Connecticut Coalition Against the Millstone Nuclear Power Reactor
CCAM NEWS 2007 part 4
Sickened, and Fighting Another Cold War
By ANTHONY DePALMA and DAVID STABA NYT December 23, 2007
They were some of the Cold War’s first warriors. Now they say they are among its last casualties, coping with cancers that may be linked to their work in Buffalo-area factories that made components for nuclear weapons half a century ago.
It took decades for the federal government to acknowledge that it exposed thousands of workers around the country to dangerous levels of radiation in factories handling nuclear materials, starting with the Manhattan Project in the 1940s and continuing, in some cases, into the 1970s.
The workers say they were never told there was any danger, and many developed cancer. In 2000, Congress approved a program to pay those sickened from exposure $150,000 each and to help with their medical bills.
But many of the workers and their families in New York now say they have been harmed twice over. First they were exposed to dangerous radiation without protective equipment when their employers were under contract with the government to do weapons work. Now the program that was set up to help them cope with cancer, they say, has turned out to be excessively complicated and arbitrary, requiring decades-old employment records that in many cases are incomplete or cannot be found.
So far, nationwide, more than 65 percent of 14,600 cases have been denied based on incomplete or missing employment records. In New York State, 55 percent of 1,021 cases have been denied on those grounds.
Many workers say they have spent years struggling with government red tape to get compensation for their illnesses. Lately they have been worried that the federal government, to contain costs, will make it even more difficult for them to receive compensation.
“I’m not angry, I’m disillusioned,” said Tom Murphy, 77, a maintenance worker at Linde Ceramics, a company in Tonawanda that processed uranium ore for the federal government’s atomic weapons program in the 1940s. After he developed skin cancer and heart problems, he filed for compensation but was denied because his work records were incomplete. He has appealed twice to the United States Department of Labor, which runs the program.
While Mr. Murphy struggles with his application, his family received posthumous compensation for his father, John P. Murphy, who also worked at the Linde plant. He died in 1973, of lung cancer linked to radiation exposure.
Mr. Murphy said that safety engineers at the plant routinely assured workers that there was nothing to worry about from radiation. “They had Ph.D.’s and were well-educated men,” Mr. Murphy said. “They knew what the repercussions over time would be.”
Retired workers in western New York say they have had a hard time meeting program requirements because they worked for companies, like Linde and Bethlehem Steel, where weapons development projects contracted by the government made up only a small part of their business. Over time, the companies changed hands or closed, making records hard to come by, thus blocking compensation for former workers.
Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton have complained about the way the Department of Labor has operated the program, which is known formally as the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.
“It’s appalling and inhumane,” Mr. Schumer said in a telephone interview. Last year, he asked the Office of the Inspector General to investigate the department and report by next spring on its handling of the program.
“I have confidence that the report will bring to light the almost pernicious activities of the department,” Mr. Schumer said. “Then we’ll see if the department can change on its own. If not, we’ll have to take action.”
Labor Department officials insist that after a slow start, the program is meeting expectations.
Over all, the program has provided some $3.4 billion in compensation across the country. That figure includes medical reimbursements and assistance through an additional effort begun in 2004 to help workers at the same plants who were disabled by diseases not linked to radiation exposure.
“We understand that people are frustrated by how long the process takes,” said Shelby Hallmark, director of workers’ compensation programs at the Department of Labor. He added that a substantial number of workers or their survivors may still not be aware of the program and have not yet filed claims, “but over all, this program is working well.”
Some sick workers in western New York, however, say too many claims are being denied without proper cause.
“For God’s sake, if somebody deserves it and has as much proof as we have, there’s no reason at all that they shouldn’t be compensated,” said Edwin Walker, 74, who worked at Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna from 1951 to 1954. He repaired furnaces and cooling beds where uranium ingots were shaped into rods. Now he has bladder cancer. While pursuing his claim for compensation, he has become an unofficial spokesman for more than 300 Bethlehem retirees fighting for compensation and care.
“We were told that to get compensated we would have to prove that we were diagnosed with cancer and that we worked there at the time,” Mr. Walker said. “Those were the two criteria. That’s all they told us.”
It can be difficult for workers to understand how much proof the government needs. Russell Earley, 83, operated a crane at Bethlehem Steel from 1941 to 1983, when he had surgery for colon cancer. In 2006 doctors told him he had a suspicious spot on each lung. His compensation claim has been denied twice.
“They took 24 inches of intestines, sewed my rectum up and hung a colostomy bag on me,” he said. “And when they denied me, they said, ‘Sickness not bad enough.’ Can you imagine?”
Under the program, workers exposed to radiation can receive compensation two ways.
They can apply individually, using employment, medical and exposure records to link their work to the cancer they developed. Government doctors and scientists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health then analyze the data to determine whether it is more likely than not that the disease was caused by the radiation. At the outset of the program in 2000, officials believed that only 10 percent of claims would be approved.
The second option is to be part of what is called a special exposure cohort. In cases where so many records have been lost or destroyed that it is impossible to accurately reconstruct radiation dosages, workers can ask the government to declare anyone who worked in a particular building where radioactive material or residue was present to be included in a cohort.
In such cases, workers with any of 22 types of cancer and other diseases are presumed to have become sick from their work at the plant. Certain survivors can also receive the compensation if the worker has died.
Antoinette Bonsignore, a lawyer who has been assisting former Linde plant workers for three years, plans to file a petition for special exposure cohort designation for hundreds of men who worked at the plant from 1947 to 1953, when radioactive debris still contaminated the workplace. Workers at the plant from 1942 to 1947 already have that status.
Ms. Bonsignore said the government has tried to make the petition process difficult.
“This is an intentional effort to cut costs, and not just a bureaucratic nightmare,” Ms. Bonsignore said.
In late 2005, the federal Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to the Department of Labor saying that it might be necessary to “contain growth in the cost of benefits” by adding layers of administrative approval.
That memo was the subject to two congressional hearings in 2006 in which Labor Department officials testified that there was no change in policy and the memo was merely a suggestion for controlling costs that was ultimately ignored.
Lewis V. Wade, a senior science adviser to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is the designated federal official on the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, which evaluates the scientific validity of decisions made in the nuclear workers’ compensation program. He said the number of special exposure cohorts had been rising because the records needed to make individual decisions about compensation were not as available as expected.
He denied that there had been any attempt to curtail the program.
“My agency has been given no instruction or in no way has been pressured to do anything but apply our science as accurately or in as timely a fashion as we can,” Mr. Wade said.
Mr. Walker, formerly of Bethlehem Steel, said any attempt to cut costs would be a betrayal of the workers who rolled up their sleeves on the assembly line when the government needed them.
“What isn’t right, isn’t right,” he said. He vowed to continue fighting against what he sees as injustices for as long as his health holds up.
“I’ll go down swinging,” he said.
Anthony DePalma reported from New York, and David Staba from Buffalo.
By John P. Gregg Valley News Staff Writer
Lebanon -- Pressing his populist campaign with greater intensity and aided by rock 'n' roll star power, Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards yesterday told 500 Upper Valley voters that he has the experience and determination to fight moneyed interests in Washington.
“The voters here in New Hampshire are going to say the United States of America is better than this. We are going to take this democracy back … we are going to make this country work for everybody, and not just the few,” Edwards said at a campaign rally at the Lebanon Opera House. “I am the person who has fought these people and won against them over and over and over, my entire life.”
Edwards spoke following a four-song set by Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, two baby boomer rock stars drawn to the North Carolina Democrat by his stand against nuclear power.
“We don't lend our endorsement lightly, we're here for a reason,” Raitt told the crowd. She lauded Edwards, a former trial lawyer and one-term U.S. senator, as a “man of fortitude” and said, “He has a lifetime of standing up for people who don't have a voice (who can) shake things up in Washington to stop business as usual. That's why we’ve got to get this guy elected, so we get some real change and not just lip service.”
The two singers, who a generation ago headlined the No Nukes concerts, were an obvious attraction for many in the audience, with a set that included Angel From Montgomery, I'm a Patriot and Thing Called Love.
Cornish resident Beverly DuVal, a clinical secretary at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, brought a 1982 Raitt album she was hoping to get autographed and cheered and swayed along with the songs.
“I love Bonnie. I've always loved her,” said DuVal, who attended the event with her daughter. “When she sang Montgomery, I cried. I knew every word. She's the best, that’s why I have her album from '82.”
The concert and town hall rally was both a local campaign forum and a made-for-TV event, with students from Lebanon High School sitting on stage behind the headliners.
Lebanon High teacher Deb Nelson, an Edwards supporter, said the campaign forum and a recent appearance at the high school by former President Bill Clinton, were an opportunity for students to see civics in action, but she also kept an eye on logistics, excusing herself to tidy up the students on stage before the concert started.
“I want to be sure to get rid of their gum,” she said.
After Raitt and Browne performed, Elizabeth Edwards spoke for about 10 minutes about her husband's background as the son of a millworker whose mother gave up a modest antique shop and took a job at the post office to ensure that she and her husband had health insurance.
And she firmly rejected the notion that her husband is an “accidental populist,” as an article in the New Republic suggested, saying his support for universal health care, a more progressive tax policy and other reforms were deep-rooted and personal.
