Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nuclear Power Plants and Childhood Leukemia

Childhood Leukemia in the Vicinity of the Geesthacht Nuclear Establishments near Hamburg, Germany by Wolfgang Hoffmann,1 Claudia Terschueren,1 and David B. Richardson, Institute for Community Medicine, Section Epidemiology of Health Care and Community Health, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany; 2Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 115, Number 6, June 2007

Childhood leukemia in Germany: cluster identified near nuclear power plant, June, 2007 by Valerie J. Brown, BNET Business Network

Please read these and the many articles that can be found on studies correlating childhood leukemia cases and living near nuclear reactors. There is a reason we don't X-ray pregnant women; it's because fetuses exposed to radiation result in an increase of childhood leukemia. The radiation that leaks from a nuclear reactor is no different. Radiation disease might not even show up for 30, 40, 50 years, making it harder to prove that the reactor you lived next to was the cause of disease. Nuclear reactors are also linked to higher breast cancer rates in women and lung cancers in men, but the industry will tell you it was natural sunlight or simply "living" that cause cancer. It's a no win situation for us but a great gain for the industry for whom nuclear energy is the next "big oil".

Although I would like to believe Obama will win in November, I'm afraid many people will elect McCain for president whose number one priority and answer to saving the economy is building a bunch of nuclear power plants. In fact, many Democrats are gungho about nuclear energy, no different than Republicans on this issue. Above all, we want energy independence and to save our economy. I think men in general like the idea of doing something innovative with dangerous materials, to conquer them. It all sounds heroic and cool but this is not the future I want. Saying nuclear power is a good option because England, France, Germany and Japan have implemented it successfully isn't telling the whole truth. Japan had a leak on September 30, 1999 and 320,000 people were told to stay in and close the windows. Please. Radiation goes through walls. This is our future here if we want it.

I pray this country elects someone more prudent than one who can't wait to build a reactor in our backyard, but no matter who is elected, this is a topic that needs to be discussed, and I pray we don't ignore the canaries in the coalmine. It's only in this generation that people have begun to think of radiation as something relatively safe. In an effort to sound tough, smart, up-to-date, to be innovative and competitive, we deny problems such as leaks that happen all the time and are covered up. We say, "We're the #1 country and we can't mess up". But what if? No what ifs - we're too great a nation to ever fail. But what if it's my child who gets sick? The industry will always tell you radiation is safe because they are in the nuclear energy business. Who will you listen to: them, backed by the scientists they hire to say everything is A-OK wink wink, or the people who are living the nightmare right now and warning us from across the seas before it's too late?

McCain Nuclear Energy Revival May Cost $315 Billion (Update1) By Elliot Blair Smith, www.bloomberg.com, Last Updated: September 11, 2008

Obama Ad Attacks McCain on Yucca Mountain By Sarah Wheaton, The Caucus, The New York Times Politics Blog, August 9, 2008