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October 24, 2005

The Green Party's Stance on Nuclear Energy

I am very interested in Nuclear Energy. I'm interested in just about any kind of energy that doesn't have to do with drilling and fighting.

I've been writing an article for Journalism on nuclear energy, and John Cannon from the Green Party of Delaware has been amazingly kind and helped me so much on this project. He wrote a statement of the Green Party's position on nuclear energy and emailed it to me. I thought you might be interested in reading it.

The Green Party calls for the early retirement of nuclear power reactors as soon as possible - in no more than 5 years. Here are some reasons why:
1. There is no such thing as nuclear waste 'disposal'. We deny there is such a thing as safe disposal of nuclear waste. All six of the nuclear waste dumps in the US have leaked. There is no technological fix on the horizon to effectively deal with nuclear waste. Thousands of generations face the consequences of radioactive toxins in our environment from the production of nuclear waste generated by the nuclear power industry.

2. Nuclear energy is NOT cost effective. If it weren't for the enormous subsidies the US government provides the nuclear power industry, few if any companies would be building or operating nuclear power plants.

3. In my view, nuclear energy directly supports the building and deployment of nuclear bombs. Without the enriched radioactive material produced in the process of making nuclear energy, nuclear bombs would be much more difficult to produce.

4. Nuclear power plants are unsafe. Many in the US have now exceeded their safe 'life span'. Low-level nuclear accidents happen frequently throughout the US. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl are reminders to us when there are major nuclear accidents - thousands of people and their lands are radioactively contaminated and hundreds have died from various forms of cancer resulting from this contamination. The Three Mile Island reactor remains unapproachable and a dangerous monument to an even more dangerous nuclear power industry.

5. Next door to us are the Artificial Island Salem I and II reactors. Tens of thousands of people live within a 10-mile radius of these aging plants that have a terrible safety record. When brave employees try to tell the public how dangerous it really is for us, they get fired and 'hushed up'. If these reactors malfunctioned and went critical, how many people would die? A 1982 report (Consequences of Reactor Accident (CRAC-2) Report) put initial deaths at 200,000 people, 145,000 injured and 80,000 'peak cancer deaths' with $285 billion in damage.

6. Nuclear power is a peace issue in addition to being an environmental issue. Most people, on the political right or left, believe that nuclear proliferation is a major problem and concern. Enormous effort is spent attempting to limit or prevent further proliferation (at least 10 countries currently have nuclear weapons). If the US really wants to prevent further proliferation and perhaps even eliminate these 'doomsday' weapons, shouldn't we take the lead and physically demonstrate our commitment to this goal? How can we expect other countries to honor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty when we continue to maintain nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons? Let's follow the lead given to us by South Africa, who once had nuclear weapons then eliminated them, and be an example for the rest of the world.


So, what does the Green Party offer as an alternative to nuclear power and the weapons it makes possible?


1. First, Americans must dramatically increase their conservation of energy. With less than 5% of the world's population, the US consumes more that 25% of the world's energy resources resulting in major damage to our land, air, and water in addition to wars and human rights abuses in many countries. REDUCE is a vital part of the environmental call to Reduce - Reuse - Recycle which, unfortunately, and Delaware in particular, we have failed miserably to address adequately. At the federal government level, elected representatives have not insisted that US automakers build more fuel-efficient automobiles in over 20 years. Homes today are around 25% larger on average than homes built 20 years ago, increasing overall energy use despite energy saving technology. Back home, sprawl in Delaware has resulted in people commuting 30% further to work than they did 25 years ago. In contrast, Europeans consume less than half the electricity consumed per capita in the US. We can be similarly more energy efficient with a strong commitment by leaders to and focus on an environmentally safe and peaceful future that we all want for ourselves.

2. To replace nuclear energy, I would like to see an allocation of financial resources to clean renewable energy on the scale of the Marshal Plan that rebuilt a war-devastated Europe after WWII. Current support to make photovoltaic (solar), wind power, and hydrogen fuel-cell technology widely used are sorely inadequate. The Green Party calls for government commitment to the mass-production of cheap, non-toxic solar photovoltaic technology to enable the widespread deployment of solar power. I think environmental safe use of windpower and hydrogen fuel cells are also very feasible. With this commitment, nuclear power becomes obsolete.