“None of the policies that he talks about are accidental. They are not something he read about in The New York Times or the New Republic and decided to embrace, and not something some consultant whispered in his ear, or even his wife whispered in his ear,” Elizabeth Edwards said. “These are the things that he believes at his core because of the way he was raised.”
Given the atmospherics of the event, Edwards himself was dressed informally, having traded in his usual blue blazer or suit coat for a zippered pullover with his campaign logo, “Tomorrow Begins Today.”
Several voters said they were drawn by Edwards' passion and conviction, though many are still undecided among Edwards and rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
“I was impressed by him. I liked his ideas. I liked the firmness that he's expressing about the changes he wants to make,” said Frank Fahey, a retired educator from Claremont also considering Obama's candidacy. “I don’t think we see that, even though I like Obama, I don't think we see that firmness from Obama or Clinton.”
Raitt and Browne weren't the only celebrities at the venue. Actor Peter Coyote introduced them, and MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews was greeted by more than a dozen voters as he watched Edwards' speech as a working journalist.
Matthews later broadcast his show from Murphy's on the Green in Hanover and also recorded a nine-minute interview with Edwards in the middle of Colburn Park, with Lebanon's City Hall, and the snow-covered downtown, as a backdrop.
“It's the middle of December, it's New Hampshire, and it's cold,” Matthews told a producer.
Banish the Censorship:
Nancy Burton v. Patricia Daddona et al.
RETURN DATE: JANUARY 22, 2008 : SUPERIOR COURT
NANCY BURTON : JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF
PATRICIA DADDONA :
THE DAY PUBLISHING COMPANY :
RICHARD S. BLUMENTHAL : :
PATRICK GAURUDER : DECEMBER 17, 2007
1. The Millstone Nuclear Power Station (“Millstone”), owned and operated by a for-profit corporation, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.(“Dominion”), and located on Rope Ferry Road in Waterford, Connecticut, is designed to and does routinely release radiation into the surrounding residential environment.
2. Airborne radioactive effluents, which cannot be seen, felt, smelled, tasted or heard, are carried by the wind to locations offsite where members of the public are involuntarily and unknowingly exposed to them.
3. Millstone has released more radiation to the environment than nearly any other nuclear power plant in the United States.
4. On April 17, 2005, Millstone suffered a Class II emergency during when unusually high levels of krypton and other radioactive gases, which decay to highly carcinogenic “daughter” products, were released into the atmosphere, over a period of many hours.
5. Dominion falsely denied unusual radiation releases during the Class II emergency event in its statements to the news media.
6. On occasion, Millstone engages in the act of “purging” its radiation control systems and facility by venting larger-than-normal radioactive gases to the environment; despite citizen requests, Dominion refuses to alert the public in advance of its planned releases.
7. In 2002, Dominion reported to the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) that goat milk it sampled in the year 2001 at 22 Dayton Road in Waterford, Connecticut, five (5) miles north of Millstone, had a concentration of 51 picoCuries per liter of strontium-90, a deadly carcinogen which, mimicking calcium, settles in teeth and bone tissue, causing cancer and diseases of the immune system.
8. A concentration of 51 picoCuries of strontium per liter is an extraordinarily high concentration, approximately 50 times the concentration found in commercial cow’s milk randomly sampled across the nation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at approximately the same time.
9. At other times, goat milk sampled at the same location was significantly elevated, as reported by Dominion to DEP.
10. Radionuclides released by Millstone cause biological harm and chromosomal damage to human cells.
11. Much about the process by which radioisotopes damage human cells is not well understood.
12.However, it is known that radiation disrupts chromosomes, that in 1 per cent of pregnancies the umbilical cord contains only two blood vessels rather than the normal three and that in such instances studies suggest that about 25 per cent of the babies have birth defects, including chromosomal or other abnormalities; that tumors occur in umbilical cords and the rupture of such tumors may lead to intrauterine fetal death; and that medical authorities frequently incorrectly attribute stillbirth to umbilical cord entanglement when other medical causes are at issue.
13. According to a 2006 report of the National Research Council of the National Academies (“Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII - Phase 2"), http://darwin.nap.edu/books/030909156X/html, no exposure to radiation is without potential risk of health consequence and exposures to radiation are cumulative.
14. Fetuses developing in utero are the most vulnerable to radiation exposure; they are at risk of death due to radiation exposure.
15. Young children are particularly vulnerable to radiation exposures.
16. Indeed, according to a report issued in October 19, 2006 by the Institute for Environmental and Energy Research, entitled “Science for the Vulnerable: Setting Radiation and Multiple Exposure Environmental Health Standards to Protect Those Most at Risk,” http://www.ieer.org/campaign/report.pdf, “[T]he overall risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure as a young child (0 to 5 years) is 2.6 times greater for a boy than the risk for a 25-year-old adult male and 3 times greater for a girl than the risk for an adult female. For young children, the risk to girls is 86 per cent higher than the risk to boys for the same level of exposure.”
17. Children living within 5 kilometers (approximately 3.1 miles) of 16 nuclear power plants evaluated over a period of 24 years in Germany were 60 per cent more likely become afflicted with cancer and 120 per cent more likely to develop leukemia (a blood disease which may be linked to strontium-90 damage to bone marrow tissue), according to a report recently released the German section of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and carried out by the Office for Radiation Protection, which reports to the German government. See http://www.bfs.de/en/bfs/presse/aktuell_press/Studie_Kernkraftwerke.html.
18. Millstone routinely releases toxic chemicals and radioactive byproducts into the Long Island Sound; wind and tidal action wash these effluents ashore to surrounding public beaches (“Pleasure Beach” in Waterford and Hole-in-the-Wall Beach in East Lyme/Niantic).
19. The residential communities located near Pleasure Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall Beach are well known to suffer from high rates of cancer; clusters of brain cancer, breast cancer and life-threatening illnesses among children.
20. Many neighborhoods in the towns surrounding Millstone are populated by families with cancer victims, such as Niantic River Road, Seabreeze Drive, Shore Road, Brahmin Road and Dayton Road in Waterford.
21. On or about November 2006, an organization named Kids Against Cancer released information at a press conference it held on the Millstone grounds of some 36 cases of cancer then-currently afflicting children in the New London-Waterford-East Lyme area; the organization’s survey was not exhaustive.
22. Cancers which may be linked to Millstone radiation releases - such as leukemia, thyroid cancer, bone cancer and others - have caused the deaths of many children in the New London-Waterford-East Lyme area in the recent past; many children in the area suffer from developmental disabilities.
23. Zachary Hartley was born with a rare life-threatening cancer in his face which required surgical removal of his jawbone during infancy; his mother, otherwise healthy, frequently swam at Hole-in-the-Wall Beach during her pregnancy.
24. Millstone’s owner reported that cesium-137, a potent carcinogen which lodges in muscle tissue, was found in a fish in Niantic Bay not far from Hole-in-the-Wall Beach the year of Zachary’s birth and that the cesium-137 was released from Millstone into the Long Island Sound next to Niantic Bay as a waste byproduct of Millstone’s nuclear fission.
25. There is medical reason to believe that Zachary’s life-threatening condition was caused by his mother’s exposure during pregnancy to Millstone’s deadly waste byproducts in Niantic Bay.
26.Routine operations of Millstone constitute a menace to the public health and are a public nuisance.
27. The Day Publishing Company, with offices at 47 Eugene O’Neill Drive, New London, Connecticut, publishes a daily newspaper known as The Day, which has a readership of 100,000 in the 20-town region of southeastern Connecticut.
28. The Day receives large revenues from real estate advertising; these revenues and other revenues would plummet if the full truth of Millstone’s environmental and health effects to the community were widely known in the community.
29. The Day also receives substantial revenues from publication of obituaries for which it charges a fee.
30. The Day maintains an archive of obituaries published in The Day; the archives contain hundreds of obituaries of individuals in southeastern Connecticut who have died from cancer just during the past two years.
31. On or about August 11, 2006, The Day published the obituary of Evan Joel Gauruder, containing the following text:
Quaker Hill - Evan Joel Gauruder, beloved infant son of Patrick and Channing Badurek Gauruder, of 469 Mohegan Avenue, Quaker Hill, entered eternal life on Aug. 9, 2006. He was the beloved brother of Christopher and Teancum Gauruder. The Funeral Service will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 12 Dunbar Road, Waterford. Interment will be private. Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Ave., New London, has been entrusted with the arrangements.
32. The obituary did not state that Evan Joel Gauruder was stillborn nor that his death was attributable to an umbilical cord entanglement but gave the contrary impression that Evan Joel Gauruder was alive at birth but died in infancy.
33. By virtue of such voluntary publication of the obituary in The Day, the death of Evan Joel Gauruder in his infancy became a matter of public record.
34. The Gauruder address, 469 Mohegan Avenue, Quaker Hill, is located approximately seven (7) miles downwind of Millstone and near the location where goat milk sampled by Dominion from 2001 through 2005 showed high concentrations of strontium-90.
35. It is also in an area with a pronounced pattern of elevated cancer incidences.
36. Because the death of any child for other than accidental cause is a matter of general public concern within the society, and particularly where the death occurred within the ten-mile “peak fatality” radius of a nuclear power plant and downwind of it, the untimely death is a matter of heightened public concern.
37. On or about October 1998, Nancy Burton, of 147 Cross Highway, Redding Ridge, Connecticut, co-founded the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, a grassroots, all-volunteer, public interest coalition of various statewide safe-energy organizations, Millstone whistleblowers, individuals and families across the state.
