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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.

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Wednesday
Apr252018

Three Mile Island disaster impacts continue  

Survivors of the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania convened a panel of local journalists, activists and experts to mark the 39th year since the disaster. Cindy Folkers of Beyond Nuclear was one of six panelists present as people recalled their experiences on that day, and health impacts since. Leukemia and lung cancers increased as did blood malformations. One panelist revealed thyroid cancers appear earlier and seem to be more aggressive, adding to recent research that indicated thyroid cancers in the TMI area appear to bear a radiation-specific biological marker. The Nuclear Hotseat podcast features excerpts from, and context for, the event. More 
Tuesday
Mar062018

Trump EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt weakens federal regulations on radioactive coal ash disposal

As reported by Democracy Now!:

In environmental news, President Trump has nominated Dow Chemical lawyer Peter Wright to head up an Environmental Protection Agency unit tasked with overseeing the disposal of hazardous waste and chemical spills at toxic Superfund sites. Meanwhile, new data says coal ash—the residual byproduct of burning coal—has contaminated groundwater with arsenic and radium and other toxic chemicals near coal-fired power plants across the country. The new data was released on Friday, only one day after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the EPA would weaken federal regulations on coal ash disposal. (emphasis added)

Fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas, and oil, contain naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). When mined/drilled and then combusted, this NORM becomes TENORM--Technically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials. Decay products of uranium, including radium, are hazardous. They are artificially released from extraction and burning, to harm humans and other life forms downwind and downstream, up the food chain (through bio-accumulation), and down the generations (many radionuclides have a long hazardous persistance).

Wednesday
Feb212018

David Zwick, clean water advocate and one of ‘Nader’s Raiders,’ dies at 75

As reported by an obituary in the Washington Post.

David Zwick, and the organization he founded, Clean Water Action, have long worked in coalition with the anti-nuclear power movement.

As but one grassroots example, Don't Waste Michigan was blessed by Michigan's Clean Water Action chapter for years on end, in the form of CWA hosting monthly Don't Waste MI meetings in its Lansing offices. CWA didn't just host the meetings, they actively took part.

Such anti-nuclear collaboration also has taken place at the national level. As but one example, CWA has long resisted the nuclear power industry's coveted national dump for highly radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

This makes perfect sense, given the risks to human health and the environment (and specificially, clean water!), from nuclear power and radioactive waste, during so-called "routine" operations, let alone large-scale or even catastrophic hazardous radioactivity releases, as at Three Mile Island Unit 2 in the U.S. in 1979, Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986, and Fukushima Daiichi in Japan in 2011.

Tuesday
Feb202018

Radioactive Contamination Found on “Clean” Vehicles from Hanford Facility

See the Hanford Challenge press release, which raises concern for the long-term health of the workers, and their families, whose vehicles were contaminated by radioactivity releases at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State.

Wednesday
Jul052017

Coastal Fukushima women late in checking breast cancer suspicions since 3/11: study

From the Japan Times:

Women along Fukushima’s northern coastline have been waiting longer to consult doctors about breast cancer suspicions since March 2011, according to a study by a local doctor.

Ever since the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, the ratio of women seeking consultations more than three months after noticing breast cancer symptoms rose to 29.9 percent, compared with 18.0 percent before the calamity, the study found.

Many who consulted a doctor about symptoms did so only after being encouraged by family members, the study found.

The rise in single-person and elderly households caused by the nuclear evacuation is believed to be driving the trend.

The study was conducted by Akihiko Ozaki, a doctor at Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, who noticed that many women began visiting him only after their symptoms had progressed.

Read the full article