Eco Mann | 30 May 14:40 2010
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MMM. Fwd: [yippies] Important Message from Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash


Nuclear power is still unsafe at all stages (mining, power plants, transport, leakage, waste disposal). It is also very expensive per kilowatt-hour of electric power. That is after all subsidies for research, waste disposal and cost overruns are added in. Look at British Petroleum and all their promises of safety..!$%


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ARON KAY <pieman-DqjJwjSz99cdnm+yROfE0A@public.gmane.org>
Date: Thu, May 27, 2010 at 6:55 PM
Subject: [yippies] Fwd: Important Message from Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash
To:


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NukeFree.org <contact-om1+h3zJ+/Ng9hUCZPvPmw@public.gmane.org>
Date: Thu, May 27, 2010 at 1:52 PM
Subject: Important Message from Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash
To: aron pieman kay <pieman-DqjJwjSz99cdnm+yROfE0A@public.gmane.org>


Having trouble reading this email? View it on our website.

May
27,
2010

To NukeFree readers:

Do we really want $9 billion in nuclear reactor loan guarantees slipped into an emergency military appropriations bill?

We need to act to stop this from happening.

A deal has been reached between the Obama Administration and Congress to sneak through loan guarantees for three new reactors to be built -- one at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, just forty miles from our nation's capital, and two more in South Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico.

As the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe continues to show us that even the most advanced technologies have their failures, we ask that you join us in contacting Congress ---and especially the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. David Obey (D-WI)--- to stop these guarantees.

At a time like this, when our Earth is so deeply threatened, we must do all we can to protect her. Please reach out to Congress today -- it's quick and easy to do using the link below provided by our friends at NIRS.

Thank you so much for your help...

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash

YOUR ACTIONS NOW CAN STOP $9 BILLION IN NEW NUCLEAR REACTOR LOANS!

May 26, 2010

Dear Friends,

The Obama Administration is attempting to get $9 billion more in loans for new nuclear reactor construction this week. They're trying to sneak this money on to an emergency supplemental funding bill intended to provide funds for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and to provide additional disaster relief money.

But there is no emergency requiring new nuclear loans!

To try to appease clean energy advocates, the administration is tying the nuclear loans to loans for renewable energy projects--but these would amount to only about $1 billion in loans and renewable energy projects have barely begun to tap their existing loan authority. Unlike for nuclear projects, which are extraordinarily expensive, there is currently plenty of money available for renewables loans.

The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet at 5 pm Thursday, May 27, to consider this bill. Your actions can stop this unnecessary nuclear bailout. Please send a letter to your Representative here--the more controversial we can make this sleazy deal the more likely we can stop it. And if your Representative is on the House Appropriations Committee (list below), please also call your Rep at 202-224-3121 and urge him/her to stop nuclear loans.

Here is some more background:

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy awarded $8.3 billion in loan "guarantees" to Southern Company to help build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia (Southern Co. has not yet accepted this "guarantee" however). It soon became clear that this was not just a guarantee--it, and apparently all "guarantees" for new reactors--are direct loans from the U.S. Treasury, with the money coming from the little-known Federal Financing Bank.

That left DOE with $10.2 billion to give out for other new reactor projects. This is money that was approved by Congress back in 2007. Because new reactor construction cost estimates have soared in recent years, DOE realized that $10.2 billion would only cover one more new project, and they want to give out more money for new reactors. So the Administration has proposed tripling the money for the nuclear loan program to $54.5 Billion, beginning in the next fiscal year. As you know, we have been fighting that proposal for months.

But next year is not soon enough for DOE--so now it's trying to get $9 billion of that money now so they can give loans for two new reactor projects in the next few weeks. Of course, no reactor project (the most likely to receive the loans are Calvert Cliffs, MD and South Texas) will even receive a license from the NRC for at least another two years. And the utilities can't actually get any loans until after they receive a license. No emergency here, except the DOE's desire to score points with the nuclear power industry.

