[ RadSafe ] FW: [NucNews] America's Greatest AtomicRadiation Crisis

John R Johnson idias at interchange.ubc.ca
Tue Dec 4 12:55:34 CST 2007

Howard et al

The dose and risk from radon does not depend on the source of the radon. Any 
reference on radon dosimetry will do.

Two good (but old) references are

Health Risks of Radon and other Internally Deposited Alpha-emitters,  BEIR 
IV, NAS, 1988.

Indoor Radon and Lung Cancer: Reality or Myth? Parts 1 and 2; The 
Twenty-Ninth Hanford Symposium on Health and the Environment, Battelle 
Press, 1990.

John R Johnson, PhD
4535 West 9th Ave
Vancouver, B. C.
V6R 2E2, Canada
(604) 222-9840
idias at interchange.ubc.ca

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "howard long" <hflong at pacbell.net>
To: "stewart farber" <radproject at sbcglobal.net>; 
<Know_Nukes at yahoogroups.com>; "Steven Dapra" <sjd at swcp.com>; "Radsafe" 
<radsafe at radlab.nl>; "Norm Cohen" <ncohen12 at comcast.net>; "Philip Egidi" 
<pvegidi at smtpgate.dphe.state.co.us>
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] FW: [NucNews] America's Greatest AtomicRadiation 