38. The Coalition was specifically organized to mount a challenge to an application by Millstone’s owner to expand the storage capacity of its Unit 3 spent fuel pool, during which challenge the Coalition exposed the company for losing track of two highly radioactive 12-foot-long spent fuel rods and concealing such fact from the public for 20 years.
39. At the same time, the Coalition was created to strengthen statewide grassroots efforts to conduct research into the environmental and health consequences of Millstone operations, to educate the public about the dangers of Millstone operations and to arouse government leaders to take action to protect the public health and safety from the risks of Millstone operations.
40. The community residing closest to Millstone suffers some of the highest rates of cancer in the state and has an elevated infant mortality rate.
41. Nevertheless, concerted appeals to federal, state and local government officials to investigate the cause of this phenomenon have to date been virtually unavailing; indeed, appeals to Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal, the Connecticut DEP and the Connecticut Department of Public Health have met with complete disinterest.
42. Worse, DEP released a study, perhaps secretly authored by Dominion, denying any link between Millstone and the very high levels of strontium-90 found in goat milk at 22 Dayton Road in Waterford; yet when confronted with exposes by two independent experts on the issue, DEP refused to reconsider its absurd position.
43. When Zachary Hartley’s mother appealed, directly and indirectly, to state and local authorities to post signs at Hole-in-the-Wall Beach warning of the hazards to pregnant women and young children from bathing in Niantic Bay because of the presence of chemical and radioactive waste byproducts released by Millstone, her pleas were ignored by the state DEP, the state Department of Public Health and the First Selectman of the Town of East Lyme, who hid the sign she presented as a gift to the town in a closet in his office rather than post it at the town beach.
44. To date, there are no signs warning of the hazards to pregnant women and young children from bathing in the waters at Hole-in-the-Wall Beach or Pleasure Beach.
45. Similarly, appeals to Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal to act to stop Millstone nuisance activities and to direct Dominion to virtually eliminate its toxic and radioactive waste discharges to the public waters by complying with the federal Clean Water Act and converting to a closed cooling system have met with opposite results: Mr. Blumenthal’s concerted efforts to keep the Millstone nuclear reactors running and to maintain the status quo with regard to the environmentally harmful once-through cooling system.
46. Similarly, appeals to the Connecticut Department of Public Health to take action pursuant to its authority under state law (Connecticut General Statutes §19a-74: “The Department of Public Health may make investigations concerning cancer, the prevention and treatment thereof and the mortality therefrom and take such action as it deems will assist in bringing about a reduction in the mortality due thereto.”) have to date been unavailing.
43. Ms. Burton, as director of the Coalition, in an effort to draw community, government and media attention to a perceived growing epidemic of early childhood mortalities and in the hope of marshaling government support to investigate any possible relation to Millstone’s radiation releases to the environment, contributed a posting to the Coalition’s website, www.MothballMillstone.org, in 2006, which stated as follows:
Where Have All the Children Gone?
Are we allowing Millstone to kill our own?
Most unforgivably, we are losing babies, young children and young adults daily to rare cancers and illnesses that may be linked to radiation exposure. All these sad losses deprived us of promises unfulfilled and brought the deepest heartache tho those who knew and loved these children best.
We grieve for the families of*
Eli Paul Levesque of Niantic who died at age 17 months
Collin Mahkai Blanco of Gales Ferry, who died at 7 months
Douglas Weaver of New London who died the day he was born
Evan Joel Gauruder of Quaker Hill, who died in his infancy
Christopher Graham of Mystic, who died of cancer at age 23
Erin Marie Beacham of North Stonington, who died of cancer at age 23
*From information published in The Day in 2006.
39. On or about December 5, 2007, Patrick Gauruder telephoned Ms. Burton to request that the name of his son, Evan Joel Gauruder, whose name appeared on the website, be removed from the website.
40. Mr. Gauruder stated that Evan Joel Gauruder was stillborn and that the umbilical cord was around his neck when he was delivered and that, therefore, Mr. Gauruder did not believe that Millstone was in any way responsible for the death of Evan Joel Gauruder.
41. Ms. Burton expressed her sincere sympathy to Mr. Gauruder and told him that Evan Joel Gauruder’s name would be removed from the website.
42. Ms. Burton thereupon contacted the website webmaster, who removed Evan Joel Gauruder’s name from the website shortly thereafter.
43. Minutes later, Mr. Gauruder sent an email to the webmaster, having confirmed that Evan Joel Gauruder’s name had been removed from the website and expressing his thanks.
44. Patricia Daddona is a reporter for The Day who has been assigned to cover Millstone for the past several years.
45. During such period of time, Ms. Daddona and The Day have manifested bias in suppressing and withholding important information and neglecting and refusing to provide coverage of many significant matters involving Millstone, including whistleblower disclosures of Dominion’s practice of routinely disabling its security system (until the story broke in the national media), Dominion’s current application to increase Millstone’s Unit 3 radiation emissions to the environment by an estimated 9 per cent and other topics of key significance to the community, and much of the newspaper’s Millstone coverage has been inaccurate, misleading and reported verbatim from Millstone’s corporate public relations personnel and lobbyists.
46. Indeed, on one recent occasion, Ms. Daddona denied that a Waterford resident had recorded high radiation readings on her radiation detector near Millstone at the onset of an unplanned shutdown, although Ms. Daddona had no basis whatsoever for her statement other than a desire to shield Millstone’s radiation rfeleases from public scrutiny; The Day did not publish the information.
47. Upon information and belief, after confirming that the name of Evan Joel Gauruder had been removed from the said website, Mr. Gauruder contacted The Day and Attorney Richard S. Blumenthal and others to complain that Evan Joel Gauruder’s name had appeared on the website.
48. The Day assigned Ms. Daddona to report on Mr. Gauruder’s complaint.
49. Ms. Daddona contacted Ms. Burton for comment; she did not inform Ms. Burton that she had a letter from Mr. Gauruder nor share its contents; although Ms. Burton provided a written comment ( copy below), Ms. Daddona falsely reported that Ms. Burton “did not respond to several e-mails and phone calls seeking comment” and the article did not include Ms. Burton’s comment:
The Day has published hundreds of obituaries of members of the New London community who have died of cancer during the past two years.
There are clusters of breast cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer and supposedly rare forms of cancer which particularly target children in the towns surrounding the Millstone Nuclear Power Station. A just-released German study has found that children under five are at 60 per cent greater risk of cancer and 120 per cent greater risk of leukemia if they live within 5 kilometers of a nuclear power plant. The study covers the locations of 16 German nuclear power stations over a period of 24 years. The study was carried out by the Office for Radiation Protection, which reports to the German government. Please contact the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone or the German government for a copy of the study.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone calls on government and the news media to examine the apparent link between proximity to Millstone and a heightened risk of cancer.
50. By failing to publish Mr. Burton’s comment, or any portion of it, Ms. Daddona and The Day perpetuated their practice of censoring negative information about Millstone and particularly suppressing information linking Millstone to cancer, infant mortality and other health effects; moreover, Ms. Daddona and The Day perpetuated their now-habitual practice of denigrating Ms. Burton so that the southeastern Connecticut community would reject her message and remain in the dark about the Millstone menace.
51. On December 15, 2007, The Day published an article entitled “Parents Say Anti-Nuclear Group Exploited the Death of Their Child.”
52. A copy of the article is annexed hereto as Exhibit A.
53. The article is defamatory and libelous in its totality.
54. The article contains passages which are false and defamatory as follows:
(a) “Infant Evan Joel Guaruder died last August, but a listing on the “Mothball Millstone” Web site suggests, incorrectly, that he might have succumbed to radiation exposure.”
(b) “Patrick and Channing Gauruder of Quaker Hill said they were stunned last week when a random Google search for their last name turned up in a list on the anti-Millstone site with five other children and young adults.”
(c) “The site’s section is headlined ‘Where Have All the Children Gone?’ It lists the six lives as possibly succumbing to “rare cancers and illnesses that may be linked to radiation exposure.’”
(d) “”Dealing with death is hard enough on an everyday basis,’ Patrick Gauruder said. With the incorrect information posted on the Internet, ‘you have to relive it,’ he said, ‘because someone uses your baby’s name because they want to further their cause and elicit an emotional response. To me, there’s no honesty at all.’”
(e) “Burton removed most of the references after Patrick Gauruder called her last week, he said.”
(f) “The Web site states that the information Burton or the coalition posted was taken from obituaries that have run in The Day.”
(g) “Burton did not respond to several e-mails and phone calls seeking comment.”
(h) Still angry, the Quaker Hill couple said they are considering suing Burton or the coalition. They are as upset now by what they call misrepresentation and manipulation as when Patrick Gauruder first found the listing, they say.”
(i) That day, late on December 5, Patrick Gauruder e-mailed friends as well as Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn, about what he could do to hold Burton and the coalition accountable.”
(j) “‘First and foremost, I am deeply sympathetic as a parent of four children to the grief and hurt that their letter reflects,’ he [Blumenthal] said. ‘I was moved by it and certainly deeply disturbed by what happened. Whether we can do anything to help them I cannot say at this point. We need to review the facts and explore the law.’”