Stopping this $9 billion deal would send two clear messages: 1) emergency funding bills should not be used for non-emergency pet projects, especially not dirty and dangerous new nuclear reactors. It is obscene to even attempt to put these loans on an emergency bill like this; 2) not only is the $9 billion unacceptable, so is the full $54.5 billion the administration wants next year!

Please send an e-mail to your Representative now. And, if your Rep is on the House Appropriations Committee (list below), then also call your Rep at 202-224-3121 and urge him/her to oppose any new taxpayer funding for new nuclear reactors. This is a winnable fight if we all act now.

Please help your friends, relatives and networks take action too by sending them this link: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5502/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3179.

And please consider supporting our continuing campaign to end taxpayer funding of nuclear power. Your contributions are what enable us to do this work. You not only receive our eternal gratitude, but you get that warm feeling of knowing your donations are making a real difference!

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
nirsnet-+DsY16w5fgo@public.gmane.org
www.nirs.org

House Appropriations Committee members:

Democrats

  • David R. Obey, Wisconsin, Chairman
  • Norman D. Dicks, Washington
  • Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia
  • Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
  • Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
  • Nita M. Lowey, New York
  • José E. Serrano, New York
  • Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
  • James P. Moran, Virginia
  • John W. Olver, Massachusetts
  • Ed Pastor, Arizona
  • David E. Price, North Carolina
  • Chet Edwards, Texas
  • Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island
  • Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
  • Sam Farr, California
  • Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
  • Carolyn C. Kilpatrick, Michigan
  • Allen Boyd, Florida
  • Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
  • Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
  • Sanford D. Bishop Jr., Georgia
  • Marion Berry, Arkansas
  • Barbara Lee, California
  • Adam Schiff, California
  • Michael Honda, California
  • Betty McCollum, Minnesota
  • Steve Israel, New York
  • Tim Ryan, Ohio
  • C.A "Dutch" Ruppersberger, Maryland
  • Ben Chandler, Kentucky
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida
  • Ciro Rodriguez, Texas
  • Lincoln Davis, Tennessee
  • John T. Salazar, Colorado
  • Patrick J. Murphy, Pennsylvania

Republicans

  • Jerry Lewis, California, Ranking Member
  • C.W. Bill Young, Florida
  • Harold Rogers, Kentucky
  • Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
  • Jack Kingston, Georgia
  • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
  • Todd Tiahrt, Kansas
  • Zach Wamp, Tennessee
  • Tom Latham, Iowa
  • Robert B.Aderholt, Alabama
  • Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
  • Kay Granger, Texas
  • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
  • John Abney Culberson, Texas
  • Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois
  • Ander Crenshaw, Florida
  • Dennis R. Rehberg, Montana
  • John R. Carter, Texas
  • Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Jo Bonner, Alabama
  • Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio
  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma

©2010 www.NukeFree.org
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--

ARON PIEMAN KAY-
BONGS NOT BOMBS! NO TO DUMBYA'S RAW DEAL!
http://www.pieman.org
KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE

======= end of forwarded email =======


Cheers,
eco

Global Marijuana March.
http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Global_Marijuana_March
http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Global_Marijuana_March_2010
http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Global_Marijuana_March_2010_map
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/cannabisaction

Marijuana polls after 10 years of Global Marijuana Marches.
http://inmystride.blogspot.com/2009/06/polls-after-10-years-of-global.html

---------------


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Eco Mann | 30 May 15:07 2010
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MMM. Huge rise in birth defects and early life cancers in Falluja


The U.S. government is hiding the dangers of radiation in war and in power plants, their nuclear wastes, mining, etc.. Cleanup and healthcare costs are very expensive, and subsidized, and not counted in the cost of nuclear power and casualty care.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Depleted_uranium

Huge rise in birth defects and early life cancers in Falluja

I don't have the time to read enough of the relevant articles, and to integrate the info well into the Wikipedia article. So I thought I'd do a little bit of referencing and summarizing now, and maybe others can help out further.

Huge rise in birth defects in Falluja. By Martin Chulov in Falluja. 13 November 2009. The Guardian.

Doctors in Iraq's war-ravaged enclave of Falluja are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants, compared to a year ago, and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting.

