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by Morton S. Skorodin, M.D.
Friday, Feb. 06, 2009 at 9:43 PM
Politicians backed by powerful business interests have initiated a legislative assault to bring nuclear power back to Oklahoma. There are numerous reasons why this is a bad idea, some of which are discussed in this article. Oklahomans successfully fought off the attempt to build a nuclear reactor at Black Fox a generation ago. We will fight it again.
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The winter session of the state legislature is upon us. Bills have been presented, in both Senate (SB831) and House (HB1320) before the opening session, to re-introduce the nuclear power business to Oklahoma.
This will, if the sponsor and his backers prevail, bring jobs and cancer to our state.
We’ve got a problem. We humans interpret the world and have survived by our five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. They have served us well; they guide our behavior, and this is all obvious as we look around.
During the twentieth century and beyond, we have seen new things and new types of events, in defiance of the old saying: “There is nothing new under the sun.” Most important was the development of man made nuclear radiation.
We haven’t had hundreds or thousands of years to adapt to this new and insanely dangerous phenomenon. We can not see, hear, feel, smell or taste nuclear radiation.
The danger of nuclear power is as great as our ability to perceive it is small.
We have to adapt, and pronto. We have to use our brains, to reason, without benefit of sensory input. This does not come naturally, but we have to do it anyway.
To compound this problem, many facts about nuclear power and nuclear munitions are not widely known. Additionally, many problems and potential problems have not been made public.
Remember, it is a business. It is the legally binding responsibility of top management of all firms involved in this business to make as much money as possible.
Ugly facts would get in the way of this Prime Directive. Thus the impulse to hide unpleasant information is overwhelming. Monkey see no evil, hear no evil, tell no evil.
We, the people, have to do the heavy digging. We have no other choice. Like a putrid abscess this abomination must be eliminated by exposure to fresh air and sunlight.
Back to Oklahoma. If you’ve stayed with me so far, I have information that just might wake you up.
Remember the nuclear accident at Gore back in 1986?
No? Hmmmh. Well, neither do I. You probably remember the Chernobyl disaster and the Three Mile Island accident as do I.
On Jan 6, 1986, a gigantic cylinder (See Picture 1.) of nuclear material burst after being improperly heated at a Kerr-McGee plant at Gore, Oklahoma, USA. One worker died, 100 were hospitalized. The local police had had no heads up on dealing with this. In fact, the irresponsible owners and management appear to have had no safety plan whatsoever. This whopper of a cylinder contained more than 27,500 pounds of gaseous radioactive Uranium (fancy name: Uranium hexafluoride). Now it’s spread to the four winds. To date I have been unable to find out the long-term health effects in the Gore area.
Get ready to be outraged. This disaster was big, about as big as Three Mile Island. Like you, I never heard about it until two weeks ago, when I luckily came across a study in the medical literature by Prof. Doug Brugge and colleagues (American Journal of Public Health, 2007, Vol. 97, 1595-1600).
They also discuss another calamity, unknown to the public and actually larger than the Three Mile Island accident, which occurred at Church Rock, New Mexico in 1979.
The point of their article was that these disasters are not known to the public. They view that fact itself as a public health problem and I certainly agree. They speculated that these accidents were easy to hide because they occurred on sparsely populated Indian land.
As horrible as these relatively rare accidents are, perhaps even worse is the “normal” day-to-day operation of all nuclear plants. They all release radioactive material into the atmosphere daily! State regulatory agencies know this and allow it and you can find the relevant documents online, though they don’t shout it out.
People with a monetary interest in nuclear power and their fellow travelers will tell you that nuclear power plants don’t affect human health much. Don’t believe them; they are lying.
Radiation causes cancer, especially breast cancer. (See Picture 2.) Being reminded of this makes a shudder go through me. My dear sister, of blessed memory, died a very agonizing and painful death from this at a young age- the first case of this in our family. I remember her last days well. Doctors have psychological mechanisms to not be overwhelmed by their patients' suffering. These didn't work well for me. In fact, understanding what was going on in her body made her pain more vivid to me.
