New London County Leads the State in Cancer Rates for Women
NEW LONDON COUNTY: HIGHEST CANCER RATE FOR FEMALES
By Michael Steinberg
New: London County (NLC), home to the Millstone Nuclear Power Station,
has the highest cancer rate for females in the state of Connecticut, according
to a recent study by the Connecticut Tumor Registry.
Millstone’s two nuclear reactors regularly release carcinogenic
radioactive chemicals into the air and Long Island Sound. The nuke station
also routinely releases dozens of other cancer causing toxic chemicals
into those waters. Millstone has been operating since 1970.
The March 2006 study, “Cancer Incidence in Connecticut Counties,
1990-2002,” calculated age adjusted cancer incidence rates for the
periods 1990-97 and 1998-2002. During both periods, for all cancers for
females, New London County had the highest rate among state counties.
And that rate increased from the first to the second period studied by
3.6%, a change 57% higher than the change in the state rate.
The Tumor Registry study did not delve into possible reasons for New London
County females having this dubious distinction, nor did it name possible
causes of cancers. The closest it came was stating that there are “multiple
contributing factors, including, presumably, some that are related to
Thus the agency ignored contributions of manmade pollution as causative
factors. That let Millstone off the hook in New London County, as well
as the Axis of Evil on the east bank of the Thames River in Groton: Pfizer,
General Dynamics Electric Boat Company, and the Navy Sub Base. Not to
be forgotten either is Dow Chemical further upstream in Gales Ferry. All
have had high pollution rates in the past and/or present.
The Tumor Registry is a division of the Connecticut Department of Health.
County High for Specific Female Cancers Too
A breakdown of these high rates for all female cancers reveals high rates
for specific cancers as well.
For cancers of the lung, trachea and bronchus, NLC females had the second
highest state rate for ’90-’97, and the highest rate in ’98-’02.
The rate increased by 18% in the second period over the first. The Tumor
Registry study defined a change in the second period rate over the first
of 10% or more as “high.”
NLC females had the highest state rates for cancers of the colon, rectum
and anus for both periods. The rate in the second period was 11% higher
than in the first.
For bladder cancers, county females went from having the sixth highest
state rate in the first period to second highest in ’98-’02.
The county’s rate was 22% higher in the latter period, compared
to the earlier one.
Females in NLC had the third highest rate of uterine cancer in the state
in ’90-’97, and the highest in the latter period. The change
in the county’s rate over the two periods was also 22%, compared
to only a 2% rise statewide.
For cervical cancer, the county female rare was number one in the state
for both periods, even though NLC’s declined 18% in the second period.
County females had the highest rate of ovarian cancer during ’90-’97
and fourth highest for ’98-’02. The report noted that many
ovarian tumors previously considered cancerous had been redefined as “of
uncertain malignancy,” and therefore removed from the registry’s
tally in this report.
For myeloma, NLC females had the second highest rate in the state during
both periods studied.
And for breast cancer, females in the county had the second highest rate
in the state during the earlier period, and the fourth highest in the
latter one. The county rate actually increased in the second period, however.
Divide and Obscure
New London County males did not escape high rates of specific kinds of
cancers either. They were number three in the state during ’90-’97,
and number one in ’98-’02, for cancers of the lung, bronchus
and trachea. Their rate for bladder cancer went from eighth (last) in
the state in the earlier period, to second in the latter one. For cancers
of the oral cavity and pharynx, the NLC male rate was highest in the state
in both periods, though it went down 18% in the latter one. And the male
NLC rate for thyroid cancer went from number three in the state in ’90-’97
to number one in ’98-’02, with a 57% increase in the county
rate change from the first to the second period.
Interestingly, the NLC thyroid rate for females rose 36% in the second
period, compared to that of the first one. Thyroid cancer rates in the
state overall rose 39% for males, and 64% for females, from ‘90’-97
For both genders, NLC leukemia rates rose sharply from the first to the
second period, by 26% for males and 15% for females.
In addition, the way the current study divides the periods it studied
sometimes obscures previous findings of high cancer rates in New London
County. Two previous studies, from 2002 and 2004, respectively, studied
cancer rates in Connecticut counties from 1995 to 1998, and then 1995
to 1999. In those studies, all cancers for males in NLC had first the
highest, and then the second highest rates in the state. But the present
study divides the years in the earlier studies, adding ’95-97 to
the earlier period and ’98-99 to the latter one. This makes it impossible
for the reader of the current report to see if trends in the earlier reports
continued or not, say, from ’95 to ’02.
Besides that, the current study does not include a significant number
of specific cancers whose rates were calculated in the earlier studies.
This includes some diseases which showed high rates in NLC, such as cancer
of the esophagus, liver, testis, other female genital, and melanoma.
More Inconvenient Truths
Though not alone, neither the Tumor Registry nor any other governmental
agency responsible for the public’s health and safety has yet come
to terms with another report, this one released last year by the National
Academy of Sciences.
The academy’s committee studying the effects of low level radiation
on human health concluded that there is no such thing as a risk free dose
of it. It implicated low level radiation in causing cancer, as well as
The committee’s chairman, Richard Monson of the Harvard School of
Public Health, stated, upon the study’s release, “the scientific
research shows that there is no threshold below which low levels of ionizing
radiation [the kind released by nuclear weapons and reactors] can be demonstrated
to be harmless or beneficial. The health risks, particularly the development
of solid cancers in organs, rise proportionally with exposure. At low
doses of radiation, the risk of inducing solid cancers is very small.
As the overall lifetime exposure increases, so does the risk.”
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell certainly hasn’t gotten this message.
Earlier this year she deep-sixed a measly $25,000 grant already promised
by the state to the independent Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP).
The funding had been promised to study children’s teeth in the state
for the presence of strontium 90, a dangerous long lived radioactive carcinogen
released from nuclear weapons and power reactors like Millstone. In previous
studies funded by other states, the RPHP found that teeth from children
living near nuclear reactors had higher amounts of strontium 90 than those
from kids living further away. Another of its studies showed that children
living near nuclear reactors have a greater chance of developing cancer
while still kids.
Is there any doubt that Rell and her nuclear power supporters are afraid
of the inconvenient truths that might emerge from similar studies in Connecticut?
Michael Steinberg is the author of Millstone and Me: Sex, Lies and Radiation
in Southeastern Connecticut.
Foes Storm The Beach
By Jenna Cho Published on 7/3/2006 New London Day
East Lyme — In an attempt to make a point, Nancy Burton, director
of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, squeezed a few drops of
milk from a reluctant goat named Katie into a drinking glass Sunday afternoon.
Burton then asked anyone is they wanted to drink the milk. It was in jest,
considering the coalition had brought its pet goat Katie to the rally,
to emphasize that tests on milk of the region's goats have shown high
levels of the radioactive isotope strontium 90, which can cause cancer
in large amounts. The coalition, which tests Katie's milk for toxic radiation,
charges that the high levels of strontium 90 is coming from Millstone
Power Station in Waterford.
Nobody was supposed to actually drink the milk at Sunday's rally. But
then, Stephen Packard of Guilford stepped forward and said he would do
it. It was not part of the plan. Burton stalled, then declined to let
Packard drink the milk.
“I think we'll save this for scientific testing,” she said.
Packard said afterward that he had come to the rally because he felt a
lot of what the coalition was advertising was based on “junk science.”
“I feel nuclear energy could be an important part of a national
energy plan,” said Packard, a computer repairman who said he was
unaffiliated with Millstone or any state agency. “It should be evaluated
The milking came as the coalition Connecticut chapter of the Sierra Club
held a rally opposing Millstone Power Station and its alleged radioactive
contamination of the region at Liberty Park in Niantic. The rally drew
about 20 people.
The coalition is urging the power station to convert its cooling system,
which the coalition says regularly dumps radioactive waste into Long Island
Sound, into a closed cooling system.
A closed cooling system would recycle the water instead of drawing it
from and discharging it into the Sound. The coalition also wants the power
Liberty Park, at the corner of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, was
covered in signs that read “Capture the wind! Close Millstone!”
and “Swim here at your own risk!” Identical stuffed-animal
ducks had signs that read, “I am a sitting duck for Millstone terrorism.”
The coalition also displayed signs that it wants the town of East Lyme
to post in beaches, warning swimmers of possible exposure to radioactive
“Swim at your own risk: Your government is not protecting you,”
Burton spoke about the dangers of radioactive waste coming from Millstone.
She said the power station regularly dumps chemicals and radioactive waste
into Long Island Sound and that residents exposed to the waste are developing
cancer and other illnesses.
Cynthia Besade, whose late father Joseph H. Besade helped start the coalition
with Burton 11 years ago, spoke passionately about family and friends
who have contracted grave diseases that she said were associated with
“I've watched this community be poisoned,” she said.
Besade said her father passed away three years ago of lung cancer. He
worked as a pipefitter at Millstone for 20 years and lived two miles away
from the power station, she said.
Pete Hyde, the spokesman for Dominion, the owner of Millstone, said the
coalition's claims about radioactive pollution were “not entirely
“What we discharge, small amounts, (are) well within federal limits,”
Hyde said. “The federal government sets limits on what we can discharge
into the Sound. We do discharge minute amounts of chemicals and some radioactive
materials, but a minute amount.”
He also disputed the coalition's belief that Millstone was causing illnesses
in the area's residents. Hyde said that the strontium 90 found in goats'
milk is a result of atomic weapons testing from the 1970s and 80s.
“There are a lot of studies that have proven that nuclear plants
do not have an impact on the local population,” he said.
John Calandrelli, state director of the Connecticut Sierra Club, said
the club wants to eliminate nuclear power and replace it with clean energy.
“It's doable,” Calandrelli said before his rally speech. “Not
only technically, but financially. It's just the political will.”
The rally lasted two and a half hours and ended with a march down to Niantic's
Hole-in-the-Wall beach, led by Clinton resident DJ Middleton on the snare
drum. Middleton, who is in a metal band, said Burton asked him to play
at the rally after seeing him drumming on a counter at a Dunkin' Donuts
Scott Curtiss of Southington was bicycling by the rally on Sunday and
stopped to listen. He said he fished in Niantic, and while he felt Millstone
does contribute to “killing off a lot of fish,” he wanted
to know how much of what the coalition was saying was true.
“There's two sides to every story,” Curtiss said.
Clinton resident Tom Callinan, who was the state's first “official
state troubadour,” sang anti-Millstone songs on his banjo, guitar
and bodhran (a drum) in the park's gazebo. He said he has been writing
environmental songs since the '70s and wrote his latest song at 1:30 a.m.
“We gotta mothball Millstone/It's the only choice to make/'Cause
our lives are all at stake/I remember 9/11 and what solidarity can do/I
don't want a Millstone meltdown/Do you?” sang Callinan.
Beachgoers enjoying the warm weather watched the rally proceed down to
the edge of the water, where rally participants posed for a group photo
with Millstone in the background. The rally, silent save for the constant
beat of the snare drum, then continued to the far end of the beach and
back. It exited with little fanfare save for a few grumbles from beachgoers.
“It's just rude,” said a man eating a bag of Cheetos.
Waterford Library: Why Are You Keeping Our Rally a Secret?
The public libraries of East Lyme, New London and Mystic-Noank had no
problem posting our flyer announcing the "Clean Beaches-Close Millstone"
Rally June 25, 2006 at 12 noon in Niantic. Congratulations to all public
libraries and public librarians dedicated to educating the public and
informing public debate on critical issues of the day such as the public
health and safety at public beaches contaminated with radiological and
Shame on you, Roslyn Rubinstein, director of the Waterford Public Library!
