Arnie Gundersen – The Facade of Believability

Whilst searching for factual information on the qualifications of anti-nuclear consultant-for-hire Arnie Gundersen I came across a new blog. The critical-thinking proprietor lives in Japan, and was thus disturbed by the unspeakably bad media coverage of the Fukushima Daichi accident. You can see all the related posts with the tag “Wall of Shame”. Among those is a deconstruction of the Gundersen resume, ending with this summary: 

Gundersen has got a lot of play in the international media, and his videos have spread virally via bilingual Japanese people who have translated and posted them on the Internet. I hope that I’ve shown that Gundersen is not a trustworthy source of information about Fukushima for the following reasons:

  • He has been dishonest about his qualifications and work experience
  • He misrepresents himself (or at least allows others to misrepresent him) as part of the nuclear industry
  • He has an undeclared direct financial interest in increasing his profile as an anti-nuclear power consultant in order to attract new clients
  • He subscribes to a theory of low-level radiation damage that has been discredited
  • He has made claims that have been proven to be false
  • He has made claims that don’t stand up to investigation, are anecdotal, and are unfalsifiable
  • As time goes on and Fukushima produces less dramatic news, Gundersen’s reports become more dramatic.

I hope this has been helpful. I wish that the media would be a little less credulous when dealing with experts, and challenge statements that sound wrong, but failing that, it’s our job to not take whatever an “expert” says at face value and to ask questions.

Please comment if you have any factual references on Gundersen’s career. Especially any evidence of experience relevant to commercial nuclear power generation (that is the “expertise” that he markets).

The best fact-based Gundersen reference that I know of is Rod Adams, e.g., on résumé inflation. Unfortunately it looks like Gundersen is “house cleaning” his on-line history, so one of Rod’s key links has been taken down at the activist NECNP.org. In fact Gundersen doesn’t even seem to exist at NECNP.org

UPDATE: a resourceful reader did the research necessary to locate the disclosure of the Gundersen CV, plus some additional expertise:

http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0808/ML080840527.pdf - Page 84 – CV

 
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0808/ML080860095.pdf - Page 6 – Some other expertise

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