3. On a personal note, my family purchased a fuel-efficient hybrid (gas-electric) car in 2001 that gets around 50 mpg yet has room to seat five comfortably and even has a spacious trunk. New hybrids get around 60 mpg. If you need a new car, consider purchasing a hybrid. In this vein, I would like to see the state and county governments of Delaware commit to replacing outgoing fleet vehicles with these fuel-efficient cars. However, we can't stop here. The Green Party calls for far more support for the rapid development, testing and production of hydrogen fuel cell cars and development of affordable, efficient, and effective mass transit systems. Hopefully, the hybrid car is just a significant, but short-lived, transition technology towards even more environmentally sustainable forms of transportation.

4. Finally, the Green Party strongly supports moving in the direction of decentralized regional electric grids by promoting energy efficient and localized clean renewable energy. Enormous amounts of electrical energy are 'wasted' in the current system of transmission over hundreds of miles. So-called 'micro-grids', where electricity is generated at the local community level, drastically reduces this type of loss and serves to prevent the huge power black and brown outs we are experiencing more and more frequently.

Individual Americans can do only so much in an effort to conserve energy and develop safe, renewable energy technologies. Government must take a lead in the effort, but whenever possible, people can help. For example, by replacing old and very inefficient home heating systems with highly efficient heaters now on the market you can save a lot of energy. Other ideas include buying a home nearby to where you work or if building a new home, face it in a Southerly (or Northerly) direction so you can take full advantage of solar power.

In my own home, when our 35-40 year old heater failed (it had a 60% efficiency in its combustion of the fuel), we replaced it with a furnace that is 93% efficient. We have (aging) triple pane windows, some of which have been replaced using so-called low-E windows that use multiple panes of glass filled with argon or other gases to increase their 'R' value. We are currently saving money to install roof mounted solar panels on our home this spring and, if financially possible, a solar hot water system.

I hope our family efforts in our home and those of the Green Party help put the nuclear power industry out-of-business.

J. Roy Cannon, Member
Green Party of Delaware

Past Chair - Green Party of Delaware Coordinating Council
2004 Green Party Candidate for New Castle County Council
Past Green Party of Delaware National Representative to the Green Party of the United States.
Former Chair - Newark Local of the Green Party of Delaware

I don't care what your politics are (I know there's about a 90% chance that if you're reading this you're republican), this guy has some great points. In the end, it is individuals who will make the changes that let this world survive. Your choices make a difference.

Posted by ian on October 24, 2005 08:17 PM

Comments

Hey i read it all and i don't believe im republican... I actually find the whole party thing weird although I do believe I'm a liberal doesnt mean im a democrat though.
There's alot of points in that that will appeal to everyone but it's not that simple to stop using nuclear power. Of course there is the obvious benefits that I agree with but then what if our supply of fossil fuels depletes? But then what if by then we did not have a efficient way to produce electricity because we rely so heavly on fossil fuels?
Well then nucler plants could still produce electricity after coal and oil become scarce.
Plus the fact also that hybrid cars still rely on gas too.
I'm not saying i agree with nuclear energy plants for our main source of power but it would be hard to rid it completely.

Posted by: Poncho on October 24, 2005 09:21 PM

I could never be as wise as you though Ian

Posted by: Poncho on October 24, 2005 09:22 PM

Poncho,
You have some good points. I am pretty much a fan on Nuclear power, but I haven't researched it entirely. I started out entirely for it, but right now I am undecided. Regaurdless of where I stand on it though, I thought Mr. Cannon's opinions were very well researched and written, and so deserved to be read.

Posted by: Ian on October 24, 2005 09:28 PM

if they were to close the nuclear power plants, where would homer simpson work?

