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Watching the Nuclear Watchdog

To appreciate how flawed the process has been, a little history is needed

The current study of cancer rates near nuclear plants is now nearly six years old, and will take at least five more years, maybe more, to complete. The planning is being shaped by regulators closely aligned with an industry that stands to lose if nuclear energy plants are linked to cancer.

Dr. Sherman writes for The Washington Spectator, a project of the Public Concern Foundation

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Silent Witnesses—Three Decades After Chernobyl’s Disaster

During the last few years, Hans Wolkers and Daan Kloeg, photographers, journalists and scientists, documented the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. They visited the area around the exploded reactor multiple times and photographed the lasting impact of the disaster. They also talked to scientists, eye witnesses, and people that still live in their radioactive homes.

Their efforts resulted in a unique book, covering the most remarkable aspects of the biggest nuclear disaster in the world. The book tells the story of Chernobyl, so it will never be forgotten.

Sales of this book help support the people who moved back into the “death zone” around the ruined reactor.  The book contains 180 pages of excellent photographs and text.

Please share this information with your contacts.
Thank you—JDS


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Solar vs Nuclear Power in Space

A demonstration that in space as on Earth solar power is an alternative to dangerous nuclear power is to come this week when a solar-powered spacecraft called Rosetta will rendezvous with a comet at 375 million miles from the Sun.

Read the full article by Karl Grossman

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Green Power and Wellness

Link to a 56-minute audio recording of Janette Sherman and Joseph Mangano being interviewed about their work. At several points in the tape you’ll hear comments regarding radiation falling on Alaska and washing up on its shoreline. Indeed this is happening daily and it is affecting the ecosystem. Uncontrolled releases to the air and ocean at Fukushima are unprecedented in size and potency and occurring daily. Alaska is downwind and downcurrent from Fukushima. It is foolish to deny the risk Alaska faces.

You may also wish to review this site: Data here supports the work of Sherman and Mangano while calling attention to the damage and death Fukushima radiation is wreaking on Alaska’s ecosystem and wildlife resources.

The State of Alaska is ignoring the dangers posed by Fukushima. One assumes state leaders are working to protect the seafood industry’s financial interests. Citizens whose concern is their health look to you to elevate the issue to a prominent position in public dialogue and action.

Thank you to Douglas Yates for sharing this info.

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New York Times Reports on Chernobyl

Henry Fountain writes about Dr. Tim Mousseau, a biologist from the University of North Carolina:

“Dr. Mousseau, a biologist at the University of South Carolina, has been coming to the contaminated area around Chernobyl, known as the exclusion zone, since 1999. The list of creatures he has studied is long: chiffchaffs, blackcaps, barn swallows and other birds; insects, including bumblebees, butterflies and cicadas; spiders and bats; and mice, voles and other small rodents. After the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan, three years ago he has conducted similar research there, too.

In dozens of papers over the years Dr. Mousseau, his longtime collaborator, Anders Pape Moller of the National Center for Scientific Research in France, and colleagues have reported evidence of radiation’s toll: higher frequencies of tumors and physical abnormalities like deformed beaks among birds compared with those from uncontaminated areas, for example, and a decline in the populations of insects and spiders with increasing radiation intensity.

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The Truth about Three Mile Island

Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.

“The disaster at Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, began on March 28, 1979. Now, 35 years later, the reality, not only of what happened, but also the long-term aftermath and effects, remain cloaked in mystery and misinformation. Ironically, despite today’s popular “too much information” shorthand, TMI is a story of too little information. Beyond Nuclear has endeavored to dig into the lies and myths and uncover the truth about TMI. Starting with the disaster narrative we take a look at: the “no one died at TMI” myth; how much radiation really got out; the lack of adequate emergency planning and protective measures; the people’s experience downwind of the disaster; and the impacts on plants and animals. We hear from engineer, Arnie Gundersen, and longtime campaigner, Dr. Judith Johnsrud. Finally, we compare the mistakes of TMI with those at the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. If the lessons of TMI, Chernobyl and now Fukushima are unlearned, we are destined to repeat, rather than prevent them the next time. And until all nuclear power plants are closed, that “next time” is a tragic inevitability.” (JDS Italics)

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Mourning the Death of Dr. David Patterson

PSR Wisconsin
2712 Marshall Court, Suite 2
Madison, WI 53705-2282

For further information contact
Pam Kleiss 608/232-9945
For Immediate Release: Friday, January 24, 2014

Jeff Patterson, DO, Madison physician and professor was an indefatigable champion serving Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Wisconsin and will be sorely missed by all who knew and worked with him. Jeff passed away on Thursday night, January 23, of a heart attack.

Dr. Patterson first work with PSR was to establish the Madison PSR chapter. With two other founding members and students at the UW medical school, they challenged the concept of a “winnable nuclear war.” Hundreds of people joined to formalize the Madison PSR chapter in 1983. Jeff remained very active in the chapter throughout three decades, and particularly enjoyed providing direction to interested medical students and nurturing their understanding of humanitarian ethics and activism.