(k) “The Gauruders also have appealed to the press and other media concerning the situation, which they describe as unethical and possibly illegal. Publication on the Internet without their consent or the correct facts misrepresents the cause of Evan’s death and invades their privacy, they added.”
(l) “Even if radiation emissions from Millstone were a concern of hers, Channing Gauruder said, ‘I still would not want my son’s name there because it’s not related.’”
(m) “‘I’m not looking for money out of this,’ Patrick Guaruder said. ‘I’m looking that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.’”
(n) [Photo Caption] “Patrick and Channing Gauruder complained to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal after an anti-nuclear group claimed the stillbirth of their baby possibly linked to radiation from the Millstone nuclear power complex.”
55. The defamation was a product of a longstanding malicious intent on the part of The Day and Ms. Daddona in their zeal to censor and suppress information about the health effects of Millstone operations.
55. Ms. Burton’s posting of Evan Joel Gauruder’s name as a member of the community who died as an infant was undertaken to alert the community to the loss of its infant member and to arouse the government and news media to investigate the cause for such loss.
56. The posting of Evan Joel Gauruder’s name as a member of the community who died as an infant was a privileged publication.
57. The posting of Evan Joel Gauruder’s name as a member of the community who died as an infant was an act of protected speech under the First Amendment.
58. On December 15, 2007, Ms. Burton communicated demands to The Day and Ms. Daddona to retract their libelous article forthwith pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-237, to no avail.
59. Moreover, on December 15, 2007, The Day posted the article on its website, www.TheDay.com, together with a series of false and defamatory comments provided by mostly anonymous writers; a copy of the posting is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
60. Further on December 15, 2007, Ms. Burton communicated demands to The Day and Ms. Daddona to take down the defamatory website postings forthwith pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-237, to no immediate avail; subsequently, The Day removed some of the offending anonymous defamatory postings.
61. Richard S. Blumenthal is Attorney General of the State of Connecticut.
62. Mr. Blumenthal is sued herein in his official and personal capacities.
63. The article states that Mr. Gauruder emailed a letter to Mr. Blumenthal which Mr. Blumenthal had not read, but that The Day provided Mr. Blumenthal with a copy of the letter.
64. Upon reading the letter, and without making any attempt to contact Ms. Burton to ascertain the facts of the matter, the article states Mr. Blumenthal made the following comment:
I was moved by it [the letter] and certainly deeply disturbed by what happened. Whether we can do anything to help them I cannot say at this point. We need to review the facts and explore the law. [Emphasis added.]
65. The statement attributed to Mr. Blumenthal is defamatory.
66. By innuendo, Mr. Blumenthal condemned the posting of the death of Evan Joel Garauder in his infancy, as reported by The Day in a published obituary, as an unprivileged act providing cause for potential litigation.
67. Moreover, Mr. Blumenthal’s comment fomented vexatious and abusive litigation without cause against Ms. Burton and thereby Mr. Blumenthal maligned and defamed Ms. Burton.
68. Having failed to make any effort to investigate the true facts of the matter before uttering his condemnation of the posting, Mr. Blumenthal evinced reckless indifference to the truth.
69. The inevitable effect of Mr. Blumenthal’s pronouncement will be to perpetuate further the state’s refusal to investigate the cause of heightened cancer and infant mortality rates in southeastern Connecticut and to fail to address the effects of Millstone’s radiation releases on the human community and particularly its children.
70. Mr. Blumenthal’s egregious action was in clear abuse of his authority and clearly beyond his statutory authority.
71. Mr. Blumenthal’s act was a betrayal of the public trust in the health and wellbeing of young children.
72. Mr. Blumenthal’s defamatory condemnation was also a product of his personal malice against Ms. Burton, who challenged his deceptive record on nuclear and other issues when she campaigned in 2006 as the Green Party candidate for Connecticut Attorney General.
73. For example, while Mr. Blumenthal has issued press releases and signed petitions condemning the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) for its inadequate standards governing nuclear reactor relicensing, neither Mr. Blumenthal nor any governmental official challenged Dominion’s application to obtain relicensing federal relicensing for Millstone, in which proceedings the NRC refused to consider the true health and environmental consequences of continued Millstone operations to date nor during the projected relicensing period ; in contrast, Mr. Blumenthal has petitioned to intervene in pending proceedings on relicensing of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in another state.
74. For example, while Mr. Blumenthal has issued press releases and signed petitions condemning federal failures to provide for safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste accumulating at nuclear reactor sites, he vigorously advocated in support of Dominion’s recent application to the Connecticut Siting Council to store highly radioactive spent fuel rods above-ground in a container licensed for only 20 years, on an unprotected platform site vulnerable to terrorism rather than the obvious alternative dictated by concerns for the public health and safety: to reject the application in favor of effectuating the closure of Millstone Unit 2 and its generation of deadly waste for which no safe repository exists.
75. For example, while Mr. Blumenthal recently argued vigorously as an amicus curiae party to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Riverkeeper, Inc. that federal law mandates conversion of nuclear power plants using once-through cooling systems to closed cooling systems to diminish adverse environmental impacts to marinelife and thermal impacts, in ongoing proceedings before DEP Mr. Blumenthal is arguing vigorously for the continuation of the status quo which amounts to an illegal profit windfall for Dominion at the expense of the public trust.
76. On December 15, 2007, Ms. Burton emailed a request to Mr. Blumenthal to retract his false and defamatory remarks, to no avail.
77.The article quotes Mr. Gauruder as stating that the website posting lacked ”honesty,” involved “misrepresentation” and “manipulation,” and was “unethical” and “possibly illegal”; such statements are false and defamatory.
78. The website posting was honest and in good faith, did not involve misrepresentation or manipulation and it was ethical and legally privileged and indeed necessary in the current vacuum of governmental attention to this issue.
79. On December 15, 2007, Ms. Burton emailed a request to Mr. Gauruder to retract his
false and defamatory remarks, to no avail.
80. Ms. Burton has been harmed by the original publication of the defamatory article, continual posting of the article on the Day website and posting of defamatory comments on the Day website by, in most cases, anonymous individuals.
81. Ms. Burton has suffered personal harm to her reputation.
82. In addition, the publications constitute a bad-faith assault upon community nuclear whistleblowing and conscientious efforts to protect our most vulnerable population - young children and the unborn - and they constitute deceptive and mean-spirited intimidation tactics whose employment is inimical to the wellbeing of the community.
83. Ms. Burton has no adequate remedy law.
WHEREFORE, the plaintiff requests that the Court grant the following relief:
1. That her complaint be sustained;
2. That she be awarded punitive and compensatory damages in accordance with law and §52-237, a portion of which will be utilized to investigate the causes of elevated cancer and early infant mortality in the communities surrounding Millstone;
3. Cost of this action;
4. A temporary and permanent injunction enjoining The Day from continued posting of the offending defamatory article and associated “public comments” on its website.
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
John Gofman's Nuclear Courage
by JOSEPH J. MANGANO
[posted online on September 14, 2007]
The life of eminent nuclear scientist and physician John Gofman ended last month just short of age 89. The New York Times obituary recounted his scientific résumé but ignored the backlash he faced from industry and government, simply describing him as a "nuclear gadfly." Gofman should be remembered for his brilliance and integrity, which are critical factors in the current debate over the future of nuclear power.
Gofman's brilliance was evident early. His doctoral dissertation described co-discoveries of radioactive uranium-232 and -233, and protactinium-232 and -233, and the ability to transform uranium-233 into an atomic bomb. Soon after graduation, Gofman joined the Manhattan Project to help win the race with Nazi Germany for the first atomic bomb. His team at the University of California, Berkeley, made more than one milligram of plutonium--the most created to that point--leading to the plutonium bombs tested in New Mexico and used at Nagasaki.
After the war, Gofman settled in at Berkeley as a teacher and researcher, focusing not on radiation but coronary disease. His pioneering work on lipoproteins in the blood--HDL and LDL cholesterol--remains a cornerstone of cardiology. In 1974 the American College of Cardiology named him as one of the twenty-five leading researchers in the field over the previous quarter-century.
But the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union pulled Gofman back into the nuclear world. In the early 1950s the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) set up a nuclear weapons research lab at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, fifty miles from Berkeley. Gofman formed the lab's medical department and worked part-time for several years, helping with calculations on health effects and problems of nuclear war before returning to Berkeley.
In late 1962, during the depths of cold war tensions, Livermore beckoned again. Massive atomic bomb testing by both superpowers was spreading fallout across the globe in unprecedented amounts, and the world came perilously close to nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. Gofman headed a biology and medicine lab; with an annual budget of more than $3 million, he formed a crackerjack staff of 150.
With scientists like Linus Pauling and Andrei Sakharov warning about hazards of bomb fallout, and with the government issuing repeated denials, a moral crisis was imminent for Gofman. Soon after he took over the lab, an official at Livermore asked him to help suppress publication of the work of AEC scientist Harold Knapp, who concluded that doses of radioactive iodine from bomb tests in Utah were much higher than the AEC had publicly admitted. Despite the warning that "we can't afford to have him publish that evidence," Gofman reviewed Knapp's analysis with his staff, and found it accurate. Refusing to yield to political heat, Gofman urged publication of the data, which the AEC reluctantly allowed.