Posted by: Jason – Band Member [TypeKey Profile Page] on October 24, 2005 10:22 PM

howdy,
i haven't posted on here in a long time, but the topic of nuclear power is pretty interesting to me. either way, i don't particuarly agree with a lot of the arguments presented:
disposal: i agree with you there, there is no good way to dispose of nuclear waste. however, that doesn't mean we should rule out nuclear energy. nuclear power plants generate power using fission, which has a lot of byproducts. however, research is being done in the field of nuclear fusion, which will provide power without any harmfull side effects.
cost effective? i'm not sure where that came from (and i don't actually plan on doing any research...) if you think about it, the reactions take place on the atomic level. since you only need one atom to make a reaction, it follows that the fuel lasts a while. also, the reactions are pretty efficient. you get a buttload of energy from a couple atoms colliding. i don't remember how long the rods last...but i believe they last several years...and uranium isn't that expensive or rare. sounds pretty cost effective :) i know our government isn't real smart..but i doubt they'd be pouring resources into nuclear power if it was so inefficient.
3) nuclear energy doesn't support nuclear bombs any more than hydrogen cars support hydrogen bombs... nuclear weapons are entirely different. very extra fissile material is needed for fuel, like plutonium or uranium-235, which don't pop up in any usable quantity naturally, so you have to make them yourself. this 'isotopic enrichment' is a closely guarded secret, which is why not everybody can make an a-bomb.
i honestly don't know about the lifespan thing, so i won't comment. three mile island was really not as bad as it's made out to be. the reactor suffered a partial meltdown, but did not breach containment. no radiation was released, no one was injured, and thousands of safety practices were enacted to make sure it doesn't happen again. bottom line: the accident was contained. also, the reactor was decomissioned and i believe it is not radioactive (and if it is, it's still contained). chernobyl, on the other hand, was due to a faulty reactor design (which they were warned about) and the disregarding of safety procedure. as far as i know, this is the only documented time that radiation was released and contaminated a large area. also, we have to consider that we use different technology. the greatest failure of any american power plant was TMI, which was contained...
well life is busy so i'm going to have to cut this off here...buuut remember: the government has a million-gazillion safety requirements these plants have to follow, and they're checked constantly. any accident is caught and corrected immediately. i like to have a fire in my fireplace, but i don't freak out because there's a possibility that a log will roll out and set the house on fire. because it's contained... somebody watches the fire and will fix it if anything happens...maybe not the best of analogies but you get my point.
peace out, yall. have a great day!

Posted by: jamesb on October 25, 2005 03:33 PM

Here's my nuclear policy:

1.) Teach the president how to pronounce it.
2.) Don't let the crazies use it.

I know, impossible on both counts.

Posted by: Jason – Band Member [TypeKey Profile Page] on October 25, 2005 11:19 PM

Hi Jason -
Just some quick responses to your response of 10/24 to my article on nuclear power.

You said:
disposal: i agree with you there, there is no good way to dispose of nuclear waste. however, that doesn't mean we should rule out nuclear energy. nuclear power plants generate power using fission, which has a lot of byproducts. however, research is being done in the field of nuclear fusion, which will provide power without any harmfull side effects.

The below is an article on problems with nuclear fusion for your review.

If nuclear fusion were ever developed commercially, radioactive discharges would increase considerably, since the core of each commercial fusion reactor would contain about 4 x 1018 Bq (~100 million curies) of radioactive tritium as estimated by Coyle and Ikrent [Coyle 1978, Ikrent 1976]. The number of becquerels is 4 with 18 zeroes after it: it is an extremely large amount of tritium. Even if only 0.01% of this inventory were lost each year, this would amount to 400 TBq (terabecquerel or million million Bq) of tritium per annum, ie more than the amount currently released to air annually from all of the UK's nuclear reactors or total releases from all of the 34 French 900 MW reactors combined. This estimate is similar to Feinendegen's estimate (1980) that 110 TBq of tritium would be released per year into the environment in the form of "routine" discharges, for every 1,000 MW of future fusion capacity (or more than 10 times the average amount released by a French 900 MW reactor).

In addition to the hazard of radioactive tritium is the lithium in fusion reactors. Should there be an explosion (recall the vast amounts of energy which would be constrained in these reactors), the consequent fire would result in the lithium catching fire. Lithium is exceedingly flammable and burns with great intensity, so it can be expected that a substantial fraction of the reactor inventory of tritium would be released. This would have a truly catastrophic effect on the area downwind from any fusion reactor. Luykx [Luykx 1986] and Coyle have estimated that these "accidental" releases could add a further 3.7 x 10 18 Bq of tritium being discharged per year on average if a large number of reactors were built. These estimates are by authoritative fusion scientists and they are worryingly high, but there has apparently been no refutation of these estimates in the scientific media.