Dr. Patterson served in every capacity at PSR, from decades on the PSR’s board of trustees to terms as the president in 2010 and 2013. He served as International Councilor with the US affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. He traveled extensively in the former USSR, visiting Chernobyl and sites of nuclear testing and nuclear weapons’ production. He lectured about the effects of nuclear weapons and radiation there, in Europe, and in the US. He was also interested in non-violent alternatives to war as means of preventing war and sustainable methods of ameliorating climate change. He provided pivotal guidance to staff and educated the public on the threats from nuclear power, especially after the disaster in Fukushima.

“Jeff was so committed to our collective struggle to protect our world for our children and grandchildren,” added Dr. Bob Gould, current president of PSR. Jeff exuded compassion. He cared for human life and committed himself to the relief of suffering; it motivated all his work. Jeff was a gentle soul with a powerful spirit and always a calming influence in difficult times.

While Jeff regularly served as an expert speaker, he approached this task from stories of human health and as a witness to those suffering. He had a gift for sharing the stories of people impacted by radiation exposure, from poor, elderly farmers in the abandoned land around Chernobyl and concerned mothers downwind of Fukushima to veterans exposed to radiation in the line of duty. All stories from his own experience as a doctor and activist and from first-hand conversations with the people affected.

In addition to his extensive service with PSR, Dr. Patterson was the medical director of the Hackett Hemwall Foundation (HHF), a charitable foundation doing charitable medical work in Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines. Through the foundation and with the help of many dedicated volunteers, he taught physicians from over 20 countries the procedures of prolotherapy to treat chronic pain. He practiced medicine and was the former director of the Northeast Family Medical Center in and a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin.

Jeff listened carefully and attentively; he had a huge capacity for kindness and was a nurturing physician and colleague. His internal compass pointed others to just acts and a world without suffering. He served his patients and the international peace community well and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him. We will miss but always remember his deep, reasonable voice and wise counsel.

Jeff is survived by daughter Becca and grandchild, Kira, and Mary Doherty, his loving partner of many years.

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Dr. Sherman interviewed about Fukushima on Chinese TV

To see the video click here.

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The Cost of Nuclear Power: Contrasting Views in the New York Times

Joseph Mangano, Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and Edward L. Quinn, Past President of the American Nuclear Society, have written contrasting opinion pieces in response to an article by Eduardo Porter entitled “Coming Full Circle in Energy, to Nuclear”,  published in the New York Times, August 21, 2013.

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As the World Turns: The Fantasy World of Nuclear Power

Dr. Sherman writes for, Weekend Edition Aug 30-Sep 01, 2013

No, not that one, the soap opera that ran from 1956 to 2010, but our world that turns. As we look at a weather map on TV or in our paper, we see clouds, rain, snow, and storms coming from west to east. What is in the air above the earth precipitates as our earth revolves underneath what is in that air. To demonstrate this, look at a globe of the world and realize that what the weather is in Chicago today will be the weather on the east coast tomorrow.

With this concept in mind we understand that releases from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that began on March 11, 2011 crosses the Pacific Ocean and reaches land throughout the northern hemisphere, and contaminates all life that dwells upon the land and in the waters. As was documented after the Chernobyl catastrophe, fallout is not uniform, but varies by wind direction, elevation and temperature.

The current revelations from Fukushima portend dire consequences for all life. Some scientists have expressed concern about a possible “China Syndrome” — named after the 1979 film starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas, that was released the same year as the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in Pennsylvania experienced a partial meltdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO,) the owner of the Fukushima plant, has been pouring millions of gallons of water onto the reactor cores and spent fuel rod pools to keep them from overheating. This has resulted in TEPCO trying to store some 400 tons of contaminated water each day, some of it so highly contaminated that workers cannot get close enough to find the leaks. Given that water runs downhill, the contamination is leaking past barriers and into the Pacific Ocean. As of August 21, 2013, markedly increased levels of radioactive tritium, cesium and strontium are reported.

Isotopes are taken up by sea life, including plants, single-cell organisms, algae, seaweed, crabs, oysters, fish, mammals and other sea creatures. A resolution from the American Medical Association called for the FDA to measure radioactivity levels in edible commercial Pacific Ocean fish sold in the U. S. To date the FDA has not responded to the request, so we do not know if testing has been done, and if done, if any data are available for the public. This is not unlike events immediately after the Fukushima meltdown when the EPA released data on elevated levels of radioactive iodine (I-131) along the west coast, and then in May, reverted to “quarterly measurements.”

Currently, US “guidelines” allow for food levels of 1200 Becquerel’s per kilogram, one of the highest in the world. Japan’s limit is 100, so food too contaminated to sell in Japan could be sold here in the U.S.

According to recent news, the U. S. government is collecting data on our phone and e-mail transactions. If this is a worthwhile use of citizen’s taxes, then collecting data on radiation levels in food, a significant health risk, should be worthwhile also. Sick children and adults are a burden on our economy and society as a whole. Preventing exposure to food contaminated with radioactive isotopes is primary preventive health.

What is happening as a result of the Fukushima meltdown and subsequent inability to control the releases may not be all that different from soap opera events. Similarly, As the World Turns, aired on CBS, we are living in a fantasy world if we think that nuclear power is “safe.”

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