She looked small and her skin had changed to an unnatural brown. The pain was intense and wasn't phased by massive amounts of morphine. She was short of breath and her doctors and nurses appeared to be unaware of it. Her rib cage, especially the left side was riddled with spread of the breast tumor. Cancer in bone is one of the most painful conditions. Every breath hurt. Every breath was inefficient - that left ribcage collapsed inward, rather than expanding outward to bring in air, which is the normal action. Her chest was half-filled with water so she couldn't breathe well even if her ribs had been working properly. Her face was always set in an expression of unrelieved pain, even when she dozed off briefly. There was too much pain and breathlessness for her to rest at all. Finally, when she passed, it was a relief.
Her painful death was tragically foretold by the nine previous years of living with this painful disease, which ground on relentlessly despite surgery and radiation and which she knew would do her in. She lived her whole life in an area of the country ringed by a number of nuclear power plants. She was also exposed to chemical pollutants.
There appears to be more public awareness of the dangers of non-radioactive chemical pollutants than of the radioactive and it is evident that more than one factor goes to making cancer. What serious investigators fear is that radiation (nuclear) pollution interacts with chemical poisons to magnify the problem. By itself, Uranium interacts with the body's estrogen hormone system, disrupting it as do a number of other pollutants. It can do its dirty work even if present at tiny amounts- amounts lower than current federal EPA standards for this poison.
Recently there has been a great deal of publicity about the hereditary predisposition to breast cancer, but that does not explain the fact that the prevalence of this horror has gone, in recent years, from 1 in 11 women to 1 in 8. Meanwhile the nuclear power plants are chugging along and our new president’s wealthy backers want 81 new (and even double- and quadruple-sized) plants.
Fact: Close down a reactor and the rate of childhood cancer in the surrounding area drops.
Fact: Radiation causes death of fetuses, preferentially male fetuses.
Wait a second. It’s the unborn. State Representative Mike Reynolds and State Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa who entered these bills, HB1320 and SB831, claim to be “pro-life”, meaning anti-abortion. But they are OK with death of the preborn if it’s profitable for someone. Other "public servants" at the statehouse who are backing this are Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman and Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge.
After knowing all this, reading these bills made me nauseated; they are all about who gets what loot and how quickly, along with untrue assertions about nuclear power being "emission-free" and renewable. Much of the juice to be generated will be sold out of state. (Not for domestic consumption.) Not a single word about health and safety. Take a look for yourself. They are available online.
We Okies and we Americans like to be nice and easygoing and usually have a live and let live attitude. But this is too much of an outrage.
Fact: Though we Americans are treated as expendable by the nuclear profiteers, we do not feel that way about ourselves.
These guys, I’ll bet, all wear American flags in their lapels. That doesn’t make them patriots. Remember where you will find the devil at 11AM on Sunday morning- in church sitting in the first row (or delivering the sermon)...
No. It must be said: It is treason!
And premediated murder of men, women and children. The physical destruction of America for private gain, and starting with our DNA.
As Legislators, that is exactly what they are deciding on. They had better bother to educate themselves, change course and do the right thing.
We can’t see the little fiends, the ones that are called Alpha particles, Gamma rays, and Beta particles and they come in vast and continuous swarms. You may be able to picture what these silent, odorless, tasteless, invisible demons do to your little cells. Picture what a 50 caliber Uranium bullet could do to a toddler. On a smaller scale, one Alpha particle can tear through and destroy hundreds of cells. Gamma rays and Beta particles have a smaller punch but make up for it with a greater range.
If it was with a bullet in a gun, we would all know what to do; what is the difference if the bullets are Alpha, Beta and Gamma caliber nuclear munitions?
None, actually. Dead is still dead – and forever.
The decision is simple. No nukes.
Big, important fact: There is only one place on Earth where a nuclear power plant was prevented from being built due to popular pressure: Oklahoma. The struggle to prevent the Black Fox facility from being built signaled the end of new nuclear power plants anywhere in the U.S. for a generation. Carrie Barefoot Dickerson, who spearheaded the struggle, passed away recently. They barely waited until her corpse was cold to try to rehabilitate this nonsense.
The businessmen and legislators backing the nuclear abomination a second time around are behaving treasonously and picked the wrong folks to mess with.
We will stop them again!
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by Morton S. Skorodin, M.D.
Friday, Feb. 06, 2009 at 9:43 PM
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