Although these references are from the 1970s and 1980s, their age is immaterial. They indicate that, during previous pushes for fusion power in those decades, a number of scientists were so concerned about the dangers of fusion they put their careers on the line to say so. With the latest calls for fusion, we should recall their concerns and objections, and indeed their courage.

_______________________

*Ian Fairlie is an independent consultant specialising in radiation biology.


cost effective? i'm not sure where that came from (and i don't actually plan on doing any research...) if you think about it, the reactions take place on the atomic level. since you only need one atom to make a reaction, it follows that the fuel lasts a while. also, the reactions are pretty efficient. you get a buttload of energy from a couple atoms colliding. i don't remember how long the rods last...but i believe they last several years...and uranium isn't that expensive or rare. sounds pretty cost effective :) i know our government isn't real smart..but i doubt they'd be pouring resources into nuclear power if it was so inefficient.

Here is a short response to the real cost of nuclear power put out by Public Citizen (below). In addition, I think here is the reason the govenment would subsidize nuclear power. Although you disagree with me on this point (your comments - below), the government has a vested interest in nuclear power as it relates to nuclear weapons. Anyway, Public Citizens comments:

The Price-Anderson Act

The consequences of an attack or an accident at a nuclear power plant are so staggering that insurance companies won't fully insure them. Unfortunately, Congress isn't so cautious. It passed a law in 1957, the Price-Anderson Act, that established a taxpayer-backed insurance scheme for nuclear power. This law limits the amount of insurance nuclear power plant owners must carry and caps their liability in the event of a catastrophic accident or attack at dollar amounts that fall far, far short of the actual financial consequences that could be incurred. Even nuclear power executives acknowledge that their industry is financially dependent on Price-Anderson to shield nuclear power from free market forces. Unless reauthorized by Congress, the Price-Anderson subsidy will not apply to proposed new reactors built after December 31, 2003.

3) nuclear energy doesn't support nuclear bombs any more than hydrogen cars support hydrogen bombs... nuclear weapons are entirely different. very extra fissile material is needed for fuel, like plutonium or uranium-235, which don't pop up in any usable quantity naturally, so you have to make them yourself. this 'isotopic enrichment' is a closely guarded secret, which is why not everybody can make an a-bomb.

While I could not find specific information to back up my point, it seems to me that the reason those interested in nuclear non-poliferation (most strongly felt by those countries who already have nuclear capability), get so worried about a country building nuclear power plants is because the technology needed to have a nuclear power plant is similar to that needed for building nuclear bombs (e.g., North Korea and Iran).

three mile island was really not as bad as it's made out to be. the reactor suffered a partial meltdown, but did not breach containment. no radiation was released, no one was injured, and thousands of safety practices were enacted to make sure it doesn't happen again. bottom line: the accident was contained. also, the reactor was decomissioned and i believe it is not radioactive (and if it is, it's still contained). chernobyl, on the other hand, was due to a faulty reactor design (which they were warned about) and the disregarding of safety procedure. as far as i know, this is the only documented time that radiation was released and contaminated a large area. also, we have to consider that we use different technology. the greatest failure of any american power plant was TMI, which was contained...

Here's a piece by a Mary Osborn who lived nearby to Three Mile Island. I think the point is that there has been a large and effective cover-up of the consequenses of the accident. Also, I'm confident in my assertion that the containment building remains unapproachable, basically a nuclear waste dump (waiting for a geological event to open it up?).

Citizens Respond: Realize Democracy Dead

Citizens conducted their own door-to-door health surveys. The results of citizen research showed significant increases in cancers, thyroid disease, neonatal and newborn mortality, Downs syndrome, multiple sclerosis, allergies and immune system disorders, as well as other illnesses. And, if you knew how to read the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDOH) reports, which most of the news media did not (and still do not), you'd realize that in spite of press releases stating there were no cancer increases, there clearly were! The same app lies to pregnancy outcome studies. Birth defects increased and so did complications of pregnancy. The PDOH blamed low apgar scores for newborns and low birth weight babies on mothers: "...they smoked, they drank, they took tranquilizers."