You withheld information from your community about our rally. You said
the topic was "political" and you wouldn't let us put our rally
flyer on the community bulletin board. Yet you allow postings by the American
Cancer Society and Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut which try to help
doomed victims of Millstone radiation.
Why don't you want the public to be educated about how to AVOID cancer,
birth defects and infant mortality?
Show concern for your community. Stop censoring the truth!
TO ASK EAST LYME SELECTMEN TO POST SIGNS AT PUBLIC BEACHES
WARNING OF MILLSTONE CONTAMINANTS
For Immediate Release June 20, 2006
Contact: Nancy Burton email@example.com
EAST LYME - The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone will ask the East
Lyme Board of Selectmen to post signs this summer at town beaches warning
of the presence of Millstone Nuclear Power Station contaminants.
The Selectmen will consider the Coalition’s request at its June
22, 2006 meeting at the East Lyme Town Hall at 7 P.M.
The Coalition compiled a list of 30 radioisotopes and 139 chemicals -
many of them carcinogens - released by Millstone, according to Department
of Environmental Protection Records.
These include the deadly iodine-131, cobalt-60, strontium-90, cesium-137,
hydrazine and hexavalent chromium, the chemical which gained notoriety
as a cancer-causing agent in the film “Erin Brockovich.”
“Going to the beach on a summer’s day should not be a descent
into Dante’s circle of hell,” said Nancy Burton, Coalition
“Dipping your toes in the salt water should not cause lasting health
impairment for babies and young children,” Burton said.
“The town warns of high bacteria levels but not deadly carcinogens,”
“It is time for the Town of East Lyme to partner with the people
and not play Millstone cover-up any longer,” Burton said.
Burton noted that many of the chemicals Millstone routinely releases into
the Long Island Sound are identified as carcinogens which must be posted
for the public to see at polluted sites by California industries under
Proposition 65 which was adopted in the 1980s.
“We call on the East Lyme Selectmen to protect the public and especially
its youngest beachgoers with a simple sign warning of the Millstone contaminants,”
The Coalition is campaigning for “Clean Beaches-Close Millstone.”
The campaign seeks to influence the DEP to order Millstone to convert
from a once-through to a closed cooling system. Such a conversion would
virtually eliminate toxic chemical and radiological discharges to the
Sound, spare marine organisms from entrainment and eliminate the thermal
The Coalition is also asking the General Assembly to enact a law similar
to California’s Proposition 65 which requires public posting of
sites with known carcinogens and substantial monetary penalties for violations.
The Coalition is sponsoring a rally on Sunday, June 25, at 12 noon at
Liberty Park (Main Street and Route 161) in Niantic, followed by a march
to the Hole-in-the-Wall Beach. Co-sponsors are the Connecticut Chapter
of the Sierra Club and People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE).
Which Candidates for Public Office Deserve Your Vote?
The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone is conducting a survey of
all candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and the State
Legislature (representing southeastern Connecticut only at this time).
All will be asked these five questions:
1. Goats living near Millstone have had concentrations of strontium-90
in their milk at levels which exceed federal radiation limits. The evidence
points to Millstone as the culprit. You will campaign to:
A. Close Millstone;
B. Conduct a meaningful investigation leading to positive change;
C. Ignore the issue.
2. Dominion, Millstone’s corporate parent, routinely disables its
perimeter security system to save money, leaving the nuclear facility
exposed to intrusion by terrorists. You will campaign to:
A. Close Millstone;
B. Conduct a meaningful investigation leading to positive change;
C. Ignore the issue.
3. Three years ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security set aside
$1 million of taxpayer money so that Dominion would install waterborne
barriers to deter terrorists from slamming explosives-laden motorized
craft into Millstone’s critical intake structures, potentially disabling
the intake pumps and causing a catastrophic nuclear meltdown. You will
A. Close Millstone;
B. Conduct a meaningful investigation leading to positive change;
C. Ignore the issue.
4. The communities surrounding Millstone suffer the highest cancer incidences
in the state with high levels of childhood leukemia, rare cancers and
early childhood mortality. You will campaign to:
A. Close Millstone;
B. Conduct a meaningful investigation leading to positive change;
C. Ignore the issue.
5. Millstone’s Clean Water Act permit was issued in 1992 for a five-year
term. The permit expired five years ago, yet Millstone is still continuously
dumping toxic chemicals and radiological waste into the Long Island Sound
and contaminating our public beaches. You will campaign to:
A. Close Millstone;
B. Conduct a meaningful investigation leading to positive change;
C. Ignore the issue.
We will post the survey results and endorse candidates who will commit
themselves to closing Millstone and protecting our health, safety and
COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
DEP REPORT ON MILLSTONE DEBUNKED:
RADIATION IN GOAT MILK CAME FROM MILLSTONE,
FEDERAL RADIATION LIMITS VIOLATED,
SAYS RADIATION EXPERT
For Release June 15, 2006 at 12 noon
Contact: Nancy Burtonfirstname.lastname@example.org
HARTFORD - High strontium-90 concentrations in goat milk sampled near
the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford in 2001 were the result
of Millstone emissions, a radiation expert concluded today.
Further, the releases of strontium-90, a nuclear fission byproduct that
causes bone cancer, leukemia and other diseases, exceeded federal dose
limits by as much as 13 times, said Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass.
“The significance of this data is that it helps to explain the dramatic
rise in radiation-linked cancers in the towns surrounding Millstone,”
Sternglass said, pointing out that New London County leads the state in
incidences of many forms of cancer and leukemia.
“Dr. Sternglass’s report confirms that the Coalition was correct
to label a goat farm in Waterford ‘Katie’s Poisoned Pasture’
and point our finger at Millstone as the culprit,” said Nancy Burton,
director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone.
The data referred to by Sternglass appears in a report prepared by the
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in March 2006, Sternglass
said at a press conference at the State Capitol convened by the Coalition.
While the DEP report reaches a conclusion that high levels of strontium-90
found in goat milk sampled near Millstone did not originate from Millstone
and instead are residues from nuclear weapons testing decades ago, the
data DEP relied upon proves otherwise, Sternglass said.
“The DEP report produces devastating evidence that old fallout cannot
possibly explain the data presented in the report,” Sternglass.
“Their own data is the best evidence that there had to be local
Sternglass pointed to a graph plotted by DEP which shows sampling results
from goat milk at four locations, the closest 2 miles and the farthest
29 miles from Millstone.
Of the four locations, three showed relatively stable results, whereas
a goat farm located in Waterford 5.2 miles north-northeast of Millstone
showed rising levels of strontium-90 from 10 to 55 picocuries per liter.
“By itself, such a pattern of a large recent rise cannot be reconciled
with old fallout that would have to show low and slightly declining concentrations
of strontium-90,” Sternglass stated in a formal report.
Moreover, said Sternglass,
“The conclusion that the large rise of strontium-90 [at that location]
could not be explained by other than Millstone releases is independently
supported by the simultaneous rise of external gamma rays greatest near
the nuclear power plant as measured by radiation monitors.”
Sternglass calculated that a child drinking about a quart of the contaminated
goat milk for a month would receive twice the federal dose limit. If the
child drank the milk daily for a year, the dose would exceed the limit
by 13 times, Sternglass said.
Last December, Governor M. Jodi Rell directed the DEP to perform a comprehensive
analysis of goat milk sampling near Millstone after concerns were raised
by the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone about high strontium-90
levels in goat milk at a farm in Waterford.
The Coalition raised the issue in its challenge to Millstone relicensing
“Unfortunately, it appears that DEP engaged in deception and cover-up
rather than legitimate science-based analysis,” said Burton.
Burton said the Coalition repeatedly attempted to meet with Governor Rell
to share Dr. Sternglass’s view that the DEP report was deeply flawed
and scientifically unsound and might reflect upon improper conduct at
DEP, but the Governor’s office never responded.
Although Burton requested that DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy provide
assurances to the Coalition that Millstone’s corporate parent, Dominion
Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., did not play a role in creating the report,
McCarthy never responded directly to the inquiry.
In a Freedom of Information search, the Coalition discovered DEP emails
suggesting that DEP rushed to release its study on March 28, 2006 in order
to give news media an opportunity to publish the findings favorable to
Millstone on March 29, 2006, the date the Coalition had scheduled a rally
at Millstone on the subject of Dominion routinely disabling Millstone’s
perimeter security system.
The DEP emails express satisfaction that articles giving the impression
that Millstone was not responsible for the high-strontium-90 levels in
goat milk did appear in the news media on the date of the anti-Millstone
Katie the Goat, whose milk tested excessively high for strontium-90 in
2001, did not provide milk after the year 2004 and the farm where she
lived was sold.
However, the Coalition adopted her and found a home within 10 miles of
Millstone. On March 29, 2006, Katie the Goat have birth to twins - Cindy-Lu
and Joe-Joe - and, resuming lactation, is resuming radiation monitoring
for Millstone emissions.
Katie and her Kids also attended the State Capitol press conference.
- 30 -
Note to Editors: DEP Emails available upon request.
J. Sternglass, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus of Radiological Physics, University
of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Response to the Reassessment of Millstone [Nuclear] Power Station’s
Environmental Monitoring Data/Connecticut Department of Environmental
Protection, Division of Radiation, March 2006
June 15, 2006
The evidence presented in the Reassessment of Millstone [Nuclear] Power
Station’s Environmental Monitoring Data [Ref. 1] by Connecticut
Department of Environmental Protection strongly points to the conclusion
that the Millstone Nuclear Power Station is most likely responsible for
recent record high of strontium-90 concentrations in local goat milk in
and a similar peak in external gamma radiation from deposited radioactive
material on the ground distributed by airborne releases.
The evidence is contained in two graphs presented in the report, one
on the yearly levels of strontium-90 in the milk for four different
farms in the area [Ref. 1, page 22] , and the other in the yearly levels
fourteen thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) around Millstone which
measure external gamma radiation exposure [Ref. 1, page 16]. Contrary
to the conclusions of the report, these levels resulted in radiation
doses to the public that violate the permissible levels set by
the Federal Government.
The report claims that the levels of strontium-90 in goat milk as
high as 55 picoCuries per liter (pC/l) measured in September 2001 at the
Moran farm located at 120 Dayton Road in Waterford do not reflect
emissions from the Millstone Nuclear Power Station but represent old
atmospheric bomb-test fallout that ended in 1980 and releases from
the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
However, this explanation is clearly inconsistent with the large rise
of strontium-90 in this farm 5.2 miles downwind to the north-north-
east of Millstone that took place from a low of close to 10 pCi/l in
1995 to 55 pCi/l in 2001 shown labeled #22 in the graph on page 22 of
the report, while the control farm milk #24 located upwind to the
north-north-west remained low and nearly flat well below 10 pCi/l
throughout this period. Old fallout would have resulted in the same
concentrations in both locations, and both would have led closely to
the same steady value.
Moreover, no such rise as for location #22 occurred for the other
farm labeled #21 in this graph for which data are shown since 1995
and which is located directly to the north. This direction is away
from the direction of the planned releases of radioactive gases from
the storage tanks where the most intense short-lived radioactivity is
allowed to decay to the permissible levels set by NRC regulations.
The operators arrange these releases to take place whenever the wind
is blowing toward Long Island Sound away from the peninsula on which the
plant is located. This explains why the levels of strontium-90 remained
so low for farm #21 over the years since 1995 despite the fact that it
is only 2 miles north of Millstone, and why cancer mortality rates in
Rhode Island only 18 miles to the east rose to higher levels than in the
state of Connecticut.