Nuclear tensions eased after the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, signed by President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, banned atmospheric nuclear tests. But the treaty did not mean the end of the battle over fallout's harm. In 1969 University of Pittsburgh physicist Ernest Sternglass startled many when he published an article in Esquire magazine showing that for the first time in the twentieth century, the steady rate of decline in US infant death rates had halted as bombs were tested in the atmosphere. Sternglass calculated that 400,000 additional American infants died in the 1950s and early '60s, and suggested that fallout was the cause.
The AEC called on Gofman and his colleague Arthur Tamplin to debunk the article. Although Gofman later acknowledged that "Sternglass may have been right," the two estimated that excess infant deaths were about 4,000, not 400,000. But even that wasn't enough for AEC officials, who told them to publish only a critique with no estimates. They ignored the AEC and published the paper using the 4,000 figure.
By now, Gofman had built a reputation for being an obstacle to the AEC party line, but he had yet to be disciplined. A more cautious person might have stopped insisting that nuclear power was harming people, to preserve his professional status. But that wasn't John Gofman. Just months after the Sternglass controversy, he turned to radiation routinely emitted by nuclear power reactors, the darlings of the nuclear industry, heralded as a "peaceful" use of the atom.
In late 1969 Gofman and Tamplin were among the first scientists to oppose nuclear power in a paper asserting that even low-dose radiation harmed humans. "I realized that the entire nuclear power program was based on a fraud--namely that there was a 'safe' amount of radiation, a permissible dose that wouldn't hurt anybody," recalled Gofman. The duo calculated a worst-case scenario in which 32,000 additional Americans would die of cancer each year if everybody received the permissible AEC dose from reactors.
He proposed a five-year moratorium on new nuclear plants, declaring that "licensing a nuclear power plant is in my view, licensing random premeditated murder." Gofman had now become too much for the establishment. In 1972 the AEC removed funding for twelve of thirteen of Tamplin's staff members. Later, it threatened to remove Gofman's $250,000 in funds for cancer research at Livermore. He applied to the National Cancer Institute for replacement funding but was rejected, as the blacklist extended throughout the federal government. Gofman resigned and went back to Berkeley.
Being ousted from Livermore didn't stop Gofman from investigating radiation risks. His 1985 book X-rays: Health Effects of Common Exams, co-written with Egan O'Connor, stated that 75 percent of cancer cases are caused by medical radiation, including X-rays, mammograms and CT scans. Doctors howled about how wrong and inflammatory Gofman was--while giving no evidence proving safety. He had now incurred the wrath of both of his chosen professions: physics and medicine. But he never stopped speaking out against the human toll radiation exacts, predicting that nearly 1 million people would develop cancer from Chernobyl, far more than any other estimate.
Gofman was certainly a courageous scientist. But was he right, and is his work relevant?
Are even small radiation doses harmful? A 2005 blue-ribbon panel of the National Academy of Sciences examined hundreds of articles and concluded that no safe threshold exists. The panel used reports from up to fifty years ago, when pelvic X-rays to pregnant women were found to raise the chance that the fetus would die of cancer as a child.
Could up to 32,000 Americans a year die from cancer from reactor emissions? A 1994 General Accounting Office report to Senator John Glenn estimated that the maximum exposure permitted by the government to every American would result in a lifetime premature cancer death risk of one in 300--or 1 million deaths, or about 14,000 cancer deaths a year--which fits Gofman's prediction, made when limits were higher.
Will 1 million people develop cancer from exposure to Chernobyl radiation? For years the International Atomic Energy Agency insisted that only 4,000 would die. But in 2006 a Greenpeace report from scientists who reviewed statistics from Belarus projected that 270,000 would develop cancer. Research continues, but with 5 million to 8 million people still living in highly contaminated areas, Gofman's estimate may yet prove to be correct.
Did thousands of infants die from bomb fallout half a century ago? The period 1950-1963 remains as the only part of the twentieth century in which infant deaths did not fall sharply, and is still unexplained. In 1992 British scientist R.K. Whyte published a paper in the British Medical Journal concluding that bomb fallout was the likely reason.
Do medical X-rays give people cancer? A storm of protest is growing over the number of X-rays, especially CT scans, administered to children, who are most susceptible to harm from radiation. The National Cancer Institute cautions that physicians should only conduct pediatric CT scans when necessary, adjust exposure parameters, minimize use of multiple scans in a single examination and consider alternatives to CT scans.
Validation of Gofman's findings is vital to the current debate over nuclear power. After a long decline, the nuclear industry has seized on concerns over global warming and costs of fossil fuels to tout reactors as a "clean and safe" alternative. Bush Administration regulators have thus far granted permission for more than half of US reactors to operate twenty years past their expected life span of forty years. Just last month the first order for a new US reactor since 1978 was made (at the Calvert Cliffs plant near Washington, DC). Congress is considering $50 billion in loan guarantees for construction of other new reactors.
Utility companies and the Bush Administration claim that reactors are safe--without furnishing any hard evidence backing their claim. They turn a blind eye to potential risks of a major meltdown and actual risks of ongoing radioactive emissions. Objective research and educating people of these risks regardless of political fallout was Gofman's legacy. There is no time like now for citizens and scientists to embrace this legacy to protect public health.
Debate on Yucca turns with politics
By Lisa Mascaro, Sun Washington Bureau
Published in the Sun on Oct. 29, 2007
WASHINGTON — The Energy Department, rushing before President Bush leaves office to submit its long-delayed application to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, will find itself on the defensive Wednesday as the project is scrutinized at a Senate hearing stacked with Democrats and infused with presidential politics.
This will be the first hearing under a Democratic-controlled Congress after the proposed nuclear repository received mostly friendly handling from Republicans during much of Bush’s presidency. Both Yucca supporters and opponents are anticipating a new era of debate.
Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Research Service, a watchdog group, expects the hearing to showcase more critical oversight while hinting at the nuclear policies of a Democratic White House.
Democratic presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York called for the hearing to investigate the administration’s delay in releasing radiation-exposure standards, among other issues.
Clinton serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, but she might not be the only presidential contender in attendance at its hearing Wednesday: There is talk that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona might stop by. And Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois will submit questions to the panel.
The industry thinks the hearing could offer a venue to clarify the candidates’ positions on nuclear power, which is rebounding with about 30 new nuclear plants on tap. Congress also is debating $50 billion in federal loan guarantees.
That said, Democrats are already being criticized for loading the hearing’s witness table with anti-Yucca forces. “It’s probably going to be more of a Halloween freak show,” one nuclear industry representative scoffed.
As the Energy Department makes a final push to get its application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before the June 30 deadline, vital issues remain that the committee is poised to address.
After years of hearings, inch-thick reports and several legal battles, the debate comes back to one of the most personal subjects of all: cancer.
Just how much cancer-causing radiation should be allowed to come from the tons of spent nuclear fuel that the federal government wants to store in perpetuity at Yucca, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas?
Is a risk of 1 in 1,700 people dying from cancer from the repository acceptable, as has been proposed? How about 1 in 70, as is suggested for the future? What about 1 in 13?
Yucca Mountain raises many specters for Nevadans, including the prospect of thousands of shipments of nuclear waste traveling to the state in what critics fear could become a “mobile Chernobyl” or target of terrorist hijacking.
Once buried, the radioactive waste could pollute ground water used for drinking and livestock for generations to come.
Nevadans have reason to be skeptical of government assurances that the site will be safe. This is the state that lived through the atomic age of above-ground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site, and the health problems that have resulted, including higher cancer rates among Test Site workers and downwinders.
Keeping a promise of safety for the next 1 million years seems impossible.
When the federal officials started discussing the cancer-causing potential from Yucca, they proposed a 1 in 1,700 cancer fatality risk for the first 10,000 years — meaning one in every 1,700 people exposed throughout their lifetime to radiation primarily from the aquifers across the site had a risk of dying of cancer.
A federal court threw out that standard as not tough enough. Even though that level of exposure is used by the Environmental Protection Agency as a general rule, the court said the agency needs to account for a future when the waste will be its most toxic, about 100,000 years from now.
So the agency offered a new risk assessment: 1 in 1,700 for the first 10,000 years, then 1 in 70 for the years after that. It used the median, rather than the mean, as required by Congress and the courts, meaning half the people would be exposed to higher doses. Those getting the most exposure would face a cancer death risk of 1 in 13, said Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, who has argued against the standard.
Makhijani said the risk is even greater for women, making it “a little like Russian roulette.”
“All of these risks we would consider unacceptable.”
The process has stalled and a final version of the dose levels is being reviewed by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
Clinton, speaking to Nevada reporters this summer, announced her intentions to call the Senate hearing to shed light on the “great deal of confusion and stonewalling by the administration.”
Nevada’s lead attorney fighting the dump, Joseph R. Egan, is among many who think the delay is an orchestrated attempt by the Bush administration to dodge a Nevada lawsuit before the June deadline if the state finds the new cancer standards unacceptable.
“We’re pretty cynical about the process and for good reason,” Egan said. “We think they’re deliberately holding out.”
However the Energy Department has said it can move forward with its June application without the radiation-exposure standards.
The Energy Department’s latest report on Yucca Mountain shows that it thinks there will be far less exposure to cancer-causing radiation than is currently allowed under the EPA’s existing guidelines — less than 1 percent of allowable limits in most cases.
Yucca Mountain is already 20 years behind schedule, with its new opening date estimated in 2017 or beyond.