Fundraising was ongoing; letters and grant requests were mailed, petitions were signed all over the country, bake sales, raffles, concerts were held. Money was needed to pay for the hearing costs, office expenses and distribution of vital information via newsletters.

Hundreds of people donated thousands of hours of their time, putting once-normal lives on hold. A non-binding referendum resulted in an overwhelming vote for no restart; non-violent civil disobedience actions blocked the gates of TMI. In spite of the vote, in spite of the will and wishes of the people in this democratic society, TMI was allowed to restart by our government.

This was a very unpleasant education. We learned many things because of this accident and this restart: the crucial filters that trapped identifiable types and quantities of radioactivity were reported missing; the radiation monitors that went off-scale were only able to detect minimum levels; the utility that repeatedly mis-calibrated its monitors (also the Environmental Protection Agency's monitors) never recalculated doses; the control room operators who cheated on exams before and after the accident; the failure to enter employees' whole body dose radiation counts on their records (because computer operators had to override the system and enter those whole body counts as extremity doses instead); the 1976 pre-TMI accident background radiation maps which were revised and replaced with a newer version reflecting the increase of the background radiation after the accident. Aside from all that, there were the lies.

The lies

They began day one with Jack Herbein of Metropolitan-Edison, and continuing with the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Environmental Resources and Agriculture, as well as federal agencies, particularly the NRC staff and commissioners. The staff lied about the severity of the accident and to the Commissioners about the "falsification of leak rates" (the rate coolant water was leaking from the reactor—which was a federal criminal offense and for which Met-Ed was found guilty). [We have a corporate felon operating a nuclear power plant.] Furthermore, an NRC inspector knew about the violations of the leak rates of reactor coolant water for one half year leading up to the accident.


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Joyce said to the NRC as she raised her fist, "...but we don't have hypothetical children!"

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The issue of the harm caused by psychological stress went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The Court ruled against our case as the Justices expounded on comparisons such as the fear of living near an noisy airport or a halfway house or having fluoride put into public water. They never once considered the crucial next step—that of actual harm from a plane crashing into a home; or of a parolee going berserk and killing a neighbor; or of an overdose of fluoride in the water making an entire city sick. It was all hypothetical to them, not the reality the accident was to us. Joyce Corradi , a mother of five, runs a day care center in Middletown. Joyce said to the NRC as she raised her fist, "...but we don't have hypothetical children!"

We voted in May of 1982 to keep TMI shut down. It restarted. The ongoing crisis in Democracy in central Pennsylvania ended in disaster as a result of that accident. The Manhattan Project actually began the death of Democracy in America. Secrecy. Radioactivity. It took the TMI accident to realize that gut-wrenching reality. Democracy died. Not just for the people of Three Mile Island, but for each and every one of us.

Deformed Deer and Daisies, Human Tragedy

Another kind of death, one we can not resurrect, is the death of friends, neighbors or loved ones.

Bill Whittock still lives on the west bank of the Susquehanna River, in Goldsboro facing Three Mile Island. The loud roar of the reactor scram woke him in the early hours during the accident. He had a metallic taste that day, later developed skin cancer, and his wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. I have found many plant abnormalities in his yard.

A farmer from Zions View, Marie Holowka, was doing chores around 4:00 a.m. the morning of the accident. She felt the earth move, got choked by a strange blue fog, and fell to the ground. She checked the local radio station. Nothing. No earthquake. She checked the Philadelphia station. They reported there was an accident at Three Mile Island, just a few miles away from the Holowkas' farm . Marie, developed a sore throat that day and became very ill for the next few weeks. Soon after, she was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Then breast cancer. Then cancer around the heart. She died seven years later.

During the accident they lost many cows. According to her brother, Paul, so many cattle died on area farms after the accident, that "the animal rendering truck that used to come around only when called (not even once a year), started coming around every week to pick up dead cattle." Guinea fowl could not hatch their eggs.