The extraordinary rise in birth defects has crystallised over recent months as specialists working in Falluja's over-stretched health system have started compiling detailed clinical records of all babies born.

Deformed babies in Fallujah / Iraq Letter to the United Nations. 14 October, 2009. U.N. Observer and International Report. The article was written by:

  • Dr Nawal Majeed Al-Sammarai (Iraq Minister of Women's Affairs 2006-2009).
  • Dr. David Halpin FRCS (Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon).
  • Malak Hamdan M. Eng in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.
  • Dr Chris Burns-Cox MD FRCP.
  • Dr. Haithem Alshaibani (Environmental Sciences).
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Author and Journalist).
  • Nicholas Wood MA, RIBA, FRGS.

The article was addressed to Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, who is the President of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.

This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.

More info:

--Timeshifter (talk) 06:11, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Sadly, "No studies that have evaluated birth outcomes and birth defects among Gulf War veterans and their children have assessed whether there is any connection between reproductive outcomes and uranium exposure in the Gulf War." -- p. 96 (PDF p. 105) of this November, 2008 U.S. Veterans Administration report. 99.56.138.51 (talk) 17:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC) Thanks for the info. 2 different wars. 2 different pools of people. The mostly-male U.S. combat soldiers of the Gulf War. Versus another war and the female residents of Falluja and their children. Reproductive outcomes and uranium exposure are more likely to show correlations in the second war. Because of the direct effects of radiation on Falluja females, their germ cells, their fetuses, and their infants. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:54, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) A BBC article I heard on the radio today:

Birth defects 'have risen since US Falluja operation'. By John Simpson, BBC World Affairs Editor. 4 March 2010. BBC News.

A BBC investigation in Iraq has confirmed a disturbingly high number of birth defects among children in the town of Fallujah. ...

I was told they were scared to speak because the Iraqi government did not want to create trouble for the Americans.

The official line is that Falluja has only two or three cases of birth defects a year more than normal.

But, in the children's ward, I spoke to a paediatrician who told me he saw as many as two or three cases a day, mainly cardiac defects.

That would mean that this medium-sized town has some 1,000 cases of birth defects a year.

Every doctor, and every parent I spoke to there, believed the problem was the highly sophisticated weapons the US troops used against Falluja six years ago.

The rubble from the damaged buildings was bulldozed into the river - and people in Falluja have got their drinking water from there ever since.

I went to a house where all three young children were suffering from paralysis or brain damage.

A man who heard I was there brought his daughter to show me - she had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, and suffered from several serious diseases.

--Timeshifter (talk) 06:45, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I am not seeing sources that link the birth defects in Falluja to a documented DU contamination problem. The US ammunition with high DU content was not to my knowledge commonly used in the Falluja battles. If there are DU contamination reports for that area with documented elevated uranium levels that would tie it all together, however.The reports allege such contamination, but aren't saying specifically what elevated uranium levels were found where.This testing is easy and straightforwards, and necessary to properly ascribe what problems happen to what people. There are a wide variety of toxins released in warfare, depending on what's fired and what burns and so forth. Allegations here of DU contamination related health effects need to include credible sources that DU is present in the area the health effects are being noted.That there are health problems is evident from the reports, but it has to be DU related to include it here.Thanks. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 03:48, 5 March 2010 (UTC) I don't have much time to invest in this. It seems that scientific epidemiological investigation and reporting is needed. My impression from minimal study is that it is being blocked. It would be simple enough to run a lot of tests of the soil, dust, air, and water sources in many locations in the area to determine the various contaminants. If some reliable sources could be found concerning weaponry and ammunition used, that could be cited. Soldier testimonies, etc.. Falluja was the scene of very intense fighting multiple times. I have no doubt everything was thrown at it. I think some of the mainstream media is only now getting pressured enough to investigate. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC) "Everything being thrown at it" is not useful - There were no Iraqi insurgent tanks to shoot long-rod 120mm tank gun DU rounds at (though, rarely, those are used against bunkers and so forth, and tanks were part of the fighting at times). And I don't think US Air Force A-10 aircraft were used for close air support, with their DU containing 30mm cannon rounds.This is not a claim that it wasn't used there at all. But the type of fighting was not the type of fighting you would expect DU contamination from, and the weapons largely in use were not the types you'd expect DU contamination from.The Iraqis there think they have DU health effects, but what's come out / been presented is health effects, not health effects + confirmed uranium in the environment. They believe what they're seeing, and medical statistics seem suspicious that there's a cluster of something, but them believing it to be DU and it actually being DU versus some other unrelated toxin is a very different story.Anyone in the press, or any doctor or resident there, could send environmental samples off to independent labs for analysis and confirmation or refutation of high uranium levels. Nobody has reported having done so in reports I have seen. A belief that DU is present is not actual verifyable fact that it is.If it is present, test results will show that, and it would then be entirely on topic here... Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 05:13, 5 March 2010 (UTC) I agree with your approach, but I disagree with your suspicions about whether DU rounds were used, and how much. I have read and seen enough about DU to know that it is used much more than most people realize, and in many more weapon systems than people realize. Also, most people don't understand just how big a radius of DU dust is created when a DU round disintegrates against a target. I could go on, but I am just saying that it needs further investigation. This is not true: "Anyone in the press, or any doctor or resident there, could send environmental samples off to independent labs for analysis and confirmation or refutation of high uranium levels." Nothing is that simple in Iraq. I have spent years reading and sourcing hundreds of articles while helping editing Iraq War casualties, etc.. The amount of coverup, censorship, death squads, power plays, etc. is unbelievable unless one delves very deep into it. It will take years to fully expose everything. See also the Project Censored number 1 story for 2009: Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation. I agree with their conclusions. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:31, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) Here are a couple more articles about Fallujah:

