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.



"Highly radioactive water found at Vermont nuke plant"

In a startling development, news agencies are reporting that water containing 2 million picocuries per liter of radioactive tritium -- "about 100 times the allowable federal level for drinking water and 70 times the standard for groundwater" -- has been discovered at Entergy Nuclear's Vermont Yankee atomic reactor. The discovery comes just days after Vermont Yankee spokesman Rob Williams mischaracterized a more than 15% increase in radioactive tritium concentrations in test well water, from 17,000 to nearly 20,000 picocuries per liter, as a stabilizing situation, stating on a Vermont Public Radio interview "Essentially, those two readings - 17,000 to 20,000 - those are in the ballpark where you could say it's essentially stable at this point." Now that tritium readings in water at Vermont Yankee that are 100 times more radioactive than that have been revealed, let's hope Entergy spokesman Rob Williams stops trying to downplay the seriousness of the situation.


Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen speaks on Vermont Yankee tritium leaks, Entergy Nuclear lies

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen -- energy adviser at Fairewinds Associates, Inc., who serves as Beyond Nuclear's expert witness on quality assurance violations at the Fermi 3 new reactor project in Michigan -- speaks in this live television interview on Vermont's WCAX about Entergy Nuclear's misrepresentations to the State of Vermont about buried pipes containing radioactive liquids, and newly reported tritium leaks there that are 50 times more radioactive than allowed under EPA Safe Drinking Water Act regulations, and 500 times more radioactive than allowed under certain European regulations.


Congressmen call for investigation of leaky, buried piping at atomic reactors

U.S. Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA), John Hall (D-NY), and John Adler (D-NJ) have called upon the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to launch an investigation into the corrosion of and leakage from buried piping at the nation's nuclear power plants. In their letter to GAO, the Congressmen stated that "The recent discoveries of leaks of reactor cooling water, diesel fuel, and radioactive water at several plants suggest that NRC processes must be improved to help licensees adequately manage the aging of this infrastructure to ensure the safety of the reactors and of the public." The Congressmen cite leaking pipes at such nuclear power plants as Oyster Creek NJ, Indian Point NY, San Onofre CA, Byron IL, Perry OH, Dresden IL, and Braidwood IL to make clear that this is a nation-wide problem. Hazardous tritium -- a radioactive form of hydrogen -- is very often involved in such leakage into groundwater. (However, besides such accidental, uncontrolled, and unmonitored leaks, tritium is also "routinely" discharged from atomic reactors, with permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.)


Chernobyl death figures disputed as more children fall sick

The Guardian's John Vidal reports that the "official" death figures resulting from the Chernobyl reactor accident in 1986 are likely grossly under-estimated. Doctors at hospitals in Belarus and Ukraine are seeing highly unusual rates of cancers, mutations and blood diseases in their young patients. An assessment by the Russian academy of sciences says there have been 60,000 deaths so far in Russia and an estimated 140,000 in Ukraine and Belarus - far higher than the ludicrous but "official" figures from the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency which claim only 56 people have died as a direct result of the radiation released by the Chernobyl explosion and that only about 4,000 will will die from it eventually. 


Physicians threaten to leave hospital if uranium exploration continues

The Globe and Mail reports that physicians, community organizers, municipal officials and residents are worried their community’s water supply will be contaminated with radiation as a result of proposed uranium mining. They fear their health and especially the health of their children, will be adversely affected. If a moratorium mirroring ones in British Columbia and Nova Scotia provinces is not instituted, the doctors are threatening to move their families away. This would leave the only hospital in town without a functional staff. The Quebec government is resisting calls for a moratorium.