On a visit to their farm, writer Joyce Maynard and I were shown huge jars containing malformed animal organs, well preserved. When Japanese photojournalist Hiro Toyosaki interviewed the Holowkas, Paul showed us deer with antlers growing down into the face, not curved up and graceful as normal racks. In their garden I found deformed daisies.

Herb Myers of New Cumberland had many problems on his farm right after the accident, problems similar to those of other farmers in the area. His sheep could not give birth; they could not dilate to deliver their young. Some died. One morning, his son went out to the barn and found a stillborn, double headed calf, which Herb later stuffed and mounted. He developed cancer and died the tenth anniversary of the accident.

Farmer Clair Hoover and his wife Ruth, of Bainbridge, lost 12 calves and 9 cows shortly after the accident. Some of the animals were taken to New Bolton Center Lab in order to find out the cause of death. The results never came. Neither did the bill. They learned the state had paid that bill. Other tests conducted showed their cattle were found to have elevated white blood counts (the eosinophils). Coincidentally a group of doctors at Hershey Medical Center also found their patients had elevated eosinophil counts.


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The milk company told them to quit talking about their problems with the animals or they would not buy milk from them.

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In 1985, the Hoovers and their children received out of court settlements again against TMI (Metropolitan-Edison) for over $200,000.00 for personal injury. In August of 1993, I called to see if Ruth and Clair would be willing to be interviewed by journalist and author, Ryuichi Hirokawa (also chairman of Chernobyl Children Fund in Tokyo). Ruth hesitated, and softly said she would have to ask Clair. When she came back, she told me he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor just the week before; and yes, he would like very much to talk.

From my notes of August 12, 1993: The Hoovers are Mennonites; the church asked them to stop talking. The milk company told them to quit talking about their problems with the animals or they would not buy milk from them. Out of 100 cows, 27 died or had a problem—the ones that were pastured. Most calves died. The cows that were in the barn were okay. Their St. Bernard dog and pony died days ... [later] due to respiratory problems. Helicopters flew over their farm and someone always (showed up) to take away a dead animal. One time they hid a dead calf, and had their vet autopsy it before the NRC could get it. They also hid the remains. It had a damaged liver, and lungs that never opened. McDonald's bought the cows at auction. The government bought the cows from McDonald's. (The Hoovers) found this out when inquiring why checks were not received. Clair also said farmers from Adams county, in the southern part of the state, came to see them because they were also having problems with their animals.

Young Mark Corradi of Shopes Gardens in Middletown, found dozens of deformed dandelions in the field near his home and gave them to me. I became friends with his mother; we had much in common—deformed dandelions and neighborhoods riddled with health problems which the PA Dept. of Health refused to look into. Another friend, Jane Lee, went door to door and documented many thyroid disorders, allergies, cancers of all kinds and pregnancy problems. She reported that many people had metallic taste during the accident.

Mrs. Jean Trimmer of Lisburn, 10 miles northwest of TMI, took notes of her ordeal. On Friday evening, March 30, 1979, she heard her cat howling, went out on the front porch, and leaned over the railing to call for her cat. As she did, a wave of hot air engulfed her and she got wet from rain that just started falling. She was wearing a scarf covering most of her hair, an open neckline on her dress and short sleeves. The cat came to her and they went inside. Immediately she dried the cat and wiped herself dry. Later she started to itch. The next day she noticed a sunburn effect on her skin. The scalp area of the uncovered hair bothered her so much she went to her hairdresser, who washed and treated her hair. On Sunday, the women at church commented about her skin and her "sunburn?" Next, her hair began to fall out. Later, when it grew back in, it was "salt and pepper." Her normally black hair had new white hairs growing in. The exposed area of skin later became blotchy; she developed tiny, hard white bumps; and the moles on the side of her face were no longer brown, but flesh colored. Her kidney disintegrated. She is gravely ill now.

I happened to come by one day when Bill Kirk of the Environmental Protection Agency was there. When Mrs. Trimmer left the room, I asked him whether salt and pepper hair could result from radiation exposure. He said "yes, there is literature on the subject, rat studies." Then Mrs. Trimmer took out her notes and began to tell him (her story). (He) squirmed as she spoke. She also said that on her farm they never had problems with the animals until the accident...