The nuclear industry, which once said Yucca was vital to its efforts to build new power plants as part of the Bush administration’s nuclear renaissance, now sees the dump as one piece of a plan that includes keeping waste in interim storage at nuclear plants, as is done now.
“Yucca Mountain isn’t a silver bullet,” said John Keeley, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the leading industry trade group. “The good news is because of the success of interim storage, we’re not looking at a crisis situation.”
The cancer issue is only one of the many debates that probably will play out over the next several months as Democrats take the lead and the June deadline looms.
In many ways, the conversation about how to use a Yucca repository might be just beginning.
Nils Diaz, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said last week he thinks Yucca will be used in some capacity.
But, he said, “I believe we will first determine if there are better alternatives to storing fuel at Yucca Mountain.”
Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant Whistleblower Fired
For Immediate Release
Contact: Marthena Cowart or Peter Stockton (202) 347-1122
Washington, DC - Kerry Beal, a whistleblower who exposed overworked and exhausted guards at the Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant, was notified this week by owner Exelon Nuclear that he “did not meet the selection criteria” for continuing to work at the plant.
Beal filmed guards sleeping at the plant only after his efforts to notify Wackenhut (Exelon’s Peach Bottom security contractor) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the regular occurrence of sleeping guards were met with inaction. Wackenhut Corporation lost its contract to provide security to the Peach Bottom nuclear plant because of the resulting publicity surrounding the sleeping guards.
“This is the stupidest thing they could have done. Now, they’ll ensure no one else will be brave enough to come forward and try to fix problems” said Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight.
Mr. Beal’s whistle-blowing prompted USA Today to editorialize: “The Peach Bottom case is a stark example of what has to go right in the crucial effort to keep nuclear plants safe. In this case, the plant owner, the security company and the NRC all failed. It shouldn't take a hidden camera to make them do their jobs.” (see http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/10/our-view-on-nuc.html )
An internal Wackenhut email released by POGO today shows that up until a few weeks ago, guards were still being forced to work more than 60 hours per week. The October 16, 2007 email from Wackenhut manager David Draghi notes: “I have revised the shift schedule…If you can afford to start giving your team members a break from 60 hours please do so.”
A Nuclear Regulatory Commission Order from 2003 sought to reign in the problem of overworked guards. But industry efforts to weaken the Order prevailed, resulting in the current situation where security officers can work up to 72 hours per week. POGO issued a letter to NRC Chairman Klein today pointing out that pending efforts at the NRC to strengthen the rules are being dragged out for another two years.
In the letter, Ms. Brian also noted that the problem is not limited to Peach Bottom or Wackenhut but is a nationwide phenomenon, stating, “Blame cannot simply be laid at Wackenhut’s door: these abuses have been occurring for years under the NRC’s watch. In February 2007, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reported on exhaustion of security officers at Three Mile Island [Pennsylvania], noting that in 2005, “officials cited three security workers for inattentiveness, or sleeping, on the job”; a Securitas security officer at Beaver Valley [Pennsylvania] was fired two weeks ago for sleeping; and Entergy security officers were recently caught sleeping at Indian Point [New York]. Today’s Miami Herald reports sleeping security guards at the Turkey Point nuclear power plant [ Florida ]. http://www.miamiherald.com/top_stories/story/290238.html. It is time for the NRC to take responsibility for the excessive hours and fatigue of the security forces.”
In an October 17 letter to the NRC, POGO complained about the NRC’s decision to investigate Mr. Beal rather than investigate the NRC’s own failures to respond to concerns raised by whistleblowers like Mr. Beal: “Complaining to supervisors quickly proved fruitless. NRC Region I refused to investigate seriously the security concerns raised in the March letter 2007. Under these circumstances, it was more than understandable; it was heroic, for Mr. Beal to videotape the sleeping guards.”
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.
# # #
See what's new at AOL.com and Make AOL Your Homepage.
CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
October 31, 2007
Hon. Regina McCarthy
Department of Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford CT 06106
Re: Delicensure of Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.
Dear Commissioner McCarthy:
This is a request that you convene proceedings forthwith to delicense Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (“Dominion”), owner and operator of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, pursuant to state law and DEP’s Rules of Practice.
Section 22a-3a-5 of DEP’s Rules of Practice provides in pertinent part that grounds for delicensing include conduct whereby
“The licensee or a person on his behalf failed to disclose all relevant and material facts in the application for the license or during any Department proceeding associated with the application.”
As you know, Dominion is pursuing an application for renewal of the NPDES permit DEP issued in 1992.
In these proceedings, Dominion has failed to disclose all relevant and material facts, namely, its intention to increase Millstone’s thermal heat load to the Long Island Sound by 7 per cent and to increase its radiological releases to the Long Island Sound by an estimated 7-9 per cent.
These facts came to the Coalition’s attention during its review of a pending application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) to increase electricity generation at Millstone Unit 3 by 7 per cent. For your information, I am enclosing a copy of Dominion’s environmental supplement to its NRC application.
Apparently, Dominion has already secured the NRC’s approval of the application, for it is notifying investors it plans to achieve the electricity uprate in the fall of 2008.
Dominion’s application for NPDES renewal does not incorporate these facts, which are central to the DEP adjudicatory process. As you know, Millstone’s thermal discharge is a critical element of DEP regulation. Accordingly, Dominion’s knowing omission of its plans to increase thermal discharge substantially above what it represents in its application to DEP constitutes compelling cause for delicensing under DEP’s legal standards.
Please advise if we may be of further assistance.
Please reply to:
Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
Contact: Marthena Cowart or Peter Stockton (202) 347-1122
The Department of Energy is failing to secure bomb-grade nuclear materials located at U.S. facilities, according to two reports obtained by POGO. Less than half of eleven nuclear weapons sites will have enough security to defend against what is considered a realistic threat of a terrorist attack by the deadline of 2008.
An unreleased briefing from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concludes that “sites will be at greater risk” until the new security is put in place.
The reports concern what is called the “Design Basis Threat” (DBT), which are security standards developed based upon government intelligence assessments. The DBT is classified and includes factors such as the number of attackers, the weapons they might use, and circumstances under which an attack would take place.
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the DBT was significantly revised and “has undergone substantial changes in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007,” according to the GAO. DOE has currently fallen behind on implementing the 2005 DBT. Plans to implement upgrades to the DBT can costs hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as new security personnel are hired or the government invests in technology upgrades.
POGO, numerous government reports, and the Congress have urged the DOE to shrink the number of sites which contain nuclear weapons materials in order to avoid having to invest billions of dollars in security upgrades. One POGO report estimated that shrinking the number of nuclear sites in half could save $3 billion (U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Homeland Security Opportunities).
However, bureaucratic inaction and protectionism at DOE and its sites has thwarted progress forward. Of all the nuclear sites scattered nationwide, only one site to date has been de-inventoried of its nuclear materials, the infamous TA-18 at Los Alamos National Laboratory where mock attackers regularly succeeded in stealing or “blowing up” materials in simulated tests.
In response to budgetary pressures posed by the excessive security costs that would result from the 2005 DBT, the DOE responded by watering down security requirements. Insiders who suggested that DOE consolidate its materials to fewer sites in order to save money were ignored according to internal emails. According to POGO’s 2006 report:
On November 30, 2005, the Secretary [of Energy] lowered the security requirements, reverting to a security posture closer to the 2003 DBT. An exception was that Pantex, which houses assembled nuclear warheads and SNM [Special Nuclear Material], and the Office of Security Transportation, which transports assembled nuclear weapons and SNM, would stay at the far more robust 2004 DBT level. For the other sites, including the sites with a high IND [Improvised Nuclear Device] risk, the number of adversaries were reduced by approximately 25%. The sites are supposed to implement the new 2005 requirements by 2008 – again, almost seven years after 9/11. It is important to note that, according to government investigators interviewed by POGO, the Russian DBT standards to protect their nuclear materials are more robust than even the most robust U.S. 2004 DBT. (U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory At High Risk)Other Resources
Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman's letter to Representative David Hobson, Chairmand, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, July 14, 2006.
GAO Analysis of Department of Energy Report to the Congress on Implementing the 2005 Design Basis Threat , Briefing for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, July 27, 2007.
Security Upgrades at Several Nuclear Sites Are Lagging, Auditors Find, New York Times, October 29, 2007.
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.
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DEP Gets $1 Million State Grant to Save Lobsters
While It Lets Lobster-Killer Millstone Off the Hook
We give DEP and its Commissioner, Regina McCarthy, an A for hypocrisy.
Millstone Nuclear Power Station sucks in 2 billion gallons of water per day from the Long Island Sound. The water is used to cool the plant components, generate steam and to keep the reactors from melting down.
But it is not only seawater that is sucked in: the seawater is the rich habitat of billions of marinelife larvae, including lobsters. Lobster larvae are sucked into the Millstone intakes in high numbers and destroyed during 24/7 routine operations at Millstone. Imagine what that does to lobster population dynamics.
Adding insult to injury, Millstone discharges over 100 radionuclides and the most toxic chemicals known into the Long Island Sound, routinely, 24/7.
Millstone is the worst predator of fish in the Northeast, according to a Rhode Island expert in fish and wildlife.