The report’s claim that all measurements indicate that the strontium-90
measurements in the milk are due to old fallout is also inconsistent
with the large rise of one of the TLD readings labeled #7 for a
location close to Millstone from a low of 27 millirads in the first
quarter of 2001 to a high of 47 millirads in the fourth quarter while
the control TLD labeled # 13 located 50 miles NNW rose only from 20
to 28 millirads. Since normal gamma ray background from rocks in the
ground does not vary in a few months and cosmic rays would give the
same dose to all dosimeters in an area within fifty miles, the TLD
readings alone show that there had to be large local airborne
releases of radioactive elements that settled on the ground.
Moreover, the gamma radiation dose rise by 20 millirads in a single
quarter by itself exceeds the allowed annual dose of 10 millirads
listed in the report.
Such high releases are consistent with the fact that during the
preceding years, the capacity factor and thus the energy produced by
Millstone per year was greatly increased, with less time for adequate
inspection, maintenance and repair that resulted in numerous
accidents and rising releases, as independently supported by the
rising concentrations of strontium-90 in Connecticut baby teeth. [Ref.
The scientifically unsupported claim that natural background radiation,
old bomb fallout or the accident at Chernobyl are the sources of all radiation
exposures to the public is clearly the crucial argument in the effort
to deny the role of Millstone.
Thus, the report contrives to find ways to make the lay public believe
that there are numerous reasons why these high levels of strontium-90
in the local milk could not possibly be from Millstone.
Therefore, the claim that the ratio of strontium-90 to that of
strontium-89 and that of cesium-137 to cesium-134 with their
different half-lives are inconsistent with those known to be produced
in nuclear reactors is completely misleading, as are the arguments
that different soil conditions, different temperatures and the false
claim of a lack of other radioactive elements all make it impossible
for Millstone to be the source.
Likewise, the claim that only a major break in the containment
building due to a large accident could give rise to the observed
levels of strontium-90 in the milk is clearly false since the
principal source is the routine planned releases from the holding
tanks when the right conditions for release exist. Nor can this
claim explain the steady rise of strontium-90 in the milk over a
period of some six years for the one location downwind in the
northeastern direction towards Long Island Sound and Rhode Island for
any of the other reasons cited when old bomb test depositions are
said to be the source.
Finally, it is found that both the levels of fission products such as
strontium-90 and others listed in the yearly operating reports produce
internal and external doses to the population large enough to
be consistent with those known to produce adverse effects on human
health such as childhood cancer, low birth weight and infant
mortality that showed a highly abnormal rise in New London County
where the plant is located only after it started, and much larger
than in Connecticut as a whole.
The Pattern of Strontium-90 in Goat Milk
One of the key pieces of evidence linking Millstone to high levels of
nuclear fission products in the environment is the graph of
strontium-90 concentrations in four farms from 1988 to 2004 on page
22 of the DEP report [Ref. 1].
Most important is the data for the period 1995 to 2004 during which
the milk for the nearby Moran farm 5.2 miles to the north-north-east
labeled #22 reached the highest concentration in of
55 pci/l late in 2001. It is seen that the initial concentration was
just under 10 pCi/l, rising to values as as high as 22 by 1997, 26 by
2000 followed by 45 and finally by the record high of 55 in 2001.
By itself, such a pattern of a large recent rise cannot be reconciled
with old fallout that would have to show low and slightly declining
concentrations of strontium-90 which decays to half its activity in
28 years. But such a low and slightly declining concentration in the
milk is in fact seen for the control farm labeled #24 located 29
miles to the north-north-west in the town of Hebron, with readings never
higher than 5 pCi/l, clearly consistent with dominant old fallout.
The third farm for which data is shown in this graph labeled #21 is
located directly north at a distance of 2 miles, with concentrations
lower than 6pCi/l, and declining to less than 1pCi/l by 2003, clearly
consistent with the expected behavior for old fallout. The
explanation for such low and declining concentrations is that there
are mainly controlled permitted releases of airborne radioactive
gases and particles from the hold-up tanks that take place only when
the wind blows away from Millstone towards the eastern direction
from the Millstone peninsula toward the Long Island Sound. Only rarely
are there significantly large accidental releases, and since the prevailing
movement of air masses is from the southwest to the northeast along the
Atlantic Coast, such unplanned releases are very unlikely to go directly
Inspection of the graph further shows that for predominantly old
fallout as for the case of farms #24 and #21, there are only small
seasonal variations of the order plus or minus 2 to 3 pCi/l, despite
large differences in rainfall and temperature or other factors. Thus,
this graphical presentation makes it clear that the extremely large
concentrations in the Moran farm #22 cannot possibly be explained by
such variations as temperature and precipitation or size of the
animal, abundance of grass and changes in farming practice as the DEP
report suggests since such large concentrations of strontium-90 did
not occur on the other two farms during the same period of time.
Therefore, there is no other explanation for the large rises of
strontium-90 in the goat milk from the Moran Farm than releases from
nearby Millstone. Furthermore, the doses produced in bone by the
measured levels of strontium-90 exceed the 15 millirem per year legal
limit to any organ quoted on page 17 of the DEP report. This can be
seen from the fact that NRC regulations published in NUREG 1.109,
March1976 give a dose factor of 0.0172 millirem per pCi of strontium-90.
Thus, in the month of September 2001 for which 55 pCi per liter of
milk were recorded in location #22, a child drinking one liter per
day from the milk alone, not considering drinking water and intake
of other food that also contains strontium-90, would receive a bone
dose of 55x30x0.0172 or 28.38 millirem, nearly twice the permitted
dose of 15 millirem in a year from strontium-90. This
calculation does not take into account the internal and external
doses from cesium-137 and all the other fission products that are
emitted from Millstone.
Since the other sample of milk measured that year in June as listed
in Table 8 of the 2001 Annual Radiological Environmental Operating Report
[Ref. 3] contained 13.2 pCi per liter of milk, using the average of these
samples of 32 pCi/l to estimate the intake over 12 months, one obtains
a yearly dose of 32x365x0.0172 or 200 millirem to bone, thirteen times
the permitted annual dose.
In terms of the risk of childhood leukemia or other forms of cancer,
the studies of Dr. Alice Stewart at Oxford University showed that
developing infants in their mother's womb just before delivery showed
a doubling of this risk when exposed to X-rays for a dose of about
1200 millirem, and only about 80-100 millirem when the exposure took
place in the first three months of development [Ref. 4][Ref. 5].
The Pattern of Gamma Radiation Detectors
Turning next to an examination of the graph for the quarterly levels
of the thermoluminescent gamma ray detectors or TLDs shown on page 16
of the DEP report for the years 1999 to 2002, it is clear that there were
very large variations in all the detectors. But of greatest interest is
the pattern of the rise during 2001 when the large peak occurred in the
concentration for the goat milk from farm #22 measured in the latter
part of the year.
These detectors measure the penetrating gamma rays similar to high
energy X-rays emitted by both natural radioactivity in the ground
from such elements as uranium and its daughter products as well as
gamma rays due to cosmic rays and gamma rays emitted by radioactive
material distributed by airborne releases from nuclear reactors such
As the table on page 18 of the DEP report shows, typical doses
produced by gamma rays from the ground are 28 millirem per year and
the same 28 millirem due to cosmic rays in low altitude areas such as
Connecticut, for a total of 56 millirem per year or 14 millirem per
quarter. Radon gas does not make a significant contribution outdoors
although it can be important in the basement of houses in certain
areas of the country depending also on the amount emitted from cement
and bricks. Thus, typical outdoor gamma radiation doses are in the
range of 60 to 80 millirems per year in low altitude areas of the
U,S., or 15 to 20 millirem per quarter, half of this or 7.5 to 10
millirem from cosmic rays, with little seasonal variation in the
absence of massive snow falls in winter that can absorb some gamma
rays from the ground.
On very rare occasions, there can be variations in cosmic ray
produced gamma radiation, by a few millirem lasting for a short
time, but the large rises in 2001 by some of the 14 detectors shown
to have taken place for those located near Millstone could not be due
to cosmic rays.
The reason that these rises cannot be due to cosmic rays are the
following. First is the fact that the most distant control detector
#13 some 50 miles to the west rose by only some 7 millirem from the
first to the fourth quarter , while 13 out of 14 of the others within
just a few miles of Millstone rose much more, with #7 rising by the
enormous amount of about 20 millirem between the first and fourth
Since cosmic rays typically do not produce more than a total of 7.5
to 10 millirem in any quarter, a rise that is 20 millirem cannot
possibly be due to cosmic rays. Moreover, if there were an enormously
large burst of cosmic rays, all the detectors within the fifty mile
radius would go up by very nearly the same amount, and not just the
detectors close to Millstone.
Thus, the conclusion that the large rise of strontium-90 at location
#22 could not be explained by other than due to releases from
Millstone is independently supported by the simultaneous rise of
external gamma rays greatest near the nuclear plant as measured by
the 14 TLD detectors.
In fact, some of the large-rise quarterly gamma doses shown themselves
violate the standards set by the Federal Government, as cited in the DEP
report on page 16, which state that the dose from the release of radioactive
material shall not result in an annual air dose in an unrestricted area
in excess of 10 millirads or millirem. This compares with the recorded
dose of 47 millirem in the fourth quarter above the low of 27 millirem
in the first quarter for TLD#7, a rise of 20 millirem.
The Ratio of Strontium-89 to Strontium-90 and Other Points
Among the reasons why the DEP report claims that the levels of
strontium-90 in goat milk found in the local farms could not have
come from the Millstone Power Station as stated in the conclusion of
the report is that the ratio of Sr-90 to Sr-89 that would be present
if the material was from a nuclear power station such as Millstone
was not present in any of the samples.
The report cites studies that show that the ratio of Sr-89 to Sr-90
in reactor cores such as that at Millstone ranges from a low of ten
to a high of twenty-five to one, depending on the power history of
the reactor. In contrast, this ratio for the fission yields from
atomic weapons are variable in fallout, making it difficult to use
this technique for determining the source.
The DEP report goes on to show a plot of Sr-90 and Sr-89 at Location
#22 at 120 Dayton Road in Waterford for the period 1979 to 2004 in
which all the readings of Sr-89 in milk instead of being 10 to 25
times higher than those for Sr-90 are much less than those for Sr-89
with one exception.
But the argument that the concentration of Sr-89 must be much higher
than for Sr-90 in the milk because 10 to 25 times more Sr-89 is
produced in the reactor core than Sr-90 is misleading because Sr-89
decays much faster than Sr-90. Half of the original activity of
Sr-89 disappears in only 50 days, while it takes 28 years for the
activity of Sr-90 to decrease to half its original value. Thus, strontium-90
remains active 1,700 times as long as strontium-89.
As a result of this enormous difference in the half-lives of these
two fission products, there will be much less Sr-89 reaching the
environment than Sr-90 when the radioactive elements are stored
before they are released from storage tanks, as is the case for all
nuclear reactors of the pressurized water type (PWR) such as Millstone
Units 2 and 3.
Moreover, once they are in the environment, Sr-90 will gradually
accumulate in the soil, in the grass, and in the body of animals such
as cows and goats as the plant operates, while no such accumulation
can take place for the short-lived Sr-89.
Thus, there can be enormous differences in the ratios of these two
chemically similar substances in different nuclear power stations,
depending on the storage and treatment of the gaseous and liquid
releases that they are allowed to discharge, as published by the U.S.