Having seen what appeared to be a depleted uranium (DU) missile fired at a building in Fallujah on CNN during the first week of the fighting, AFP asked the Pentagon if DU weapons are being used in Fallujah. "Yes," Lt. Col. Joe Yoswa said, "DU is a standard round on the M-1 Abrams tank." Source.

That quote again: Christian Bollyn of the American Free Press , Washington D.C asked Lt.Col. Joe Yoswa if the US was using Depleted Uranium in Fallujah and received the reply that "DU is the standard round on the M-1 Abraham Tanks" which have been used in Fallujah. source

ICBUW is investigating the possible use of uranium weapons during the attacks on Fallujah. Currently it seems that Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles were deployed during both battles. Both vehicles carry armour piercing rounds containing uranium and high explosive rounds which do not. However the fact that they were not facing armoured targets does not mean that only high explosive rounds were used. In fact, there are indications that armour piercing ammunition may be more effective against individuals fighting behind cover in urban areas. While is not known how widespread the use of uranium weapons was during the fighting, it seems likely that it was used to some extent. Source

  • US Troops Covering Up Chem Weapons In Fallujah? By Dahr Jamail. Jan 19, 2005. This article talks about how the military used bulldozers to clear and remove the rubble and soil from certain areas of heavy fighting, but not others. The article does not say where the rubble and soil was put. The BBC article linked higher up has this: "The rubble from the damaged buildings was bulldozed into the river - and people in Falluja have got their drinking water from there ever since."

In addition, many of his friends have told him that the military brought in water tanker trucks to power blast the streets, although he hadn't seen this himself. ... Again, this is reflective of stories I've been told by several refugees from Fallujah.

Just last December, a 35 year-old merchant from Fallujah, Abu Hammad, told me what he'd experienced when he was still in the city during the siege.

"The American warplanes came continuously through the night and bombed everywhere in Fallujah! It did not stop even for a moment!

Ghazi reported that in Fallujah, which bore the brunt of two massive U.S. military operations in 2004, as many as 25 percent of newborn infants have serious physical abnormalities. Cancer rates in Babil, an area south of Baghdad, have risen from 500 cases in 2004 to more than 9,000 in 2009. Dr. Jawad al-Ali, the director of the Oncology Center in Basra, told said that there were 1,885 cases of cancer in all of 2005; between 1,250 and 1,500 patients visit his center every month now.