We award DEP "A" for hypocrisy because Millstone's discharges are illegal. DEP Commissioner Regina McCarthy expressly allows Millstone to operate with a permit that expired in 1997 - 10 years ago. For nine straight years, since 1998, Millstone has been operating under an "emergency authorization," a legal category of supposed very limited duration. The emergency authorization - OKed in secret without public notice of hearing - allows the release of a bigger thermal plume, increased intake volume and unlimited - and hence unenforceable -chemical and radiological releases.
Now Dominion wants to increase its heat load to the Long Island Sound by 7 per cent to achieve a 7 per cent increase in electricity generation. Most of the new electricity would be exported out-of-state at high profit to Dominion. The increased heat load to the Sound would speed up the demise and departure of the Long Island Sound lobster population if allowed.
If DEP and Commissioner McCarthy truly cared about the Long Island lobsters, they would make Dominion convert Millstone to a closed-cooling system. That would virtually eliminate intake suction, the thermal plume and the radioactive and toxic dumping.
Call Commissioner McCarthy today and tell her to save the lobsters by ordering closed cooling at Millstone: 860-424-3001, firstname.lastname@example.org
Call DEP's Lobster Biologist, Colleen Giannini, and tell her to speak out against the Millstone once-through cooling system. Tel. 860-447-4308, email@example.com.
Read Judy Benson's lobster report at: courant.com/news/local/hc-ctaplobster1029.artoct29,0,2776914.story
KEEPING THE COMMUNITY IN THE DARK
The New London Day, which once distinguished itself for enterprising reporting on the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, is holding its proverbial finger in the dike these days to hold back the tide of negative information about Millstone.
The most recent example involves Dominion's current ill-conceived application to the NRC to "uprate" electrical generation at Millstone Unit 3 by 7 per cent.
The Day reports on this application as though it were an unqualified boon to the community.
Here are some of the negatives The Day will not publish. (We have brought them to the attention of The Day, and the information is publicly available on the NRC website, but on Millstone issues, "The Day" might just as well be called "The Night.")
A 7 per cent increase in electrical generation at Millstone Unit 3 will have a corresponding 7-9 per cent increase in routine radiation emissions to the air and water above current levels. That translates to a 7-9 per cent increase in the levels of strontium-90 delivered to cow's milk, goat's milk - and human milk.
A 7 per cent increase in electrical generation at Millstone Unit 3 will have a corresponding 7 per cent increase in the heat load delivered to the Long Island Sound in Millstone's thermal plume. That means the Long Island Sound lobsters will disappear sooner than predicted because they cannot tolerate the increasingly warm water.
Would a 7 per cent uprate also translate to a 7 per cent increase in cancer, infant mortality and diseases of the immune system in the surrounding community? That's anyone's guess. It's all part of the Great Nuclear Experiment - and we are the guinea pigs!
Millstone Unit 3 has unique structural peculiarities that compel denial of the uprate application. Stay tuned to this website for more details as the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone reaches out to public officials to stop this latest madness at Millstone.
The Town of Waterford - host community to the Millstone Nuclear Power Station - has filled a vacancy: Civil Preparedness Director. The job pays $6,000 with an operating budget of $2,000.
According to Waterford First Selectman Dan Steward, who used to work at Millstone and behaves as though he still does, the new director will "oversee management of such townwide emergencies as blizzards, hurricanes and floods."
Apparently, the new director, Philipp H. Baumann Jr., is not expected to prepare the town for a nuclear emergency at Millstone.
Perhaps that is just as well: he works at Millstone.
With Mr. Steward/Millstone in charge of protecting Waterford residents, they might just as well be sticking our heads in the radioactive sand.
Posted by John Funk April 05, 2007 13:03PM
Categories: Breaking News, Energy
A new report prepared for FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron says that a corrosion hole found in a Davis-Besse nuclear plant reactor lid in 2002 had developed much faster than previously believed and could not have been predicted. The company and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had concluded cracks that led to the hole had taken six to eight years to develop and the lid could have blown open in as little as 60 days had it not been found.
The NRC did not predict whether the reactor's containment building could have kept radioactive steam from escaping into the environment, but critics said the safety systems were compromised by lack of maintenance and would have failed.
Mark Duncan / Associated PressDavis-Besse (2003 photo)
A summary of the study, done in preparation for an insurance claim, says that "The size and extent of the wastage cavity at CRDM Nozzle 3 was totally unexpected and unpredictable, and was much larger than any of the 'worst case' scenarios analyzed by industry experts in the decade prior to 2002."
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Lakewood Democrat, says the report calls into question FirstEnergy's competence to run a nuclear power plant. "Either FirstEnergy incompetently managed the plant and allowed a leak to corrode the reactor vessel over many years, or FirstEnergy incompetently reported the root cause of the near meltdown to the NRC. Either way, they are incompetent: regulators should revoke their license," Kucinich said in a news release.
A FirstEnergy photo of the hole in the Davis-Besse reactor's 6.5-inch-thick carbon steel reactor lid. (Click for full size)
The study, by Exponent Failure Analysis Association and Altran Solutions Corp., finds that the hole developed much faster than previously believed: "We have concluded that the large wastage cavity found during the 13RFO [13th refueling outage] inspection in March 2002 at Nozzle 3 could have formed in as little as a few weeks in the extreme of complete fluid jet cutting of the head."
Get a PDF of the 15-page summary here: Download file
FirstEnergy has submitted the study to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has asked the utility to explain any differences between it and FirstEnergy's previous reports on Davis-Besse. (Get the NRC letter here: Download file)
More about Davis-Besse
The Plain Dealer covered the Davis-Besse nuclear plant's problems extensively. In this Sept. 21, 2004, story, reporters John Mangels and John Funk summed up the situation:
It's the kind of Top Five list you don't want to be on -- nuclear near misses. And Davis-Besse has now made it twice.
The gaping rust hole found in 2002 in the lid of the Northwest Ohio reactor was the fifth-most dangerous situation at an American nuclear plant in the last quarter century, according to a new government analysis.
In a report issued Monday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission put the odds of a core meltdown of some kind at the FirstEnergy Corp. facility during the year before the rust hole's discovery at 6 in 1,000.
That's about the same chance of winning the Ohio Lottery's twice-daily Pick 3 wheel bet.
"It's the lottery from hell," said U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, who has pressed for reforms at the NRC and has been a harsh critic of FirstEnergy.
"You don't have to go to Thistledown every day to understand what those odds mean," he said.
A Davis-Besse near miss in 1985 ranked at No. 2 in significance, just behind the infamous partial meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three-Mile Island in 1979.
In the months leading to the accidental discovery of the rust hole, Davis-Besse was 100 times more likely to have a core-damaging nuclear accident than had it been well-maintained, according to the report.
The NRC's long-delayed analysis stopped short of predicting what would have happened after the core began to melt -- whether operators would have regained control or whether the accident would have progressed to a full meltdown and released radioactivity to the environment.
"There would actually be multiple ways in which it could progress," said Gary DeMoss, one of the NRC staffers who participated in the analysis. "Those are outside of the scope."
DeMoss said analysts had no reason to believe that Davis-Besse's sturdy concrete containment dome would not have held, since containment buildings are designed to withstand core-damaging accidents.
However, at Davis- Besse, many of the emergency safety systems were compromised, either because of poor maintenance or inadequacies in original design.Click here for a graphic detailing the hole in the reactor.
Full text of U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich's statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 5) - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement after an independent report found corrosion of the Davis-Besse nuclear reactor located in Northern Ohio happened at a faster rate, bringing the reactor closer to a catastrophic incident than was first reported.
"The report findings really raise the question about FirstEnergy's competence to be licensed to operate a nuclear power plant," Kucinich said.
"Either FirstEnergy incompetently managed the plant and allowed a leak to corrode the reactor vessel over many years, or FirstEnergy incompetently reported the root cause of the near meltdown to the NRC. Either way, they are incompetent: regulators should revoke their license.
Exponent was tasked with analyzing the data from the 2002 catastrophe at Davis-Besse because of arbitration between FirstEnergy and its insurance company. According to its Web site, Exponent is an engineering and scientific consulting firm that specializes in disasters and accidents.
On March 9, 2007, Kucinich sent a letter to the Administrator of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission demanding that the NRC deny FirstEnergy the ability to bypass special safety requirements, which the NRC mandated after a near meltdown at the Davis-Besse facility in Northern Ohio. On March 12, 2007, the NRC announced that FirstEnergy would continue to adhere to its special safety requirements.
The NRC imposed a requirement of independent assessments on FirstEnergy after FirstEnergy's mismanagement and efforts to evade its detection nearly resulted in a disaster at the Davis-Besse nuclear facility near Cleveland, when in February 2002, a football-sized crater was found in the reactor vessel.
The NRC later reported that the plant might have been as close as 60 days to bursting the slim steel liner that stood in the way of radioactive release into the air.
The Government Accountability Office has called the near disastrous event at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant, 'the most serious safety issue confronting the nation's commercial nuclear power industry since Three Mile Island.'
"This report not only raises questions about the competency of FirstEnergy but also about the accuracy of its original assessment.
"For five years I have fought to ensure the Davis-Besse plant is safe to the residents of Northern Ohio. This report confirms what I have been saying all along: the case of the Davis-Besse facility illustrates both the need for tighter regulation and for more oversight over the NRC and the entire nuclear industry."