Department of Commerce for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
As an example, in the publication entitled "Radioactive Materials
Released From Nuclear Power Plants" for the year 1993 typical ratios
for Sr-89 to Sr-90 in liquid releases for which the data is available
show that some are large while others are very small. For the Diablo
Canyon Unit 1, the ratio is 2.78, while for Braidwood 1 it is as
small as 0.023, a difference by a factor of 120 [Ref. 6].
Even bigger differences will occur depending on whether the animals
that produce the milk are fed stored feed or whether they graze on
grass, as well on the length of time the animals were exposed.
The DEP report also argues that the observed large levels of Sr-90 in
the milk could only occur if there were a major fuel damage event
together with a break in the massive containment structure consisting
of reinforced concrete three to six feet thick, as illustrated on
page 10 of the report. But this argument completely misrepresents how
radioactive gases and particles are actually released from storage
tanks used in all pressurized reactors, or are discharged from the
stacks of the plant when there are cracks in the steam generator
piping. This piping is intended to keep the steam driving the turbines
electric generators in a separate building from being contaminated by
fission and neutron activation products.
Thus, levels of strontium-90 in milk were observed to be of the same
order of magnitude around other nuclear power stations such as the
Trojan reactor as recently found in the case of Millstone, declining
in concentrations with distance away from the reactors without a
massive break in the concrete containment wall [Ref. 7]. Furthermore,
radioactive elements known to be produced by neutron activation or
other nuclear reactions in iron rust and sludge found in nuclear
reactors such as beryllium-7 have been measured and reported in
recent Millstone Environmental Reports together with other elements
found in the steel of nuclear reactors such as Manganese-54,
Cobalt-58 and Iron (Fe-59), though in much smaller amounts than the
fission products strontium-90 and cesium-137 [Ref. 7].
It follows from these considerations that the ratios of various
isotopes of different half-lives and different origins in the complex
environment of a reactor core and the treatment of the wastes cannot
be used to counter the enormously strong evidence reviewed above
that the recent rise of strontium-90 in milk and the parallel rise
in external gamma doses cannot be explained by old fallout.
Moreover, as described in detail in a 2004 report by Mangano [Ref. 2],
both the changes in cancer rates in Connecticut counties near
Millstone and the changes in infant and childhood mortality as energy
production by Millstone declined and rose, all support releases from
these reactors being the dominant sources of the recent environmental
radiation rises rather than fallout from nuclear weapon
testing or from the accident at Chernobyl.
 Reassessment of Millstone [Nuclear] Power Station’s Environmental
Monitoring Data, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Division
of Radiation, March 2006.
 J.J. Mangano, Radioactive Strontium-90 in Baby Teeth of Connecticut
Children and the Link with Cancer: A Special Report, May 18, 2004.
 ) Annual Radiological Environmental Operating Reports, Millstone
Point. Dairy, Goat Milk and Pasture Grass, Tables 8, 1995-2002.
 A. Stewart and G. W. Kneale, Radiation Dose Effects in Relation
to Obstetric X-Rays and Childhood Cancers, Lancet, I ,
 E. J. Sternglass, Cancer: Relation of Prenatal Radiation to
Development of the Disease in Childhood, Science 140, 1102-1104 (1963)
 J. Tichler, K. Doty, K. Lucadamo. Radioactive Materials Released
from Nuclear Power Plants, Annual Report. (NUREG/CR-2907, BNL-
NUREG-51581, Vol. 14)(1993)
 E. J. Sternglass, Cancer Mortality Changes Around Nuclear
Facilities in Connecticut, Radiation Standards and Health,
Proceedings of a Second Congressional Seminar on Low-Level Ionizing
Radiation February 17, 1978, 174-212, Published by The Environmental
the Ontario Terrorists Target the Pickering Nukes?
Ontario terrorist suspects were rounded up near the Pickering Nuclear
Power Station on Lake Ontario near Toronto on June 3, 2006. Did they target
the giant Pickering Nuclear Power Station?
Nuclear Power StationLocated on the shores of Lake Ontario just east of
Toronto and nestled in the community of Pickering, is one of the world’s
largest nuclear generating facilities consisting of the Pickering A and
Pickering B Nuclear Generating Stations. Each station has four CANDU (CANadian
Deuterium Uranium) reactor units and together they have a total output
of 4,120 megawatts (MW), enough to serve a city of two million people.
Foil Terror Plot In Canada
Inspired by Al-Qaida, suspects had explosives
By Beth Duff-Brown, Associated Writer
A terror suspect is transferred to a prisoner transportation vehicle in
Pickering, Ontario, to be taken to an arraignment at the courthouse in
Brampton Saturday.'This group posed a real and serious threat. It had
the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks.'
Police Commissioner Mike McDonellToronto — Canadian police foiled
a homegrown terrorist attack by arresting 17 suspects, apparently inspired
by al-Qaida, who obtained three times the amount of an explosive ingredient
used in the Oklahoma City bombing, officials said Saturday.
The FBI said the Canadian suspects may have had “limited contact”
with two men recently arrested on terrorism charges in Georgia. About
400 regional police and federal agents participated in the arrests Friday
and early Saturday.
“These individuals were allegedly intent on committing acts of terrorism
against their own country and their own people,” Prime Minister
Stephen Harper said in a statement. “As we have said on many occasions,
Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested 12 adult suspects, ages 43
to 19, and five suspects younger than 18 on terrorism charges including
plotting attacks with explosives on Canadian targets. The suspects were
either citizens or residents of Canada and had trained together, police
The group acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate — three times
the amount used to blow up the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995,
in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injured more than 800, said assistant
Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner Mike McDonell.
The fertilizer can be mixed with fuel oil or other ingredients to make
“This group posed a real and serious threat,” McDonell said.
“It had the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks.”
Luc Portelance, assistant director of operations with Canada's spy agency,
CSIS, said the suspects “appeared to have become adherents of a
violent ideology inspired by al-Qaida” but that investigators have
yet to prove a link to the terror network.
Five of the suspects were led in handcuffs Saturday to the Ontario Court
of Justice, which was surrounded by snipers and bomb-sniffing dogs. A
judge told the men not to communicate with one another and set their first
bail hearing for Tuesday.
Alvin Chand, a brother of suspect Steven Vikash Chand, said outside the
courthouse that his brother was innocent and authorities “just want
to show they're doing something.”
“He's not a terrorist, come on. He's a Canadian citizen,”
Chand said. “The people that were arrested are good people, they
go to the mosque, they go to school, go to college.”
FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said in Washington there may have been
a connection between the Canadian suspects and a Georgia Tech student
and another American who had traveled to Canada to meet with Islamic extremists
to discuss locations for a terrorist strike.
Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, U.S. citizens who grew up
in the Atlanta area, were arrested in March.
Officials at the news conference displayed purported bomb-making materials
including a red cell phone wired to what appeared to be an explosives
detonator inside a black toolbox. Also shown were a computer hard drive,
camouflage uniforms, flashlights and walkie-talkies. A flimsy white door
riddled with bullet holes was on display but no details about it were
According to a report Saturday in The Toronto Star citing unidentified
police sources, the suspects attended a terrorist training camp north
of Toronto and had plotted to attack the Canadian spy agency's downtown
Toronto office, among other targets in Ontario province. Authorities refused
to confirm those reports.
The suspects lived in either Toronto, Canada's financial capital and largest
city, or the nearby cities of Mississauga or Kingston.
Also at the court hearing was Aly Hindy, an imam of an Islamic center
that houses a school and a mosque and has been monitored by security agencies
for years. He said he knows nine of the suspects and that Muslims once
again were being falsely accused.
“It's not terrorism. It could be some criminal activity with a few
guys, that's all,” said Hindy. “We are the ones always accused.
Somebody fakes a document and they are an international terrorist forging
documents for al-Qaida.”
Rocco Galati, lawyer for two suspects from Mississauga, said his client
Ahmad Ghany, 21, is a health sciences graduate from McMaster University
in Hamilton. He was born in Canada, the son of a medical doctor who emigrated
from Trinidad and Tobago.
Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, is a computer programmer who emigrated from Egypt
20 years ago with his father, now an engineer with a nuclear utilities
services company, the lawyer said.
The charges came under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, which was passed shortly
after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — and after Osama bin Laden named
Canada as one of five “Christian” nations that should be terror
targets. The other countries — the U.S., Britain, Spain and Australia
— have all been targeted.
Portelance, of Canada's spy agency, said it was the nation's largest counterterrorism
operation since the adoption of the act and that more arrests were possible.
The adult suspects from Toronto are Chand, alias Abdul Shakur, 25; Fahim
Ahmad, 21; Jahmaal James, 23; and Asin Mohamed Durrani, 19. Those from
Mississauga are Ghany; Abdelhaleen; Zakaria Amara, 20; Asad Ansari, 21;
Saad Khalid, 19; and Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43.
Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, are from Kingston.
Copyright The Associated Press
COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
June 5, 2006
Hon. James A. Amann
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Legislative Office Building
Hartford CT 06106
Hon. Donald A. Williams, Jr.
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Legislative Office Building
Hartford CT 06106
Hon. John W. Fonfara
Hon. Steve Fontana
Energy & Technology Committee
Legislative Office Building
Hartford CT 06106
Please incorporate this letter in the record of your 2006 “Energy
The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone is a grassroots, all-volunteer
organization of statewide safe-energy, conservation and environmental
organizations formed in 1998. Our membership also includes families, individuals
and Millstone whistleblowers.
The Coalition has been actively involved as a citizen watchdog over Millstone.
The Coalition intervened in proceedings involving an application by Northeast
Utilities to expand the capacity of the Millstone Unit 3 spent fuel pool.
The Coalition has actively litigated to enforce the provisions of the
Connecticut Environmental Protection Act and the federal Clean Water Act.
The Coalition intervened in the “public auction” proceedings
before the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to
which Millstone was sold to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. on April
1, 2001. The Coalition intervened in the recent Millstone relicensing
proceedings before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Presently pending
in the Superior Court is a challenge the Coalition brought to Dominion’s
application to the Siting Council to transfer highly radioactive spent
fuel to an de facto permanent onsite aboveground dry cask installation.
In addition to these legal challenges, the Coalition has been actively
involved in surveying the environmental and health effects of 36 years
of nuclear power plant operations at Millstone. We have conducted extensive
researches in the archives of the Connecticut Department of Environmental
Protection. We have also had contacts from whistleblowers inside the plant.
We urge that you legislate to phase out the state’s nuclear power
plant operations and replace the lost power with safe, green, sustainable
energy. The state of Vermont has recently enacted legislation which gives
it authority over nuclear power plant relicensing and other issues. We
suggest you consider this legislation as a guide. During the phaseout,
we urge that you legislate to reinstate state regulation over Millstone
rates. Deregulation has led to dangerous cost-cutting practices at Millstone
and exposed the public to high risk, including the following:
1. Millstone routinely disables its perimeter security system to avoid
having to dispatch personnel to monitor hundreds of false alarms recorded
per day. (See In re Sham S. Mehta, pending before the Department of Public
Utility Control) This is a dangerous practice which exposes the public
to high risk of harm and makes a travesty of emergency planning.
2. Millstone routinely operates at full power with defective equipment.
As one example, Dominion did so flagrantly on March 28, 2006, even while
Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal was making a presentation to the
NRC onsite. Defective conditions escalated, leading to an unplanned shutdown
after the NRC inspectors and Mr. Blumenthal left the site. During the
meeting, Dominion management were able to advise that both Millstone Units
2 and 3 were presently operating at full power.