--Timeshifter (talk) 13:24, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

FWiW, Dahr Jamail is a known Islamic sympathizer who is currently working for a far-left nonprofit advocacy group, so any statements made by him or attributed to him should be taken with a BIG grain of salt. 67.170.215.166 (talk) 00:33, 20 May 2010 (UTC) People can decide for themselves about Dr. Jawad al-Ali, the director of the Oncology Center in Basra, and the reporter Dahr Jamail who reports for various media organizations such as Aljazeera Magazine. People can also make up their own minds about Truthout. Wikipedia just reports the info and the sources. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:51, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Google News searches:

One of few people she can turn to is Dr Bassem Allah, the senior obstetrician who is chief custodian of Falluja's newborns. During medical school he had to search Iraq for case studies of an infant with a birth defect. "It was almost impossible during the 80s," he says. "Now, every day in my clinic or elsewhere in the hospital, there are large numbers of congenital abnormalities or cases of chronic tumours." ...

"There is not yet any science to tell us why. No one has come here to take soil samples, or make examinations. I think the Iraqi government does not want it proven that the Americans used forbidden weapons here. If there is scientific proof that the war was responsible for so many deformities, there will likely be problems for officials here." ...

The US claimed to have killed 2,000 people, mainly insurgents, but produced no figures for civilians. Western media were kept out but accounts emerged of indiscriminate killing. Iraqi medical officials and NGOs put the civilian toll at up to 6,000. Falluja's compensation commissioner said 36,000 out of 50,000 homes were destroyed, with 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines. At least 200,000 civilians became refugees.

That's a lot of house, school, mosque, and shrine rubble. And according to the articles much of it was put into the river where the drinking water comes from. Along with much of the ammo and specialized munitions that was pulverized into dust, and ended up mixed in with the rubble. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:05, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Here is an article from March 4, 2010: "Fallujah birth defects blamed on US weapons". By Daniel Tencer. Raw Story.

The Pentagon admitted in 2005 that it had used white phosphorous munitions during the battle, as well as depleted uranium shells, which contain radioactive material.

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson said the Fallujah hospital's maternity ward is "absolutely packed" with babies suffering from congenital heart defects. He says he was shown a picture of a three-headed baby, and saw children suffering from paralysis and brain damage.

Researcher Malik Hamdan told the BBC he had seen footage of "babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead."

There are more recent news articles too:

An example that he provides in the book: Imagine you are walking through Fallujah, which was bombarded with depleted uranium armaments, on a windy day. (Or, for that matter, imagine you are driving down Buffalo Avenue this summer with the car windows open, as concrete saws, jackhammers, and backhoes send plumes of dust into the air.) You breathe in a particle of uranium, which lodges in your lung. As each atom decays, the uranium emits alpha particles that pack millions of electron volts—that’s what makes a Geiger counter click—more than enough to damage or break a strand of DNA or RNA. These alpha particles can only travel about six cell diameters, so a tremendous amount of potentially destructive energy is concentrated in a very small area of the lung.

But the radiation protection agencies consider the energy emitted by that particle as a dose to the entire lung—when and if internal does are considered at all. That is to say, they average out that tremendous burst of energy over a much larger mass of tissue, thus diluting its apparent impact—at least on paper. “They’re creating a mathematical fiction by saying that that’s a lung dose,” Zimmerman says. “But it’s not a lung dose; it’s a dose to individual cells. Cancer is known to start from the aberration in an individual cell. It has nothing to do with a lung dose. You have to look at the individual cell and the cellular response.”

--Timeshifter (talk) 17:14, 29 May 2010 (UTC)



======= end of forwarded discussion =======


Cheers,
eco

Global Marijuana March.
http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Global_Marijuana_March
http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Global_Marijuana_March_2010
http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Global_Marijuana_March_2010_map
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/cannabisaction

Marijuana polls after 10 years of Global Marijuana Marches.
http://inmystride.blogspot.com/2009/06/polls-after-10-years-of-global.html

-------------


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Hundreds of cities worldwide have signed up for MMM!
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Eco Mann | 30 May 15:46 2010
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MMM. The Cult of Nuclearists. ArtVoice and Palestine Telegraph.


