to underplay the risks in their analyses.
Given that less than a month later it is becoming clear that not only is Fukushima ranked as 7 on the INES scale like Chernobyl, it is highly likely that, in the long run, Fukushima may prove to be far worse than Chernobyl.
One has to question the wisdom of the Government rolling out nuclear apologists to head up departments charged with the task of protecting the public. Not only are these bodies continuing to play down the risks but the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) model that they use to assess radiological risks is not applicable after a nuclear emergency such as this one in Fukushima.  The (ECRR) risk model 5 developed by the European Committee on Radiation Risk, however, has been developed for just such incidents.
Nikki Clark, Deputy Press Officer, Stop Hinkley Campaign