3. Millstone entered a Class II emergency on April 17, 2005 when a “tin
whisker” - a protuberance of metal which developed in circuitry
- caused a Unit 3 reactor trip and huge releases of radiation-contaminated
steam to escape to the environment. The releases contained krypton, which
decays to strontium-90, a deadly radioisotope, according to the NRC, which
initially denied unusual radiation releases. Although Dominion discovered
the presence of additional tin whiskers in the circuitry during the unplanned
outage, the NRC did not require Dominion to replace them. In the deregulated
environment, the state of Connecticut has surrendered its ability to control
or influence plant operations through the setting of rates.
4. Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified
Millstone as a primary terrorist target with high vulnerability to malicious
intrusion at its giant water intake structures, and notwithstanding that
the DHS appropriated $1 million in taxpayer funds three years ago to provide
a waterborne barrier to deter such an attack (similar to barriers in use
at the U.S. Submarine base in Groton and elsewhere), Dominion objected
to such barriers and in consequence Millstone remains highly vulnerable
to waterborne terrorist attack.
5. Although Millstone Unit 2 is 31 years old, and Millstone Unit 3 is
20 years old, and each manifests the effects of aging, Dominion has been
successful in obtaining numerous waivers of safety standards from the
NRC. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit recently ruled that
the NRC committed legal error when it declined to consider the potential
of terrorism in licensing proceedings, such as when the NRC approved the
Unit 3 spent fuel pool expansion and more recently when it relicensed
Millstone for an additional 20-year term.
We have discovered through reading Dominion’s own environmental
reports filed with the DEP that it routinely contaminates the Long Island
Sound and public beaches in East Lyme and Waterford with dozens of radionuclides
and toxic chemicals pursuant to a DEP permit which expired in 1997 and
which has not been renewed; exposure to these toxic agents has caused
death and disease.
According to Millstone’s own environmental reports filed with the
DEP, it is responsible in large part for the collapse of the indigenous
Niantic winter flounder stocks whose migrating larvae are sucked into
the cooling system and destroyed. This environmental destruction would
end if DEP would order Dominion to convert Millstone to a closed cooling
system, as it has the power to do under Clean Water Act delegation. (The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Dominion to make such
a conversion at its Brayton Point power plant in Massachusetts; Dominion
has agreed to use a closed cooling system at new reactors it hopes to
build north of Richmond, Virginia.)
We have discovered through reading Dominion’s own environmental
reports filed with the DEP that strontium-90 released from Millstone has
been measured in high concentrations in goat milk 2 miles and 5 miles
north of Millstone; this phenomenon provides evidence that Millstone radiation
is poisoning the environment. Strontium-90, a deadly byproduct of the
nuclear fission process, mimics calcium and is absorbed in bone tissue
and teeth; it causes bone cancer, leukemia and diseases of the immune
system. There is a high incidence of childhood leukemia in the towns surrounding
Millstone. Indeed, New London County has the highest rates of 12 cancers,
according to official records.
Between 1996 and 1998, Connecticut’s four nuclear reactors (3 at
Millstone and one at Connecticut Yankee on the Connecticut River) were
shut down. During this period, Connecticut consumers and business did
not experience a single brownout or blackout. Connecticut got along just
fine without nuclear energy.
Much of the electricity produced by Millstone is lost due to inefficiencies;
moreover, much electricity generated by Millstone is exported and does
not benefit Connecticut consumers, who assume all the risk.
When Millstone was sold by Northeast Utilities, the buyer, Dominion Nuclear
Connecticut, Inc. was set up as a paper company without assets. In the
event of a major accident at Millstone, Dominion’s parent company
will not be liable. Should Dominion be unavailable to cover all decommissioning
costs, Connecticut taxpayers will be responsible.
Nuclear energy produced at Millstone is simply too dangerous for Connecticut.
We are documenting what appears to be a serious radiation-induced cancer
epidemic in the community; children are most at risk. To date, there has
been no governmental study of the health effects of 36 years of nuclear
operations in Connecticut. There are also reports of high cancer incidences
among workers at Millstone. The high costs of medical intervention in
these cases is not taken into account when the costs of generating nuclear
power in Connecticut are considered. We urge that you do so.
The Government of Spain has just announced it is phasing out nuclear power
because it is too dangerous and it is not necessary. Spain follows Sweden,
Belgium and Germany.
It is high time for Connecticut’s legislators to end the production
of nuclear energy and nuclear waste within its borders.
Thank you for your attention.
COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
FEDERAL FISH AGENCY RECOMMENDS
MILLSTONE CONVERT TO CLOSED COOLING SYSTEM;
CHARGES NRC VIOLATED FEDERAL FISH LAW
For Immediate Release May 25, 2006
Contact: Nancy Burton Tel. 203-938-3952/NancyBurtonCT@aol.com
WATERFORD - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recommends that
the Millstone Nuclear Power Station convert to an “environmentally
friendly” alternative cooling system to avoid adverse effects on
24 species of fish, the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone revealed
Retrofitting Millstone Units 2 and 3 with closed cooling systems would
protect the “essential fish habitat” of the 24 identified
fish species which inhabit the waters surrounding Millstone and are subject
to harm from entrainment, impingement and thermal effects of the present
“once-through” cooling system, according to the NMFS.
The federal fisheries agency charged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory System
with failing to consider the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
Conservation and Management Act when it addressed environmental issues
before granting Dominion’s application for relicensing on November
“The NRC violated federal law when it granted Dominion’s application
for license renewal by failing to meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens
Act,” said Nancy Burton, the Coalition’s director.
“The Coalition, an intervenor in the relicensing proceedings, is
preparing to demand in a formal filing that the NRC revoke its approval
retroactively and reopen the proceedings to address the issues raised
by NMFS,” she said.
“The only way to avoid driving indigenous fish species to extinction
is to close Millstone or convert it to a closed cooling system,”
“Those options are now back on the table,” she said, noting
that in 1993 Northeast Utilities prepared an analysis of cooling water
alternatives that concluded it was feasible to retrofit a closed-cooling
system. Although the state’s Department of Environmental Protection
has authority to order such a conversion, to date it has failed to do
In a March 30, 2006 letter Peter D. Colosi, Jr., NMFS Assistant Regional
Administrator for Habitat Conservation, castigated the NRC for its failure
to consider the Magnuson-Stevens Act and to condone avoidable impacts
to the area’s fisheries where “environmentally-friendly”
cooling system alternatives are available.
“Long Island Sound, the waters of Niantic Bay and estuary, and Jordan
Cove are a highly productive aquatic environment that supports extensive,
important living marine resources,” Colosi wrote.
“Many of the species present are significant both commercially and
recreationally, and have been a part of the region’s fisheries dating
from before the colonization of Connecticut,” he said.
“Project impacts associated with impingement will result in mortality
of aquatic organisms by trapping them in one-way water flows leading to
exhaustion and other stressful adversities,” Colosi wrote.
“Entrainment impacts pull organisms such as planktonic eggs and
larvae small enough to pass through protective trash racks and screens
into cooling systems where they are exposed to sudden pressure changes,
abrasion, rapid fluctuations in temperature, and biocides.
“Further, the proposed license renewal to operate the open cycle
cooling process will result in the continued impacts associated with degradation
of the areas’s [essential fish habitat] by entraining and physically
altering the salt waters within the area landward of Two Tree Island,
as well as within Jordan Cove and the Niantic Bay and Estuary complex.”
Colosi noted that the NRC’s environmental impact statement on Millstone
relicensing did find that continued Millstone operations with its once-through
cooling system will continue to create “avoidable impacts on [essential
fish habitat] and aquatic resources” but “does not address
potential essential fish habitat avoidance or mitigation measures that
might be employed to manage these adverse impacts.” Colosi wrote.
The aquatic region surrounding Millstone has been federally designated
an essential fish habitat for red hake, winter flounder, windowpane flounder,
king and Spanish mackerel, cobia, long finned squid, short finned squid,
surf clam, scup, ocean quahog, spiny dogfish, black sea bass, Atlantic
butterfish, summer flounder, Atlantic salmon, pollock, Atlantic sea scallops,
Atlantic sea herring, bluefish, little skate and winter skate, according
By “using up” 100 billion liters/day of saline waters from
the Niantic Bay and Long Island Sound, the NMFS has concluded that Millstone
is having an adverse effect on the essential fish habitats of the 24 identified
“In summary, we recommend that the NRC should evaluate and require
the use of alternative cooling methods that reduce adverse impacts”
of Millstone operations,” Colosi wrote. Such methods could include
conversion to a closed cooling system, drastically reducing cooling water
usage and relocating Millstone Unit 3's giant intake structure.
In a letter to Colosi dated May 16, 2006, the NRC acknowledged that it
had failed to comply with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act
when it extended the Millstone operating licenses for 20 years (Unit 2
from 2015 to 2035 and Unit 3 from 2025 to 2045).
Although a staff member of NMFS had alerted the NRC to the requirements
of the Act during the Millstone relicensing review, “[b]y the time
we finished reviewing the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the documentation on
the NMFS website, the NRC had completed its review of the Millstone application
and had issued the renewed license,” wrote Frank Gillespie, Director
of the NRC’s License Renewal Division.
Note to Editors: The Colosi and Gillespie letters are available upon request.
years is a long time for a nuclear power plant to operate without studies
of health effects on its neighbors
GOV. M. Jodi Rell asked state health officials recently to investigate
the best ways to study cancer risk for people living near the Millstone
nuclear plant. This request, while admirable, has been a long time coming
and it will take a long-term commitment to obtain meaningful answers.
Millstone, in Waterford, has been in operation since 1970. It has a checkered
operating record. The plant released the third greatest amount of airborne
radioactive particles of any U.S. plant, trailing only Dresden in Illinois
and Oyster Creek in New Jersey, according to federal records.
In early 1996, a Time magazine cover story based on reports from employees
exposed a number of safety flaws there. Management and safety procedures
underwent a massive overhaul, to the tune of $1 billion, and federal regulators
assessed a record fine of $2 million. Millstone’s oldest reactor
was shut down permanently, while its other two reactors were idled for
Investigations of local cancer rates since the plant began operating have
been virtually nonexistent.
In 1990, the National Cancer Institute looked at cancer incidence in New
London County before and after Millstone began operating. Cancer rates
rose, faster than in other counties in the state, for those under age
20 – especially for leukemia, which is closely linked to radiation
For adults, county cancer rates rose, most sharply for thyroid cancer,
bone cancer, and leukemia, all associated with radiation exposure. But
this initial study was never followed up.
The issue of childhood cancer is an especially troubling one. Childhood
cancer rates are rising across the nation; in Connecticut, cancer in children
under 5 has jumped 72 percent since the late 1960s. Experts have no explanations.
Before childhood cancer can be prevented, causes of the disease, including
radiation exposure, must be understood.
Like any nuclear plant, Millstone emits into the air and water over 100
radioactive chemicals found only in nuclear weapons and reactors. Each
of these chemicals, which enter the body through breathing and the food
chain, has a specific biochemical action. Strontium-90 attaches to teeth
and bone, Iodine-131 seeks out the thyroid gland, and Cesium-137 disperses
throughout the soft tissues. All pose a risk of cancer, especially to
the susceptible infant and child.
The specific question of how much Millstone radioactivity has entered
people’s bodies, and what damage it has caused, was never seriously
considered until recently. Since 1998, the New York-based Radiation and
Public Health Project research group has conducted the Tooth Fairy Project
— the only study to examine in-body radiation levels near U.S. nuclear
Using sophisticated equipment, scientists in the group have methodically
measured the Strontium-90 level in each of 5,000 baby teeth. Results,
which have been published in five medical journal articles, show levels
are highest in teeth from children living closest to nuclear plants, and
these levels have risen substantially since the late 1980s.