Don't trust nuclear power and depleted uranium. Grow Hemp for biomass hempahol.


From the article:
"two stretches of road in Niagara Falls whose beds are known to contain dangerous radioactive materials—materials whose only reasonable provenance can be the Manhattan Project—will be torn up and repaved."


=== Article ===


The Cult of Nuclearists. By Geoff Kelly & Louis Ricciuti. May 13, 2010. The Palestine Telegraph. Originally, May 12, 2010, in ArtVoice of Buffalo, New York. See:
http://artvoice.com/issues/v9n19/cult_of_nuclearists


(photo courtesy Louis Ricciuti)

A new book says nuclear safety experts have deliberately underplayed the dangers of radioactivity. So what does that mean for Niagara Falls?

This summer, two stretches of road in Niagara Falls whose beds are known to contain dangerous radioactive materials—materials whose only reasonable provenance can be the Manhattan Project—will be torn up and repaved. Radiation surveys produced within the last two years for the city by national defense contractor Science Applications International Corporation reiterate the findings of radiation surveys produced for the federal government in the 1970s and 1980s: Portions of Lewiston Road and Buffalo Avenue are emitting unnatural levels of gamma radiation. Some hotspots reach up to 100,000 and 1,000,000 counts per minute, respectively, 50 and 100 times what SAIC deceptively calls “background” levels of radiation (set at 2,000 and 10,000 counts per minute for the SAIC studies) and thousands of times what might be called “natural” levels of radiation for this thoroughly contaminated region (between five and 50 counts per minute).

The prospect of those materials being thrown up into the air as dust and carried off site as runoff deeply concerns author Paul Zimmerman. He thinks the prospect ought to concern residents of Niagara Falls and surrounding communities, too.

Zimmerman’s new book is called A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science. In it, Zimmerman describes how the agencies that set safety standards for exposure to radiological materials have consistently ignored new science that shows even small doses of so-called “low-level” radiation can have devastating health consequences, clinging instead to outdated and often fraudulent guidelines that enable and excuse the nuclear industry.

Zimmerman became interested in the subject of radiation and its health consequences in the 1980s, when he began lecturing about the history of radiation accidents during seminars for healthcare professionals and first responders on managing radiation emergencies. In studying that history—from fallout at the Nevada bomb test site in the 1950s to the Chernobyl disaster, to studies that showed elevated rates of childhood leukemia and other illnesses surrounding nuclear facilities throughout Europe and North America—Zimmerman came across numerous communities that were exposed to materials that the radiation protection community declared harmless, and yet manifested catastrophic health issues down the road. He fears that Niagara Falls is poised to write a new chapter in that history.

“When you’re tearing up a road in Niagara Falls, you’re creating an inhalation hazard to the surrounding community,” Zimmerman says.

He is not placated by assurances that extraordinary safety measures will be taken by the contractor that won the bid to do the actual roadwork. (The bid went to Man O’ Trees, a West Seneca company with no previous experience handling radiological waste, and which only recently received training and licensing to do so for this project.) After all, he says, the US military wrote protocols for the handling of depleted uranium munitions that were completely ignored during both gulf wars. “Who’s going to supervise the work so that they follow procedures?” Zimmerman says. “Are we really going to do this again? Twenty years from now are we going to discover there was a higher rate of cancer and birth defects, the birth defects occurring the year after the road projects were finished and the cancer appearing 20 years later? How can we watch this happening again, when there is such a historical record of illness being created by doses that are being called safe?”

Fraudulent science

A Primer in the Art of Deception—an elaborately researched book that draws on decades of studies and work in scientific journals—is something of a follow-up to a book Zimmerman produced in the 1980s about the history of radiation accidents. He regarded that book as a failure. “I was never really happy with the result,” he says. “It wasn’t really complete. I was tearing my hair out, I was ripping up pages, because I knew I had entered into some sort of dysfunction. The pieces weren’t fitting together: Radioactivity was being released in all sorts of different scenarios, in areas where populations were being exposed. People would go out and do studies and find there were increased rates of illness in those populations, and then government would come along and say, ‘No, there’s something wrong with that study. Let’s reevaluate this.’ In every single instance, no matter what evidence was provided that people were getting sick, it was washed away.”

