Radiation Exposure and Risk

Ionizing radiation damages living things and contaminates the environment, sometimes permanently. Studies have shown increases in cancer around nuclear facilities and uranium mines. Radiation mutates genes which can cause genetic damage across generations.



You can HELP! Beyond Nuclear, others, file NRC FOIA, ask for extension

Beyond Nuclear, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, in New York (IPSEC), and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) this week. The groups are demanding NRC turn over documents they used as the basis for proposed rule changes on radiation exposure. A change in radiation exposure rules will affect the public, particularly vulnerable children who should be the standard by which every human is protected. Additionally, the groups are asking for a six month extension on the rule comment period which currently ends on November 24, 2014.

JOIN US in asking for an extension to this comment period to ensure fair public input. SIGN our letter if you haven't already.

Preparation of this NRC proposed radiation rule change was a multi-year project for NRC Staff, and the current comment period of 120 days does not allow adequate time for stakeholders in impacted reactor communities to review the long and technical documents NRC references.

Also, while reviewing the NRC's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”), we discovered that many of the NRC’s references, which the NRC staff used as the basis of the proposed rule, are publicly inaccessible.  Additionally, some references depend on other references which are non credited by in the Federal Registry notice. In order to fully understand the basis for NRC’s reasoning, public review of all foundational documents, referenced and unreferenced, is necessary.

Industry has the means and resources to obtain these documents and NRC recognized in its ANPR that it was using documents that were not readily available to the public either through public libraries or online. NRC's behavior in this case has yet again shown its disdain for meaningful public comment.


A new scientific panel to examine low dose radiation impacts?

On November 17, 2014, the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences will be hosting a meeting to assist with scoping the next Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) report—the BEIR VIII report—on health risks from exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation.

The meeting, which is open to the public in its entirety, will be held at the National Academy of Sciences, located at 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC.

This is a preliminary meeting as no agency has formally requested a BEIR VIII report yet. For the previous NAS report on low-dose ionizing radiation impacts, see BEIR VII, published in 2006. Register here.


Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Dr. Helen Caldicott, Beyond Nuclear's Founding PresidentTeaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets welcomes Helen Caldicott, editor of the new book,

Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

 introduced by Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 

6:30 to 8:00 PM

Busboys and Poets - 14th & V, N.W., Washington, D.C.



Physicians for Social Responsibility 

Beyond Nuclear 

Teaching for Change 

Busboys and Poets


Beyond Nuclear's Cindy Folkers and Kevin Kamps presented at the 2013 symposium which led to this new book. Summaries of their presentations are included.


Families sue government for Fukushima radiation exposure

"A group of parents and children who were residing in Fukushima Prefecture when the nuclear disaster unfolded in March 2011 is suing the central and prefectural governments for failing to take sufficient steps to protect children from radiation exposure during the crisis.

"In a written complaint, they said the central and prefectural governments failed to promptly release accurate data on airborne radiation levels after the nuclear crisis, neglecting their duty to prevent residential radiation exposure as much as possible, and exposing children to radiation."

"As a result, the parents and children are seriously worried about their health down the road and are suffering from mental distress, they said in the complaint." One woman's child became ill after the initial radiation releases.

"Of the 88 plaintiffs, 24 children who live in Fukushima and are still attending school there are demanding that local municipal offices affirm their right to receive education in a safe environment." The Japan Times

Radiation is known to cause various diseases. The information sharing and evacuations following Fukushima were clearly botched and some people were exposed to radiation because of this incompetent handling of the crisis.

Children are particularly vulnerable to radiation exposure, so these families are not waiting until someone has taken ill to sue for compensation. This lawsuit implies that exposure to radiation against their will, and due to government incompetence, is enough to allow them compensation since their risk of contracting certain diseases has been increased.



Doctors want to see a drop in radioactivity

Pediatrician Dr. Alex Rosen"Nuclear bomb tests contaminate soils, while nuclear accidents and X-rays are a direct threat to our health. At a world summit this week, doctors called for more protection and awareness...

"It was a central theme at this year's world congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) - the consequences of nuclear testing.

The participants gathered in Kazakhstan to see the consequences first-hand at Semipalatinsk - a Soviet-era test site which was active between 1949 and 1989...

" 'All around the world, you can find small traces of the radioactive Cesium-137 in soil samples and food," says the pediatrician Dr Alex Rosen...

"He says the levels of Cesium-137 are lower than the legal threshold.

'But you've also got to say that any amount of radioactivity can lead to higher risks, and that statistically, hundreds of thousands of people have died prematurely from cancer because of these same levels," Rosen says...

" 'We have to tell people: don't let your child have an X-ray unless it's absolutely necessary, don't eat that jam from that contaminated region," Rosen says, "and don't move close to a nuclear power plant.'" Deutsche Welle