Fran Cain still lives across the street from TMI, in Londonderry Township. She raised poodles at the time of the accident, but no longer does. The first doggie birth defect she ever had, occurred right after the accident. A puppy was born with no eyes. "The white cell count was higher on the poodle that gave birth to the eyeless puppy, Kelly." Penn State University did blood tests, free. Fran had the metallic taste, also. She received a large out-of-court settlement.

Bill Peters, local hero, race car driver and former justice of the peace, lived in Etters. He and his son were working in an open garage that day. By evening, both of them had reddened, burning skin, and burning throats. The next day, Bill had blisters on his nose and lips. He and his wife, Darla, kept having a burning sensation in their nose and down their throats, and an awful taste. "It just about made ya half sick," he would always say to interviewers I would bring around. He described the taste as "... burnt metal, like galvanized steel." The taste made them so thirsty, they couldn't drink enough.

On Friday, police drove by and told Bill to "get the hell inside." Bill and his family were packing; they wanted out of there, so they kept right on packing the truck. They left their cats in a sheltered porch, and one of their German Shepherds in the garage, with plenty of food and water, and windows open a bit for ventilation. About a week later, when they returned and opened the garage, they got the metallic taste again. They found their dog, dead, with eyes burnt white. There was still plenty of food, but the dog had drunk a whole lot of water. Most of the cats were dead. One had given birth, but the kittens died. Shortly after, the cat died too. About a month later, while mowing the grass, Bill found dead birds. He filled a metal drum about half full with them. On my first visit to his home, I found three clumps of huge dandelion plants at least 31" long, flower mutations, and huge tree leaves.


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About a week later, when they returned and opened the garage, they got the metallic taste again. They found their dog, dead, with eyes burnt white.

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The Peters filed for personal injury damages in the current, class action lawsuit. Last year, during depositions for the upcoming trial, Bill had a heart attack and died. The lawyer told me it was okay, it was at the end of his deposition, and we have Darla. [Editor's note: from Chernobyl and from an unpublished study of weapons plant workers, come evidence linking radiation exposure to heart disease.]

well life is busy so i'm going to have to cut this off here...buuut remember: the government has a million-gazillion safety requirements these plants have to follow, and they're checked constantly. any accident is caught and corrected immediately.

Here I'd like to invite you to look at Unplug Salem. They have carefully documented past and exisitng problems with the Salem I and II reactors as well as 'cover ups' that (fired) employees have tried to bring to the publics attention.


i like to have a fire in my fireplace, but i don't freak out because there's a possibility that a log will roll out and set the house on fire. because it's contained... somebody watches the fire and will fix it if anything happens...maybe not the best of analogies but you get my point.
peace out, yall. have a great day!

Thanks for your comments and interest. Peace with justice to you as well.

J. Roy

Posted by: J. Roy Cannon on October 31, 2005 10:52 AM

howdy again,
i wasn't going to post again, but i tend to get drawn in on a quest for truth :-p...

i'm not sure i understand your apparent fear of tritium..sure, it emits beta particles (weakly) but it's not dangerous. it's simply an isotope of hydrogen produced naturally in the atmosphere. if the hands on your watch glow it's probably tritium. nuclear plants do vent tritium in their steam, but the amounts are monitored and must meet environmental standards. as to lithium explosions: the reactor casings are designed to withstand a meltdown, explosion, etc. they do not store more energy inside a container than it can handle.

as far as cost effectiveness, i still stand by my statement. nuclear power by itself is much cheaper and much more efficient than any other form of power generation (also produces less polution). the costs you associated with it are due to politics, not nuclear power (much of it probably due to the green party constantly fighting nuclear power :-p).

nuclear power does not mean nuclear weapons. nuclear power does not mean nuclear weapons. just because a country can develop a nuclear power plant (heck, anybody can..most of what they use can be found naturally) does not mean that they can develop nuclear weapons. the technology is fairly similar, yes. but at the same time there are vast differences that cannot be bridged by the presence of a nuclear reactor...