In the late 1990s, Zimmerman found what he’d been missing—“the joker in the pack,” he calls it—in the work of British scientist and activist Chris Busby, whose studies of ionizing radiation led him to investigate the health effects of depleted uranium deployed in Kosovo and Iraq. Busby taught him that the agencies that set the safety standards for exposure to radiological materials were engaged in fraudulent science.

An example that he provides in the book: Imagine you are walking through Fallujah, which was bombarded with depleted uranium armaments, on a windy day. (Or, for that matter, imagine you are driving down Buffalo Avenue this summer with the car windows open, as concrete saws, jackhammers, and backhoes send plumes of dust into the air.) You breathe in a particle of uranium, which lodges in your lung. As each atom decays, the uranium emits alpha particles that pack millions of electron volts—that’s what makes a Geiger counter click—more than enough to damage or break a strand of DNA or RNA. These alpha particles can only travel about six cell diameters, so a tremendous amount of potentially destructive energy is concentrated in a very small area of the lung.

But the radiation protection agencies consider the energy emitted by that particle as a dose to the entire lung—when and if internal does are considered at all. That is to say, they average out that tremendous burst of energy over a much larger mass of tissue, thus diluting its apparent impact—at least on paper. “They’re creating a mathematical fiction by saying that that’s a lung dose,” Zimmerman says. “But it’s not a lung dose; it’s a dose to individual cells. Cancer is known to start from the aberration in an individual cell. It has nothing to do with a lung dose. You have to look at the individual cell and the cellular response.”

In a similar vein, the radiation protection agencies deploy adjectives like “background” and “normal” deceptively. To say that 2,000 or 10,000 counts per minute is a “normal” level of radiation on the roadways of Niagara Falls is absurd. It’s like measuring the temperature in a burning house in Wales Center and declaring 800 degrees Fahrenheit the ambient temperature for Erie County. To determine whether radioactive materials in the air, water, or ground presents a human health threat, Zimmerman says, a scientist should consider what constitutes natural exposure.

Another example of fraud: The Veterans Administration argues that the primary hazard presented by uranium, also a heavy metal, is its chemical toxicity. They consider its radioactivity separately, and deem it to be too low-level to pose a cancer threat. Therefore, if a veteran does not manifest kidney damage as a result of uranium’s chemical toxicity, then the VA argues that the veteran has not been injured by exposure to uranium. In fact, current science shows that the radiation produced by internalized uranium works synergistically with its chemical toxicity, to devastating effect. That the VA and other health agencies should consider the chemical and radiological effects of uranium on the human body separately is a fraud.

“A tremendous amount of research into the effects of uranium has been instigated since the first gulf war,” Zimmerman says. “People are starting to study uranium exposure in a way that it never was studied before—which is funny, because uranium is the parent of all these other radioactive materials that have seeped into the environment. Evidence is emerging in the journals that uranium is cytotoxic, it’s toxic to cells; it’s genotoxic, it adversely affects DNA; it is mutagenic, it causes mutations in DNA; and it also has been shown to produce birth defects. Plus it’s a neurological hazard.”

The cult of nuclearists

In writing his book, Zimmerman found himself referring often to they and them as he described the government-funded agencies and scientists who justify the continuing discharge of radioactive materials into the environment. He coined the term “Cult of Nuclearists” to take the place of the vague pronouns. In fact, Zimmerman argues that it’s not important to identify and attack a specific culprit.

“What I’m presenting in the book is not some crazy conspiracy theory, because the proof in what I’m saying is in the science itself,” Zimmerman says. “The fraudulent science will testify that there’s mischief somewhere, so you don’t have to find out who’s the guy doing this. The current knowledge base is not being used to evaluate the hazards of nuclear pollution. Why is the science being held back?”