Kucinich will host a news conference tomorrow, April 6, 2007, in Lakewood, Ohio, at 11 a.m. The news conference will be at 14400 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107.
Kucinich plans on outlining a series of measures which he will take as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has archived NRC interviews of FirstEnergy managers and staff about Davis-Besse here.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides basic facts on Davis-Besse.
Go to cleveland.com/powerplants for more of The Plain Dealer's award-winning reporting on Davis-Besse and nuclear plant safety.
Paper: Houston Chronicle
Date: Tue 08/21/2007
Edition: 3 STAR
A leak of highly ENRICHED URANIUM liquid is one of the violations at a Tennessee plant, KEPT SECRET because it supplies fuel to the Navy In the name of national security
By DUNCAN MANSFIELD
KNOXVILLE, TENN. - A three-year veil of secrecy in the name of national security was used to keep the public in the dark about the handling of highly enriched uranium at a nuclear fuel processing plant - including a leak that could have caused a deadly, uncontrolled nuclear reaction.
The leak turned out to be one of nine violations or test failures since 2005 at privately owned Nuclear Fuel Services, a longtime supplier of fuel to the U.S. Navy's nuclear fleet.
The public was never told about the problems when they happened. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed them for the first time last month when it released an order demanding improvements at the company but no fine.
In 2004, the government became so concerned about releasing nuclear secrets that the commission removed more than 1,740 documents from its public archives - even some that apparently involved basic safety violations at the company, which operates a 65-acre gated complex in tiny Erwin, about 120 miles north of Knoxville.
Congressmen and environmentalists have criticized the policy, and now the commission is drafting recommendations that may ease restrictions.
But environmental activists are still suspicious of the belated revelations and may challenge the commission's decision not to fine Nuclear Fuel Services for the safety violations.
"That party is not over - the full story of what is going on up there," said Ann Harris, a member of the Sierra Club's national nuclear task force.
Nuclear Fuel Services has been supplying fuel to the Navy and has been converting the government's stockpile of weapons-grade uranium into commercial reactor fuel.
While reviewing the commission's public Web page in 2004, the Department of Energy's Office of Naval Reactors found what it considered protected information about Nuclear Fuel Service's work for the Navy.
The commission responded by sealing every document related to Nuclear Fuel Services and BWX Technologies in Lynchburg, Va., the only two companies licensed by the agency to manufacture, possess and store highly enriched uranium.
BWX Technologies was included in the order to seal documents because it produces nuclear fuel for the Navy, too, commission spokesman David McIntyre said.
The commission briefly mentioned in its annual report to Congress a March 6, 2006, uranium leak at Nuclear Fuel Services. Agency commissioners, apparently struck by the significance of the event, took a special vote to skirt the "Official Use Only" rule so that Nuclear Fuel Services would be identified in the report as the site of the uranium leak.
Just over 9 gallons of highly enriched uranium solution leaked from a transfer line into a protected glovebox and spilled onto the floor. The commission said there were two areas where the solution potentially could have collected in such a way to cause an uncontrolled nuclear reaction.
"It is likely that at least one worker would have received an exposure high enough to cause acute health effects or death," the agency wrote.
Agency spokesman McIntyre said it may be difficult to separate Nuclear Fuel Service's secret work for the Navy from its public work converting bomb-grade uranium to commercial reactor fuel. The leak happened on the commercial reactor side.
In a stinging letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman in July, Michigan Democratic congressmen John Dingell and Bart Stupak said the agency went beyond its objective of withholding sensitive security information.
McIntyre said the commission didn't fine Nuclear Fuel Services because the agency wanted the company to improve its safety culture.
"If we can get long-term permanent changes and improvements in their process, it is better than slapping them with a fine every time something goes wrong," McIntyre said.
Nuclear Fuel Services Executive Vice President Timothy Lindstrom, a Navy veteran, said the company had already made significant progress.
"I think it is important that the public recognize that we do have a very robust safety program at NFS," he said.
Mr. Blumenthal: Will you side with the law - or the outlaws?
Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal and DEP Commissioner Regina McCarthy have a few more days to decide whether they will follow the letter of the law - the Clean Water Act, as recently interpreted by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Riverkeeper case - or side with the outlaws - Dominion, Millstone's corporate parent.
At issue is whether to order Dominion to convert Millstone's obsolete and environmentally destructive cooling system to a closed-cycle cooling system, as the law requires. Conversion would virtually eliminate fish kills, the thermal plume which is overheating the Long Island Sound and the dirty discharge of radioactive and toxic waste discharges to the Sound. DEP has allowed Millstone to operate with an expired Clean Water Act permit for ten years. It is time for DEP to rectify its past abuses.
DEP Hearing Officer Janice Deshais gave DEP until the end of October to decide whether they would comply with the federal law.
Call Mr. Blumenthal - 860-808-5318 - and Commissioner McCarthy - 860-424-3000 - and tell them you want DEP to order Millstone to convert to a closed cooling system without further delay.
Friends of the Earth Endorse John Edwards for President
Applaud Edwards for Rejecting New Nukes
For Immediate Release Contact: Mark Sokolove, 703-599-7656
October 14, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of the Earth Action Endorses
John Edwards for President
Cites his Leadership on Combating Global Warming
and Rejecting Unsafe Nuclear Power
First Endorsement of a Presidential Candidate
by a National Environmental Organization
Group Intends to Run Independent, Grassroots Campaign
in New Hampshire on Edwards' Behalf
WASHINGTON, DC -- Friends of the Earth Action (FOE Action), one of the longest-standing, national environmental organizations in the country, today announced its endorsement of Senator John Edwards for President, citing his leadership on real solutions to combat global warming and his unequivocal position against dangerous and expensive nuclear power.
"Friends of the Earth Action enthusiastically endorses John Edwards for President," said Brent Blackwelder, president of FOE Action. "We believe he is the candidate most committed, and best prepared, to halt global warming and promote a healthy, livable planet for our families and our future. Among the frontrunners, he is also the only candidate to flatly oppose nuclear power. After 7 years of the most destructive environmental president in modern history, we feel strongly that John Edwards is the candidate most likely to stand up to the powerful, corporate polluters and their lobbyists. For these reasons, we believe John Edwards is the best candidate for president."
In making its endorsement of John Edwards, FOE Action noted that he has led the way among the field of candidates running for president on the preeminent environmental issue of the day -- global warming. John Edwards' plan to combat global warming will:
Cap and reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050;
Commit America and lead the world toward a new global climate change treaty;
Lead America to a new energy economy by investing in clean, renewable energy and creating a million new jobs; and,
Reject new nuclear plants in the United States.
"John Edwards will bring dramatic, positive change and improvement to our nation's environmental policies. Most importantly, he will bring leadership in the preeminent environmental issue of our time -- the global warming crisis. John Edwards has set the pace among presidential candidates on global warming, and among the leading Democratic candidates, he has the best, most comprehensive global warming program," commented Blackwelder.
Friends of the Earth Action intends to be especially active in New Hampshire, establishing an independent, grassroots campaign to carry the message about John Edwards' global warming plan and his vision for a healthy environment.
"In this campaign we intend to mobilize our members and supporters, like-minded environmentalists and voters in New Hampshire for the election of John Edwards as President," said Blackwelder.
Friends of the Earth Action was founded in 1969, by David Brower, and for decades has been at the forefront of efforts to create a more healthy and just world. FOE Action and its sister organization, Friends of the Earth have over 100,000 members and supporters in the United States.
Click here for Mr. Blackwelder's full statement endorsing Senator Edwards and a fact sheet detailing the senator's environmental record.
Friends of the Earth Action provides extra muscle to our sister organization, Friends of the Earth, in legislative battles affecting our environment. FOE Action and our affiliated PAC also serve as Friends of the Earth's political arm, making thoughtful political endorsements, providing direct support to candidates, and placing environmentalists in the field on critical campaigns. Friends of the Earth Action's mission is to promote a clean, healthy and just world and to ensure that we have lawmakers who will work to protect the environment.
OVERHEARD ON THE INTERNET
This is what Thomas Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dominion Resources, Inc., told investors during teleconference calls on May 2, 2007 and August 1, 2007:
May 2, 2007
1st Quarter Teleconference with investors
“Upgrades to our merchant plants are a low cost, high return expansion option. The plant upgrade at Millstone 3 . . . will allow us to supply additional power in very attractive merchant markets.”
August 1, 2007
2d Quarter Teleconference with investors
“Following up on announcements during our last earnings call . . .The Millstone unit three upgrade will be 75 megawatts and is expected to be online by the end of 2008.”
What was wrong with Mr. Farrell’s representations to investors?
He didn’t tell the truth!
By calling a 7 per cent power uprate at Millstone Unit 3 “low cost,” Farrell neglected to mention the 7-9 per cent corresponding increases in radiation releases to the environment and the 7 per cent increase in continuous heat load delivered to the Long Island Sound, all as estimated by Dominion in its application to the NRC. The uprate would be at high cost to the environment and heightened risk to the public. How many more cancers would be attributable to the increased radiation releases, Mr. Farrell? How many more infant mortalities?
And why was Mr. Farrell so sure on May 2, 2007 - TWO MONTHS BEFORE DOMINION HAD EVEN SUBMITTED ITS APPLICATION TO THE NRC - that the application would be granted?
The Millstone 3 uprate must be stopped. Return here for more updates shortly!