" Also, I'm confident in my assertion that the containment building remains unapproachable, basically a nuclear waste dump (waiting for a geological event to open it up?)."
i believe you're right..the reactor is still radioactive. however, this does not pose a threat...we're not exactly sitting on a fault line and if a reactor meltdown won't breach its holding, you're going to need more than a tornado to open it up.. also, the plant is in operation, indicating that the area is safe for personnel to be on site.

about the article: to be honest, i don't know how much of that is true. if these effects were actual, literally everyone would know because the left wing press would be all over it. here is an excerpt from the TMI fact sheet at nrc.gov:

"Detailed studies of the radiological consequences of the accident have been conducted by the NRC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services), the Department of Energy, and the State of Pennsylvania. Several independent studies have also been conducted. Estimates are that the average dose to about 2 million people in the area was only about 1 millirem. To put this into context, exposure from a full set of chest x-rays is about 6 millirem. Compared to the natural radioactive background dose of about 100-125 millirem per year for the area, the collective dose to the community from the accident was very small. The maximum dose to a person at the site boundary would have been less than 100 millirem.

In the months following the accident, although questions were raised about possible adverse effects from radiation on human, animal, and plant life in the TMI area, none could be directly correlated to the accident. Thousands of environmental samples of air, water, milk, vegetation, soil, and foodstuffs were collected by various groups monitoring the area. Very low levels of radionuclides could be attributed to releases from the accident. However, comprehensive investigations and assessments by several well-respected organizations have concluded that in spite of serious damage to the reactor, most of the radiation was contained and that the actual release had negligible effects on the physical health of individuals or the environment."

the only thing that was released from the plant during the meltdown was krypton gas that had to be vented (and hardly a dense choking blue fog...) i'm not sure about the report of 'acid rain' (as i'm assuming that's what was referred to). i haven't seen any reports of acid rain caused by TMI, but then i haven't really looked very much. just an extra note: tmi is currently one of the best running power plants in the country.

i know what you're going to say..the government covered it all up. frankly, that's impossible. if you have 10 foot long dandelions and a thousand dead animals and cancer everywhere, no amount of government coverup is going to keep it from getting out. honestly, i just don't find it any more credible than the countless articles of people who have found aliens in their backyard.

before you say i'm just a right wing nuclear activist, let me say my dad works for the nuclear regulatory commission, so i've seen a little bit about what the nrc does. he also used to be a reactor operator at hope creek (and was working at salem for a while and can attest that the idea of all sorts of 'government coverups' there is crazy.) for the past few years, he's worked as a plant inspector. it's insane how detailed and anal the reports have to be... each plant is inspected regularly, and everything is covered, everything is reported, and everything is made general domain (so you can read it if you want). every plant has to be kept to a very rigid standard and any slight deviation is reported and investigated and monitored and improved.

essentially, nuclear power is safe. the only reason so many people stand against it is because of all the hype and propaganda surrounding it. how many people have died at coal burning plants? what about flooding from hydroelectric dams? i don't know what else to say...nuclear power is probably the reason electrons are flowing through your computer so you can read this. consider the alternatives to nuclear power... burn fossil fuels until they run out? use wind power? hydro power? solar cells? just an interesting little fact i just found: people living near coal burning plants are exposed to more radiation than people living near nuclear plants. so why not complain about the radiation from coal plants?

well, life goes on so i'm outta here. i'm not trying to be offensive so don't take any. like i said, i'm just after the truth. God bless.

Posted by: jamesb on October 31, 2005 10:30 PM

all I said on October 24th in my post was "if they were to close the nuclear power plants, where would homer simpson work?"

I think you were responding to jamesb . .

Posted by: Jason – Band Member [TypeKey Profile Page] on November 1, 2005 01:03 AM

J. Roy Cannon, you would be glad to know that I voted green in this past election.

Posted by: Collin - band member on November 1, 2005 04:15 PM

i am an idiot and i am lead by richard simmons

Posted by: idiot on November 30, 2005 02:35 PM

Hm... I'm going to go ahead and guess...

I'l go with the idiot.

Posted by: Voltron on November 30, 2005 02:52 PM