Zimmerman believes that most of those in the radiation protection community exercise integrity. The bad science on which they base their work is taught to them in textbooks and reiterated by powerful institutions. The “mischief,” he says, occurs at the top of the information chain, and it justifies and excuses terrible crimes against the environment and it habitants, as delineated in this passage from the book:

In the 16 countries where uranium is mined, millions of tons of radioactive mill tailings remain uncovered, allowing radionuclides to be swept into the air or washed into waterways. British Nuclear Fuel’s Sellafield reprocessing facility dumps radioactive waste directly into the Irish Sea. Cogema’s reprocessing facility at La Hague in France dumps one million liters of liquid radioactive waste, the equivalent of 50 waste barrels, into the ocean every day…Russia has scuttled decommissioned naval vessels, sending loaded nuclear reactors to the ocean floor. Between 1949 and 1956, the nuclear weapons complex at Chelyabinsk in the former Soviet Union dumped 96 million cubic meters of radioactive liquid into the Techa River…The facility also pumped 120 million curies of radioactivity into Lake Karachay. Standing on the shoreline, a person would receive a lethal dose of 600 roentgens in one hour…Water levels at the lake have been steadily dropping for years and parts have dried out completely. Winds have lofted radioactivity into the air, spreading contamination around the planet. At the Hanford Reservation in Washington state, one third of the 177 tanks holding 54 million gallons of high-level waste are leaking. Nearby underground aquifers contain an estimated 270 billion gallons of contaminated water…Also at Hanford, 40 billions gallons of contaminated water was dumped directly into the soil and storage ponds are leaking. As a result, radioactive waste is migrating into the Columbia River. At the former West Valley reprocessing facility 50 miles south of Buffalo, New York, radioactive and chemical wastes continually leach into Cattaraugus Creek. For 18 miles, the creek flows along the Cattaraugus Reservation of the Seneca Nations of Indians before emptying into Lake Erie…Cesium-137 and strontium-90 contaminate soil and groundwater in and around the 3,345 acre site. The Department of Energy is attempting to change its regulations to declassify high-level radioactive waste into “waste incidental to reprocessing.” Under this new classification, environmental contamination would be allowed to remain in the ground…DOE favors covering up contaminated areas with concrete and walking away…This despite the fact that a 1996 study by DOE calculated that within 500 years radionuclides from West Valley would begin migrating into the Great Lakes Watershed….

And then there’s Niagara Falls, which was during the Manhattan Project and the years immediately following World War Two the free world’s leading source of uranium and other radioactive metals for weapons and reactors. Niagara was also, therefore, the leading source of the massive quantities of waste material created in order to produce those metals. Much of that waste is consolidated at the Niagara Falls Storage Site in Lewiston, where it sits in a containment facility that has outlived its projected lifespan. Some of it was used in roadbeds and other construction fill. Some of it was dumped directly into waterways or injected into shallow wells. Some was buried cavalierly in factory yards and farm fields. For decades, the agencies charged with protecting communities exposed to radioactive materials insisted that the legacy waste produced in and around Niagara Falls did not pose a significant health risk. Zimmerman’s book argues convincingly that they’ve got it wrong. He says that Niagara Falls residents ought to be asking a lot of questions about this summer’s road repaving projects: Who will oversee the work to make sure safety protocols are followed? Where and how will waste material dug up from those 100,000- and 1,000,000-counts-per-minute hotspots be transported and dumped? Who will monitor air and water quality during and after the project? And, once this project is complete, what will be done to study the health effects on a community that has been exposed for decades to radiological hazards via numerous pathways?

Zimmerman points to a city not too far away as an example of what Niagara County residents might demand. Inhabitants of Port Hope, Ontario, a sister city to Niagara Falls which has long hosted uranium refinement facilities, grew fed up with being told that their community’s health issues had nothing to do with uranium contamination. So the residents paid for tests, conducted by the Uranium Medical Research Centre based in Toronto, that proved their exposure was real and dangerous. And they used the results to shame the Canadian government into undertaking a cleanup. That cleanup comes late and may be inadequate, but it’s a step in the right direction.

“Port Hope is analogous to Niagara Falls,” Zimmerman says. “What worked there might work here.”



===== end of ArtVoice article =====


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Cheers,
eco

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Marijuana polls after 10 years of Global Marijuana Marches.
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