NUCLEAR DENIAL IS KILLING US

Radioactive contamination--of our planet, fellow species, our own bodies and future generations--is the single greatest risk to our well-being today. We can’t see it, feel it or smell it. Few people have the equipment to measure it. What is measured is often kept secret from the public. But it is there. It scares us, but we don't talk about it. And so the problem grows.

As early as December 1951, the Atomic Energy Commission was warned by its own consultants that "cancer is a significant industrial hazard of the atomic energy business." Numerous studies have confirmed this over the years.

Even after disasters as great as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and now Fukishima, as well as many lesser known nuclear accidents on land and sea, reliable information is hard to find. Fortunately, through the Internet we now have access to reports, blogs and media accounts from many countries and organizations. With a little amount of effort, we can educate ourselves.

High incidence of breast cancer and birth defects have been linked to neighboring nuclear reactors. Connections between cancers, coronary heart disease, and excessive medical x-rays are well established. Now we use diagnostic scanning procedures that emit unbelievably high levels of radiation. Even medical practitioners are often unaware of the severity of the problem, in part because they lack radiation monitoring equipment themselves. And the problem does not affect only those who are exposed to radiation - genetic damage to DNA can cause increasing health problems and learning disorders in the descendants of those originally exposed.

"We live on a recycling earth. You can’t put poison into a recycling earth. We’re damaging the seed… that’s a death process. We’re seeing it crop up as breast cancer, mentally retarded and hyperkinetic kids. We’re seeing it crop up as infertility, and we’re seeing animal species destroyed.
But we don’t seem to have quite said ‘yes, that’s us. That’s our planet, that’s what we did, and let’s stop it
."
 
 Dr. Rosalie Bertell 
 Breast Cancer Conference, Austin TX, February 1994


"If you want to talk about compensation for damage done… for health care costs that have accrued, let’s try plutonium, lets try the nuclear industry, lets try the Federal Atomic Energy Commission, let’s get to the real targets. 

But no, we engage in these self-deceptive subterfuges, thinking that if we slap "No Smoking" signs on every flat surface… that somehow we have had a major impact on environmental quality."

Ward Churchill
"Genocide", Public Access TV, 3/26/00, Austin, TX.

The most severely affected sectors of the U.S. population--atomic miners, workers and veterans--have to compete for meager benefits only made available by the government late in the game, after many of those affected had already died. Often the criteria for diagnosis and assistance limits many from getting the help they need.

Why Isn't This a Serious Part of Our National Dialogue?

  • County by county data exists for risk of thyroid cancer from nuclear bomb testing. Winds carried fallout across the nation and beyond. But the Dept. of Health & Human Services stalled for years on sending this report to Congress. Now we need the data on Fukishima fallout which almost immediately was impacting fruit on the west coast and Pacific seafood. We need accurate information to discuss with our doctors our own level of risk and how it may affect our children.

  • 80% of breast cancer is environmentally caused and therefore preventable, but we usually hear more about diet, smoking and family history than the nuclear and other toxic industries.

  • Medical experiments were deliberately and secretly conducted on the most vulnerable members of our society—school children, remote Native communities, mental patients, prisoners, soldiers and sailors. We need to know what is being done to help them now.

  • Transportation of nuclear ores, metals, fuels, weapons and wastes has resulted in numerous accidents and near-misses. Cleanup efforts are still moving these materials around like a national shell game, potentially raising the danger exponentially. Do you know where the routes are?

  • Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions are known to cause disease in exposed U.S. veterans and civilian populations, and serious birth defects in their children. BIrth defects in Falujah, Iraq, are now found in 14% of their children. Why does the U.S. continue to contaminate nation after nation, as well as veterans, bases and firing ranges at home?

  • U.S. nuclear powered space stations and mining colonies on the Moon and Mars will begin a whole new era of nuclear waste production within the next decade. U.S. Star Wars plans are nuclear capable. How will U.S. dominance of space-based resources affect global peace?

  • For over sixty years the U.S. government contaminated all of North America, South Pacific islands, and much of the world’s oceans with radiation. Why isn’t our nuclear policy an important part of the national political debate?

Like an alcoholic family--where emotional survival is maintained by an unspoken agreement not to discuss the disease openly--we are living in a condition of nuclear denial.