More importantly, Strontium-90 is higher in teeth of children with cancer;
more teeth are needed to make this preliminary finding more significant.
Just over a year ago, the research group approached Rell, asking that
she seek a modest $25,000 appropriation to support the cost of collecting
and testing baby teeth from 150 Connecticut children with and without
At first she agreed, and had the money moved to the Department of Public
Health. But recently, Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin refused to
sign a contract with RPHP and denied the funds, and Rell made her call
to open up the issue for more consideration.
Thirty-six years is a long time for a nuclear plant to operate, with no
studies of health risk to local residents. A truly thorough investigation
of health risks may take years and cost millions of dollars. The precarious
condition of the state budget makes this noble goal not practical. Instead,
Rell should make the most of scarce resources and address the matter thoroughly,
but in increments.
As a start, she should authorize the $25,000 for the Tooth Fairy Project
to commence, as the legislatures of New Jersey and Westchester County,
New York, have done in recent years. For a modest expense, the state will
make a good first step in the attempt to understand this important public
Joseph J. Mangano is national coordinator of the Radiation and Public
Health Project, a nonprofit educational and scientific organization, Write
him in care of the project at 912 Mill Grove Drive, Norristown, Pa 19403.
This piece was published in the New Haven Register on May 23, 2006 and
is reproduced with permission.
Want to know if Millstone radiation causes cancer in kids? Don't ask the
governor. Ask the Tooth Fairy.
by Carole Bass - May 25, 2006
Jodi Rell might, for all we know, believe in the Tooth Fairy, but she
doesn't believe in the Tooth Fairy Project. The state has ditched a proposed
study of radiation in baby teeth from Connecticut kids. The governor's
health department says it will pursue the same goalexamining possible
links between the Millstone nuclear power plant and childhood cancerbut
wants to do more.
Listen closely, however, and you get the suspicion that the state actually
wants to do nothing.
"Certainly it's worthy of studying," says Lynn Townshend, spokeswoman
for the Department of Public Health. "We want to make sure that the
children of Connecticut are safe."
To that end, DPH will spend six to nine months putting together a request
for proposals for an unspecified study, at an unspecified cost, to be
paid for from unspecified sources. Or it won't.
"If there's enough public interest, we want to consider the public
health of all, and at least look at the possibility" of a study,
Six months from now, Jodi Rell will likely have been resoundingly re-elected.
It will then be safe for her bureaucrats to announce that (according to
health experts) there's no evidence that living near a nuclear reactor
causes cancer, and therefore no need to waste valuable tax dollars on
T he so-called Tooth Fairy Project is an undertaking of the Radiation
and Public Health Project (RPHP), a New York-based nonprofit group "dedicated
to understanding the relationships between low-level nuclear radiation
and public health."
The baby-tooth study is simple: RPHP collects teeth from children with
and without cancer and measures the levels of strontium-90, a radioactive
isotope that's a byproduct of nuclear fission.
The group got public funding for studies in New Jersey and Westchester
County, N.Y. Joe Mangano, RPHP's national coordinator, says the group
has found higher levels of strontium-90 in the teeth of kids with cancer
than in those of healthy children. He also says teeth collected in counties
close to nuclear plants have 30 percent to 50 percent more strontium-90
than teeth from farther away. All of which, Mangano believes, suggests
a link between radiation from nuke plants and childhood cancer.
So he pitched a Connecticut Tooth Fairy Project. And, says Mangano, in
late 2004 a Rell aide made an oral commitment to fund a $25,000 study.
A year went by. No contract materialized. Then, this spring, the health
department told him it would not fund the study. Mangano says he was given
two reasons: Connecticut's recent history of corruption meant the state
couldn't hand him a no-bid contract. And, separate from the health department's
work, the Department of Environmental Protection was doing a similar study.
That similar study turned out to involve not kids with cancer, but goat's
The activist group Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone claimed late
last year that strontium-90 in the milk of a goat named Katie came from
Millstone, five miles away. In a report released this March, DEP attributed
Katie's radioactive milk to residual fallout from weapons testing and
the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Mangano, who has collaborated with the anti-Millstone coalition, scoffs
at the DEP study. "You have not addressed the question of children
with cancer," he says. "Rather than just look at radiation in
the milk and the water, look at what's in the body."
G etting a straight answer from the state about why it rejected the baby-tooth
study is like... well, like pulling teeth.
"We were waiting for the DEP study to be completed and to. . .make
sure we're using the right methodologies," says Townshend, the health
department spokeswoman. "We want to make sure it's scientific and
that we have the right experts involved, whether they're local, state
She says $25,000 has been transferred to the health department from another
state agency. "We want to find out what an actual study would cost,
because $25,000 in this day and age does not go very far."
Was that the same $25,000 that Mangano claims was committed to his study?
Townshend says Rell's office forwarded Mangano's proposal to her department;
she doesn't know about any commitments the governor's office might or
might not have made.
Rell spokesman John Wiltse is equally hard to pin down: "I'm not
aware of any formal commitment to fund this project."
What about an informal commitment? "Any commitment for a contract
or a study would have to go through the agency review and staffing process
before it was approved," says Wiltse. "My understanding is that
it was forwarded to the Department of Public Health. I'm not aware of
the specifics of the conversation."
Pressed about why the baby-tooth study was rejected, Wiltse says there
were "serious concerns about this particular group's research: their
scope and their past work." He refers additional questions back to
the health department.
There, Townshend digs out a memo that doctors in the University of Connecticut's
dentistry school prepared for the health commissioner. The memo says baby
teeth are a valid way to measure exposure to radiation. But it casts doubt
on RPHP's claimed finding of a correlation between strontium-90 and child
What's more, the UConn dentists accuse Mangano's group of misrepresenting
other scientists' studies of child cancer rates near nuclear plants. They
ask whether RPHP is "careless or fraudulent."
The UConn dentists recommend that instead of funding Mangano's proposed
study, the health department could hire UConn dental faculty to do the
same thing. Or it could pay UConn to analyze Mangano's data. The third
option: "Do nothing. Scientifically there seems little value to be
gained for the time and money."
W hat will the state do? Townshend talks about the need to "look
at all the angles."
But one state agency, DEP, has already declared that radioactive goat's
milk is no cause for alarm. Another, the dentistry school, says there
is no evidence linking cancer to nuclear reactors.
Given those assessments and the foot-shuffling by Wiltse and Townshend,
we're betting that Connecticut's thorough examination of the health effects
of Millstone radiation will boil down to the UConn dentists' Option #3:
Teeth or no teeth, that's tough to swallow.
Use our contact form to write to Carole Bass.
Posted with permission
of The New Haven Advocate.
Hundreds Mourn Former Times Editor Rosenthal
May 14, 2006 By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK (AP) -- Former New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal was remembered
Sunday as a fierce defender of human rights and passionate journalist
who strove to make sure his newspaper stayed free of bias in its reporting.
''He was the greatest newspaper editor of our age,'' Arthur Gelb, another
longtime Times editor and close friend of Rosenthal, told hundreds of
mourners at Rosenthal's funeral.
''Abe often said he wanted his epitaph to read, `He kept the paper straight.'
And that you did, my dear friend.''
Rosenthal died Wednesday at age 84, a month after suffering a stroke.
His career at The Times spanned 56 years, rising from campus stringer
to executive editor and including 13 years as a columnist after his mandatory
retirement in 1986.
The hundreds who gathered at a midtown Manhattan synagogue included Nobel
Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former mayors
Edward Koch and Rudolph Giuliani and operatic star Beverly Sills.
Also attending were journalists Mike Wallace, Gay Talese and Carl Bernstein,
one of two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story in
1972 and kept the Post ahead of the Times on the story under Rosenthal's
Andrew Rosenthal, a Times reporter and one of Rosenthal's three sons,
spoke for the family. The service, and private conversations, were full
of personal recollections of an editor who was famous for his temper,
his intellectual brilliance and unabashed passion for reporting the news.
''Abe and I met in the city room of the Times -- we and Arthur Gelb were
this unbreakable trio,'' said Bernard Kalb, a former Times foreign correspondent.
''It probably was the happiest time of our lives. As kids on the Times,
so to speak, every assignment was a visa to a new world.''
Some spoke of the peak moment of Rosenthal's tenure -- the Times' decision
in 1971 to publish the Pentagon Papers, thousands of classified documents
detailing the early years of U.S. involvement and policy decisions in
William Safire, a retired Times columnist, recalled that after the Nixon
White House tried and failed to block their publication, Rosenthal said,
''We annoy the hell out of people, and we have our faults, but there is
a difference between resenting the press and trying to control it.''
Safire, who had formerly worked as a Nixon speechwriter, also said that
when a federal court sided with the Times on publishing the secret material,
a big cheer went up in the newsroom. But Rosenthal was not without sympathy,
saying to Safire, ''This must be a very difficult moment for you.''
While Rosenthal was better known for bluntness than subtlety, Sills recalled
that after a Times reviewer wrote of her that he would have ''preferred
a different singer in the role,'' Rosenthal put a big poster of Sills
on his office wall, then called the critic in to discuss an unrelated
''He told me later, `I never mentioned you or the poster,''' Sills said.
Wiesel and others noted that as a Times op-ed columnist from 1986 to 1999,
Rosenthal passionately expressed his feelings about injustices and violations
of human rights around the world. On a visit to the Soviet Union, he upbraided
a KGB official, who told him, ''Mr. Rosenthal, we are not in a court of
Rosenthal, he said, replied, ''Yes, you are. And free people are your
Copyright The New York Times
Copyright The Associateed Press
8 per cent said "Oui"
The people of France are saying no to new nukes. When asked in a recently
survey if they wanted new nukes to solve global warming, only 8 per cent
Anti-nuclear activists rally against new reactor for France
Sat Apr 15, 2006
Thousands of activists have gathered to join an anti-nuclear protest against
the building of a new nuclear reactor in the French region bordering the
The organisers said 30,000 people turned out while police put the number
According to Stephane Lhomme, spokesman for the organisers, 'Sortir du
Nucleaire', an alliance of some 718 groups seeking to phase out nuclear
power, "this is a very strong mobilisation in this neck of the woods
is hard to reach and marks a turning point in France's energy policy".
The French parliament has already endorsed the project "but a public
must still take place, followed by an eventual decree," Didier Anger,
regional coordinator of the anti-nuclear opposition told a press conference,
stressing that the nuclear plant was not yet a done deal.
The proposed project would involve the construction of a new generation
European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) in Flamanville, situated in the French
department of Manche in northwest Normandy.
The opponents claim that France already over-produces electricity with
nuclear energy, according to the STOP EPR website.
The web site also says that nuclear power cannot provide the solution
easing dependence on oil for transportation. New renewable sources are
needed, such as wind power.
"Nuclear power is not an alternative to the energy problem, neither
at the European level nor at the international level," said Jose
Bove, speaking for
a rural confederation.
The gathering this weekend in Cherbourg also comes just ahead of the 20th
anniversary of Chernobyl, the worst civilian nuclear accident, which took
place in Ukraine. On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear
power plant north of Kiev exploded and sent a radioactive cloud across
"We must especially make sure that there is no second Chernobyl,"
Viatcheslav Kitayev, 43, who was an emergency worker for three months
1987 cleaning up the site of the Ukrainian nuclear accident.
Besides safety concerns, the anti-nuclear groups presented an economic
against a new nuclear plant.
'Sortir du Nucleaire' argues that the estimated cost of three billion
(3.6 billion dollars) to build the EPR reactor could be directed towards
development of other energy sources, which would in 15 years create 15
more jobs and produce double the energy compared to a nuclear reactor.
The EPR, a joint Franco-German project developed since 1992 by Siemens
Framatome-ANP, part of the Areva group, could have its first prototype
connected to a network by 2010-2012.
A model of the water-pressurized reactor is to be built in Finland and
expected to enter service in 2009. According to the developers, the reactor
uses fuel more efficiently, has more safety controls and produces less
Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse.
+ 20: Remembrance for the Future
Kyiv, Ukraine -- On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster
of Chornobyl, we implore Ukrain President Viktor Yuschenko and Former
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to heed the message of Anna Golubovska-Onisimova,
co-founder and President of MAMA-86, an organization of Ukrainian mothers
concerned for the health and well-being of their children:
"Do not ignore the opinion of the public: Lead Ukraine to transition
to sustainable development!"
Anna spoke at the "Chornobyl + 20 Remembrance for the Future"
conference in Kiev, 60 miles south of where the worst nuclear disaster
in human history occurred 20 years ago.
In March, Viktor Yushchenko, elected in the Orange Revolution - announced
that Ukraine would build 22 more nuclear power plants. The new energy
policy was formulated by his Orange Revolution partner, Yulia Tymoshenko.
"The 1986 nuclear catastrophe was followed by an information catastrophe,"
said German Green Party delegate to the European Parliament Rebecca Harms.
"Both catastrophes are ongoing."
While the Chornobyl conference was underway, Yushchenko made an appeal
at another government-sponsored conference across the street. He appealed
for money to refurbish the Chornobyl nuclear ruin so that it will not
create further radioactive pollution. Ukraine has spent more than $13
billion in recovery from Chornobyl.
Harms demanded public hearings on the state of the Chornobyl ruin and
she demanded an independent investigation of the full scope of health
consequences of the Chornobyl disasater.
Green Party Demonstration Against Ukraine Plans to Build 20 New Nukes
- April 24, 2006
The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone joined the protest against
Yushchenko's pro-nuclear policy and United Nations and World Health Organization
reports, released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl
disaster, which seriously understated the health and environmental consequences
of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster.
NO NEW NUKES - NO MORE CHORNOBYLS!
Dangerous Option: Nuclear Energy Produces Health, Safety Risks
TIMES-DISPATCH GUEST COLUMNIST
Sunday, April 16, 2006
New York. Officials from the nuclear industry and the Bush administration
who claim that building new nuclear reactors will help solve the nation's
energy crisis are wrong.
Understanding why they're wrong is clear after a historical review. In
the midst of the Cold War arms race with the Soviet Union, President Dwight
Eisenhower gave his Atoms for Peace speech to the United Nations, urging
that the "peaceful atom" could benefit society in many ways.
Congress quickly responded by passing the Atomic Energy Act, and the move
to build nuclear power plants was on.
At first there was a great rush to build reactors. Nuclear-generated electricity
that was clean and "too cheap to meter" -- according to Atomic
Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss -- would solve many of our future
energy needs. President Richard Nixon predicted that by the year 2000
there would be 1,000 nuclear reactors in the U.S.
It turned out there are only 103, as the last U.S. reactor order occurred
in 1978. The surface reason for this demise is that private financiers
concluded reactors were a poor investment. But behind Wall Street's change
of heart are three key safety and health issues that had no answers half
a century ago, and have no answers now, representing risks that Americans
are not willing to take.
(1)Assurance that no major accident will occur. From the start, many worried
about a disastrous reactor meltdown. No insurer would offer coverage against
a catastrophe so enormous, but Congress bailed out the nuclear industry
by passing the Price-Anderson Act, which sharply limited liability of
Even with Price-Anderson, jitters over an accident continued. The nation
flirted with danger in 1979 when more than half of the reactor core at
Three Mile Island melted. Seven years later a full meltdown occurred at
Chernobyl, sending massive amounts of radioactivity worldwide.
The aging fleet of reactors poses an additional risk of a meltdown. In
1985 the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimated a 45-percent chance
of a major meltdown occurring over a 20-year period. This hasn't happened,
but with reactor parts aging, and with the threat of a terrorist attack
looming, the specter of environmental holocaust continues to hang over
(2)Assurance that routine emissions are harmless. To produce electricity,
reactors must routinely release radioactive chemicals into the air and
water. More than 100 chemicals in gas or particle form are released, and
enter the body through breathing and the food chain. Each is cancer-causing
and damages different parts of the body: Strontium-90 attaches to bone
and teeth, Iodine-131 seeks out the thyroid gland, and Cesium-137 disperses
in the soft tissues.
Government regulators arbitrarily set "permissible" limits of
emissions, and, without doing the necessary health studies, declared that
low doses were harmless. But subsequent research indicates otherwise.
One medical journal article showed high levels of childhood cancer near
each of 14 nuclear plants in the Eastern U.S. Breast-cancer rates among
women exceed the national average near most U.S. nuclear plants.
(3)A long-term plan for nuclear waste. Most radioactivity produced by
reactors is stored as waste at each nuclear plant. For years the government
and the industry had no plan for a permanent waste repository, which now
amounts to a staggering 77,000 metric tons, or hundreds of Chernobyl accidents.
The plan to bury the waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has raised many
questions about the risks of moving and securing the waste, and now is
being held up in a series of legal actions.
With a permanent repository in jeopardy, the nation's nuclear plants must
secure a huge amount of deadly radioactivity. Plants were meant to store
the waste only temporarily but that waste would remain dangerous for thousands
of years. Building new reactors would only add to this dilemma.
New Reactors at North Anna?
The North Anna plant near Charlottesville and Richmond is a microcosm
of these three issues. As the plant opened (1979-1982), the cancer death
rate exceeded the state rate in just one of 10 counties within 30 miles
of the plant (population 400,000). Today (1999-2002), seven of 10 counties
have higher rates. A total of 915 metric tons of waste is stored at North
Anna -- a figure that will double in 25 years. And while no major meltdown
has occurred, North Anna's increasingly brittle parts raise the chances
of such an event. Still, Dominion Nuclear has asked the federal government
for preliminary approval to build two new reactors at the site.
Nuclear power isn't safe, and it's not even renewable. The world supply
of uranium used to power nuclear reactors is finite. There is talk of
reviving reprocessing of nuclear fuel, a sort of radioactive recycling.
But this is an especially dangerous technology that was discarded long
ago by the Ford and Carter administrations.
There are ways to produce electricity -- and using generation that is
much less dangerous than nuclear power -- which can easily replace the
19 percent of our electricity that nukes now generate. Among these choices
are solar and wind power, which pose no health risk and are renewable.
The threats of the past half-century created by nuclear reactors should
be understood, and safer solutions toward ending our energy crisis pursued.
Joseph Mangano is the national coordinator of the Radiation and Public
Health Project, a research organization based in New York.
death toll grossly underestimated
18 April 2006
Chernobyl, Ukraine — A new Greenpeace report has revealed that the
full consequences of the Chernobyl disaster could top a quarter of a million
cancers cases and nearly 100,000 fatal cancers.
Greenpeace press release:
Our report involved 52 respected scientists and includes information never
before published in English. It challenges the International Atomic Energy
Agency Chernobyl Forum report, which predicted 4,000 additional deaths
attributable to the accident as a gross simplification of the real breadth
of human suffering.
The new data, based on Belarus national cancer statistics, predicts approximately
270,000 cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases caused by Chernobyl. The
report also concludes that on the basis of demographic data, during the
last 15 years, 60,000 people have additionally died in Russia because
of the Chernobyl accident, and estimates of the total death toll for the
Ukraine and Belarus could reach another 140,000.
The report also looks into the ongoing health impacts of Chernobyl and
concludes that radiation from the disaster has had a devastating effect
on survivors; damaging immune and endocrine systems, leading to accelerated
ageing, cardiovascular and blood illnesses, psychological illnesses, chromosomal
aberrations and an increase in foetal deformations.
nuke prepares for flu
April 17, 2006
SEABROOK, N.H. --In addition to planning for terrorist attacks and equipment
problems, officials at the Seabrook (New Hampshire) nuclear plant also
are working on plans to keep the plant running safely in case employees
are hit by a flu outbreak.
Plant spokesman Al Griffith says the main concern is having enough employees
available to run the plant safely and efficiently.
Officials from the plant, and its owner, Florida Light and Power have
been attending conference on the issue sponsored by health and energy
By The Associated Press
Rev. William Sloane Coffin Dies at 81; Fought for
Civil Rights and Against a War
By MARC D. CHARNEY April 13, 2006
The Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., a civil rights and antiwar campaigner
who sought to inspire and encourage an idealistic and rebellious generation
of college students in the 1960's from his position as chaplain of Yale
University, then reveled in the role of lightning rod thrust upon him
by officials and conservatives who thought him and his style of dissent
dangerous, died yesterday at his home in Strafford, Vt. He was 81.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Amy Coffin.
She said he had recently been under hospice care.
Dr. Coffin, a believer in the power of civil disobedience to bring social
and political change, was arrested as a Freedom Rider early in the 1960's
and was an early admirer of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
An ordained Presbyterian minister, he embraced a philosophy that put social
activism at the heart of his clerical duties. In the late 1970's, when
he became senior minister of Riverside Church in New York — an institution
long known for its social agenda — he used his ministry to draw
attention to the plight of the poor, to question American political and
military power, to encourage interfaith understanding, and to campaign
for nuclear disarmament. Courage, he preached over the years, was the
first virtue, because "it makes all other virtues possible."
In his later years, he devoted himself to antiwar crusades, advocating
a nuclear freeze, opposing the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf and speaking
out against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. But he did not consider himself
a pacifist, and when genocide broke out in Bosnia, he asserted that there
were times when international intervention with force was justified.
But it was as the outspoken chaplain at Yale in the tumultuous years when
the Vietnam War was escalating that Dr. Coffin's name became known across
America. While he questioned the wisdom of the war almost from the start,
he came only slowly to a decision to apply to this cause the same tactics
of civil disobedience he had already engaged in on behalf of the struggle
for integration in the South.
Yet when he did, the spectacle he created — the chaplain of an Ivy
League university counseling students that they were right to resist the
draft, and accepting their draft cards to be turned in to the Justice
Department — so infuriated the Johnson administration that Attorney
General Ramsey Clark, himself a prominent liberal, sought to imprison
In one of the most celebrated trials of the day, Dr. Coffin, Dr. Benjamin
Spock and three others were accused of conspiracy to encourage draft evasion.
Dr. Coffin, Dr. Spock and two others were convicted, but the verdicts
were overturned on appeal. The case became a cause célèbre
for the antiwar left and civil libertarians, who considered the prosecution's
eventual failure an incomplete vindication of the right of free speech.
Dr. Coffin had a distinctive view of his own role as a dissenter. His
argument with American social practices and political policies, he said,
was that of a partner engaged in a "lovers' quarrel." It was
a position he could claim almost as a birthright, considering his lineage
and the patrician positions he held.
His forebears traced to the Pilgrims, and his father, also named William
Sloane Coffin, was a vice president of W. & J. Sloane, the furniture
manufacturers, and president of the board of trustees of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. His uncle, the Rev. Henry Sloane Coffin, was president
of Union Theological Seminary and the principal influence on his entry
into the ministry.
And for almost all of Dr. Coffin's adult life, his service was performed
in one or another institution near the heart of power and prestige: the
Central Intelligence Agency, Andover, Williams College, Yale, and then
Riverside Church, which had been built as an interdenominational house
of worship with financing from John D. Rockefeller Jr.
So if Dr. Coffin preached on behalf of the poor and the downtrodden, he
did so to the most prominent and talented of parishioners.
His enthusiastic ministry to the Vietnam generation at Yale prompted a
Yale alumnus of those years, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau, to gently lampoon
him as the offbeat Rev. Scot Sloan ("the thoroughly modern minister/enabler")
Another Yale man of the time, President Bush, has spoken of a less affectionate
memory: After Mr. Bush's father lost a Senate race in 1964 to Senator
Ralph Yarborough, Dr. Coffin told the young man, then a freshman, student
that he knew his father and that the better man had won. (Dr. Coffin disputed
After Dr. Coffin left Yale, disgust on the part of alumni with his political
activities was often blamed for a decline in alumni contributions. But
Yale was not the only university to deal with that problem in the 1970's.
Moreover, Dr. Coffin made the case that by addressing the anger, fears
and frustrated idealism of the students, the Yale administration may have
helped the university avoid the kind of fractures that left far deeper
scars at Columbia and other universities.
William Sloane Coffin Jr. was born on June 1, 1924, in Manhattan. His
father and his mother, Catherine Butterfield Coffin, were rearing him,
a brother and a sister in a penthouse that occupied the 15th and 16th
floors of a building on East 68th Street when the father died of a heart
attack in December 1933. He had slipped and fallen on the steps of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
With money less plentiful, Mrs. Coffin took the three children to Carmel-by-the-Sea
in California. She also took them to Paris, where young William studied
harmony in hopes of becoming a classical pianist. The interest in music
continued at Phillips Academy at Andover, from which he graduated in 1942,
and for a year at Yale's music school. Then he entered the Army and was
sent to Europe as an infantry officer.
Because of his facility with languages, he was made a liaison to the French
and, later, the Russian Army. In 1946, he took part in operations to forcibly
repatriate Soviet citizens who had been taken prisoner and who, once repatriated,
were never heard from again. The deceptions in which he took part to gain
the prisoners' trust before handing them over, he wrote in his memoir,
"Once to Every Man" (Atheneum, 1977), "left me a burden
of guilt I am sure to carry the rest of my life."
"Certainly," he added, "it influenced my decision in 1950
to spend three years in the C.I.A. opposing Stalin's regime."
His reference was to the years of the Korean War, which he spent in the
C.I.A. after being recruited by a brother-in-law who was a top agency
official. In Germany, he helped send anti-Soviet Russians back into Russia;
they would parachute in by night and work against the Soviet regime in
"I had seen that Stalin could occasionally make look Hitler look
like a Boy Scout," Dr. Coffin explained last year to a reporter for
The New York Times, Tim Weiner, who was preparing a history of the C.I.A.
"I was very anti-Soviet but very pro-Russian." But Soviet intelligence
detected nearly all of the efforts, and Dr. Coffin said the missions nearly
always ended in disaster. "It didn't work," he said. "It
was a fundamentally bad idea. We were quite naïve about the use of
The years in the spy agency, it turned out, were only an interlude. Before
joining it in 1950, he had left the Army as a captain in 1947, returned
to Yale and earned a degree in government. In 1949, he was captivated
by the possibilities of a religious vocation when, at the urging of his
Uncle Henry, he attended a conference at Union Theological Seminary and
heard Reinhold Niebuhr and prominent ministers from Harlem speak.
So when he returned to the United States in 1953, it was to study for
the ministry at Yale Divinity School. When he graduated in 1956, he returned
to Andover as the school's acting chaplain.
That year he also married Eva Anna Rubenstein, an actor and dancer who
was the daughter of the pianist Artur Rubenstein. The couple had three
children before the marriage ended in divorce in 1968.
After spending a year at Williams College as chaplain, Dr. Coffin was
named to the chaplain's post at Yale in 1958. The civil rights struggle
was heating up, and he was arrested three times when he went south to
join it. The arrests came in 1961, while taking part in a Freedom Ride
in Montgomery, Ala.; in 1963, while protesting segregation at an amusement
park near Baltimore; and in 1964, at a St. Augustine, Fla., lunch counter
that he and others were trying to integrate.
Dr. Coffin said aides to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had tried
to dissuade the Freedom Riders from making their trip in 1961. That first
arrest caused some surprise at Yale. But Dr. Coffin said he was only setting
a moral example.
"Every minister is given two roles, the priestly and the prophetic,"'
he said later that year. "The prophetic role is the disturber of
the peace, to bring the minister himself, the congregation and entire
moral order some judgment."
The athletic and voluble Dr. Coffin became a familiar figure on Yale's
campus, riding his motor scooter, joking with students and challenging
them to stand up for what they thought. But by 1967, the campus that had
largely welcomed him back from Montgomery as a man of courage was convulsed
with the passion surrounding the Vietnam War.
Much of the turmoil was over the draft, from which young men in college
were exempt but which was waiting for them as soon as they left academia.
Dr. Coffin, a critic of the country's war policy since 1965, had been
a founder of a group called Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam.
But he had concluded that letter-writing and seeking out policy makers
and members of Congress were having no effect.
In 1967, he chose a course of civil disobedience. First, he offered the
chapel at Yale as a sanctuary for those who were refusing to serve in
Then, on Oct. 16 of that year, as a major demonstration at the Pentagon
itself was being planned, Dr. Coffin helped preside at a service at the
Arlington Street Church in Boston at which young men who were resisting
the draft turned over their draft cards to him for delivery to the Justice
Department. Dr. Coffin and three others left about 185 draft cards and
175 classification notices at the Justice Department in Washington on
Oct. 20, a Friday, even as the capital braced for a weekend of demonstrations.
Dr. Coffin told James Reston, a Times columnist, that his effort was intended
to mount a "fair and dignified" legal challenge to the draft,
and his statement to the Justice Department made it clear that the protesters
were courting arrest as a symbolic act — a position in accord with
his statements that civil disobedience required confronting the draft
and accepting the legal consequences.
There was no immediate arrest, however, as the capital focused on the
confrontations in the streets between radical protesters and helmeted
troops outside the Pentagon. But on Jan. 5, 1968, the Justice Department
came back with a far more serious charge than the defendants had expected.
It indicted Dr. Coffin, Dr. Spock and the three others on charges that
they had engaged in a conspiracy to counsel draft evasion.
Dr. Coffin said he had not pushed the thought of draft evasion on anyone
who did not already have it, but the government argued that this defied
common sense, given the persuasive power that someone of his standing
would have when he took a position or set an example.
Dr. Coffin, Dr. Spock and two of the other three were convicted of conspiracy,
but the verdicts were overturned on appeal, largely because of errors
made by the judge. Dr. Coffin could have been retried, but the government
chose not to do so.
The case left him a national figure of protest — lionized by the
left, vilified by the right, and puzzled over by his superiors at Yale.
Kingman Brewster Jr., an expert on constitutional law who would himself
fall afoul of the Nixon administration, was Yale's president, and his
reactions said a great deal about the difficulties Dr. Coffin's brand
of conscience could present.
Eight days after Dr. Coffin turned in the draft cards in Washington, Mr.
Brewster gave a speech to parents of Yale students and said, "I disagree
with the chaplain's position on draft resistance, and in this instance
deplore his style."
Two years later, after Dr. Coffin's conviction was overturned but before
the government dropped the case, Mr. Brewster stood before entering freshmen
and held up Dr. Coffin and Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York as two men
who were "wholly unashamed of their high purpose."
He drew applause when he criticized the draft as "a system of conscription
which makes the campus a draft haven and distorts career choices in an
effort to avoid service in a war nobody wants to fight."
If the draft issue proved a political minefield for those seeking to hold
Yale together, the pattern became only more complex as the war dragged
on into the Nixon administration and another incendiary issue came to
the forefront: the prosecution of Black Panthers in New Haven on kidnapping
and murder charges.
In the spring of 1970, a constellation of spokesmen for the radical left
— among them Tom Hayden of Students for a Democratic Society, David
Dellinger of the antiwar movement, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin of the
Yippies, the poet Allen Ginsberg and Black Panther leaders — convened
a giant rally just outside the Yale campus to protest both the prosecution
of the Panthers and the conduct of the war. Officials throughout the Northeast
feared an explosion of violence at Yale's doorstep. National Guard troops
were sent into New Haven.
Among Yale's students and faculty, political sympathy for the left ran
high, but so did a concern to prevent violence. Students organized a group
of marshals to keep tempers cool.
Dr. Coffin met with rally organizers, who chose to put the most fiery
speakers on in the morning and the more boring ones on as night, with
its potential for disruption, was about to fall. He served on a committee
of monitors. And on the one night when events threatened to get out of
hand, he helped persuade a National Guard commander to keep his troops
In the end, the gathering proceeded largely peacefully, and when it was
over many at Yale basked briefly in self-congratulation that the threat
of serious violence had been averted.
Then came news that four young protesters had been killed when troops
opened fire at Kent State University in Ohio, where a remarkably similar
stage had been set that week — tense national guardsmen facing angry
students — but with less success at controlling tempers and fears.
In September 1972, Dr. Coffin was a member of group of clergy and peace
activists who went to Hanoi to accompany three released prisoners of war
on their return to the United States.
He remained chaplain of Yale until 1976, when he stepped down to work
with world hunger programs and write his memoir. A few months later, he
separated from his second wife, Harriet Gibney, whom he had married in
1969. That marriage, like his first, ended in divorce and he remarried
once more, to Virginia Randolph Wilson, who survives him.
Besides his daughter, by his first marriage, Amy, of Oakland, Calif.,
Dr. Coffin is survived by a son by his first marriage, David Coffin, of
Gloucester, Mass.; his brother, Ned Coffin, of Strafford; his sister,
Margot Lindsay, of Newton, Mass.; three grandchildren; two stepchildren,
Jessica Tidman, of Strafford, and Wil Tidman, of San Francisco; and four
stepgrandchildren. Another son by his first marriage, Alexander, died
Dr. Coffin was appointed to the ministry at Riverside Church in 1978.
There, he promoted international arms control and mobilized congregants
to work on local issues like unemployment and juvenile delinquency.
In 1979, he was one of three American clergymen who, along with a fourth
from Algeria, went to Tehran at their own expense to help the American
hostages held there celebrate Christmas. In the 1980's, after leaving
Riverside, he was a leader of Sane/Freeze, an organization that campaigned
for disarmament and a freeze on nuclear testing.
Dr. Coffin's activities slowed considerably in the 1990's, and in 1999
he suffered a stroke. But he continued to write and speak out from his
home in Strafford. In the spring and fall of 2003, he spoke out repeatedly
in criticism of the war President Bush was leading in Iraq. Last October,
he founded an organization of religious leaders calling for the elimination
of nuclear arms.
In the fall of 2003, he preached at Riverside Church again, on World Communion
Sunday, after being introduced by Kofi Annan, the secretary general of
the United Nations. His voice resonant, even though his speech was slow
and somewhat slurred, Dr. Coffin told the congregants that there was "a
huge difference between patriotism and nationalism."
"Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism
at the expense of another race," he declared, adding: "Let us
resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never. Let us love our country,
but pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora and fauna and human
life that it supports — one planet indivisible, with clean air,
soil and water; with liberty, justice and peace for all."
Copyright 2006 The
New York Times Company