> Has anyone a reference for data on lung cancer mortality
> in persons exposed to radon from uranium tailings?
> I would expect it to be LESS than controls, considering Cohen data.
> I was unable to find the Saccomoto reference on that,
> although stated here that lung cancer was more even in non-smokers
> exposed to radon (uranium miners). Dr Stewart Loeb, also so stated
> at a presentation of Hormesis by Dr Myron Pollycove to our UCSF 50th 
> reunion,
> 7 years ago.
> Howard Long
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: stewart farber <radproject at sbcglobal.net>
> To: Know_Nukes at yahoogroups.com; Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com>; Radsafe 
> <radsafe at radlab.nl>; Norm Cohen <ncohen12 at comcast.net>; Philip Egidi 
> <pvegidi at smtpgate.dphe.state.co.us>
> Sent: Monday, December 3, 2007 12:24:08 PM
> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] FW: [NucNews] America's Greatest AtomicRadiation 
> Crisis
> Hi Philip,
> Thanks very much for posting such an informative retrospective look, and
> links to information about the issue of mill tailings. I appreciate the
> effort which went into your post.
> Do you have data about the mean, median, high and low radon
> levels found in residences which had mill tailings used as fill around 
> them?
> I know the US government had spent very large sums of money on the
> remediation of private homes.
> I had had some dealings with Andy George, head of the radon studies group 
> at
> DOE's Environmental Measurement Lab from 1977 to 1979 regarding getting 
> some
> of their staff into forced hot air solar heated  homes and condo complexes
> in New England which used crushed granite heat storage reservoirs.   Andy
> said they had done extensive radon measurements related to mill tailings,
> but no one had ever suggested the potential for very elevated radon levels
> in forced hot air solar heated homes.
> A single solar home built in New Hampshire at the time would typically 
> have
> 60 to 100 tons of crushed Conway granite for heat storage, and the home 
> air
> passed directly through the granite at night to take heat that had been
> stored during the day from panels heating air that stored the heat in the
> heat storage reservoir.
> These solar heated homes had very elevated radon levels, altho' I don't 
> have
> the values at my fingertips. However, it showed how elevated radon can 
> turn
> up in situations where it is not expected even in "green" situations like 
> a
> solar heated home using heat storage rock reservoirs releasing radon into 
> a
> very tight, energy efficient home. The elevated radon in solar homes using
> heat storage reservoirs was not restricted to private homes. In one case, 
> I
> was able to arrange for DOE's EML to get into a multi-story condo complex
> built using forced hot air solar storage,  as a DOE Solar Development 
> Group
> project. Elevated radon levels were measure by DOE Environmental 
> Measurement
> Lab throughout the condo complex. The DOE Solar Development Group did not
> want to cooperated with DOE's EML because measuring radon in a solar home
> was so unsettling to program administrators, and the Solar Development 
> side
> of DOE dragged its feet for over a year before it would let measurments be
> made.
> This increased dose to a resident from the increase in radon in a forced 
> air
> solar system would exceed the average dose received by a member of the
> general public from nuclear power plant releases and operation by a very,
> very wide margin [many orders of magnitude in WBDE].
> Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
> Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
> Linac, Medical & HP Instrument Brokerage
> [203] 441-8433 [Office]
> [203] 522-2817 [Cell]
> [203] 367-0791 [Fax]
> website:  http://www.farber-medical.com
> email: radproject at sbcglobal.net
> =================
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Philip Egidi" <pvegidi at smtpgate.dphe.state.co.us>
> To: "Norm Cohen" <ncohen12 at comcast.net>; "Radsafe" <radsafe at radlab.nl>;
> "Steven Dapra" <sjd at swcp.com>; <Know_Nukes at yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 1:36 PM
> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] FW: [NucNews] America's Greatest AtomicRadiation
> Crisis
> Greetings from Grand Junction - 2007.
> Yes, this is a VERY OLD article, as is mentioned at the end of the post. 
> It
> is a valuable posting for historical purposes, particularly the opposition
> by industry and the AEC (in some ways that persisted for decades) to 
> address
> the problems as they mounted.  The focus was on uranium as source 
> material,
> not the waste radium.  AEC did not want to regulate it (still really 
> doesn't
> in some opinions), the States didn't have the resources, and the millers
> didn't want to spend the money until they were forced to.  The result was
> pollution of rivers (the Animas River was dead for 20 miles below its mill
> in the early 60s), the piles were uncovered and abandoned, and is some
> places, like Grand Junction, were allowed to be taken and used off site 
> for
> all kinks of uses.  It took years, but it did get addressed.  A very
> interesting book on the genesis of this problem, and the considerable
> hurdles that had to be overcome to regulate these sites in the first place
> can be found in:
> "Warm Sands, Uranium Mill Tailings Policy in the Atomic West" by Eric
> Mogren.  University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque NM, 2002.  ISBN
> 0-8263-2280-8.
> Some of the people discussed in that article came to be very strong
> proponents of regulation of mill tailings, particularly Bud Franz, who is
> now retired and still living in Grand Junction (I work in the same office 
> as
> the group he used to manage), and Dr. Geno Saccomano, who ended up doing
> considerable research on cancer in uranium miners.  His last paper 
> published
> after his death found an increase in cancer for non-smoking miners as well
> as those who smoked.
> Once the UMTRA law was passed in late 1978, things started to change.
> The DOE spent a lot of tax dollars (over $1.4 Billion US) cleaning up the
> mill tailings under Grand Junction, Rifle, Durango, Gunnison mill sites 
> and
> vicinity properties.  Hardly any funds were expended to clean up abandoned
> uranium mines when compared to the mills.  Some Federal Agencies and some
> States have programs to try and reclaim the worst mines and lease tracks,
> but it is a drop in the bucket.  The native Americans did not fare well
> either, where a lot of residual contamination remains on the reservations
> from abandoned uranium mines. This has been highlighted recently in the LA
> Times and in Congressional hearings.
> http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-navajo-series,0,4515615.special?coll=la-home-headlines%20
> There were about 22 mills cleaned up under the DOE portion of UMTRA 
> (called
> Title I).  DOE is still addressing groundwater contamination at some of
> those sites.
> http://www.osti.gov/bridge/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=105503
> One new one for DOE is Moab: http://www.gjem.energy.gov/ because the
> licensee declared bankruptcy and left NRC holding the bag without enough
> surety bonds on the site.  Congress transferred it from Title II to Title 
> I
> a few years ago so the tax money could be used to clean up the site. 
> That
> project is in final planning stages, with cleanup planned over the next
> decade or so, depending on funding.
> Title II of UMTRA (regulated by NRC or the Agreement States) is ongoing, 
> as
> it addresses the mills that had a license in November 1978, or got one
> since.
> http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/materials/uranium/
> DOE will be the long term custodian as they are cleaned up and closed out.
> http://www.lm.doe.gov/
> This does not include in-situ mining of uranium, which is also being used
> and is on the rise in the west.
> The UMTRA program cleaned up over I think 4,000 properties in Grand 
> Junction
> alone.  I personally did over 1,000 surveys of properties looking for
> tailings in the 1980s into the early 90s for ORAU/ORISE/ORNL.  The program
> ended around 1998, although the Colorado Department of Public Health and
> Environment maintains a small post-UMTRA program that tracks sites that
> weren't cleaned up (padding for sewer lines are an example).
> http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/rptailng.htm
> New properties that are getting developed require either a records search
> showing the results of prior surveys/cleanups or a new gamma survey is 
> done
> by the Department to check for tailings.  An estimated 500,000 tons of
> tailings might still be present under Grand Junction.  We still find
> properties that fell through the cracks or were "owner refusals" at the 
> time
> of the program.  Since it was voluntary, not all people welcomed the
> government coming on their property and doing these surveys and cleanups.
> Now their children are stuck with the properties and are on the hook to
> clean them up.  I surveyed one last week in Colorado that had never been
> known about and had 49 pCi/L radon in one bedroom and gamma exposure rates
> of about 130 uR/h.  The people have moved out of the house and are trying 
> to
> figure out how to clean it up.
> The DOE maintains a disposal cell outside Grand Junction that is opened
> annually to accept new tailings.  The remaining cells around the other 22
> sites are closed and checked annually by DOE and the state.
> Theses lessons are not lost on those of us who are now facing the task of
> tracking and regulating the new resurgence in uranium mining and milling 
> in
> the western states.  Just last week I attended a planning commission 
> hearing
> for a conditional use permit for a revived uranium mine complex in 
> Colorado
> (it passed).
> http://www.nunnglow.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=191
> We are anticipating at least one new conventional uranium mill and one
> in-situ mill application to come in for review in the next year or so. 
> The
> Department's Radioactive Materials Program doesn't regulate mining, that 
> is
> under MSHA and Minerals and Geology (or whatever they are called these
> days), but we do regulate uranium milling.  Colorado still has one uranium
> mill that tries to operate (Cotter in Canon City), but they have had their
> problems and are not operational these days.  I spend my days (actually 
> the
> last 25 years) with one foot in the past and the other in the future.
> NRC is evaluating a generic EIS for in-situ uranium mining (the comment
> period just ended the other day), as well as looking at some tweaking of 
> the
> regulations.  My opinion is that the EIS for conventional uranium milling
> should also be looked at again, as it is tremendously outdated.  We will 
> see
> what NRC decides in the near future.  With uranium prices rebounding, and 
> a
> push for nuclear power, the front end of the fuel cycle needs to be
> considered too.  The regulations for uranium miners, under MSHA, have not
> been updated in years, and are outdated, and do not offer the same level 
> of
> protection as other radiation workers get.  This may be hopefully 
> addressed
> in the near future.
> Stay tuned.
> Phil Egidi
> Radiation Management Unit
> Radiation Control Program
> Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division
> 222 S. 6th St. Rm. 232
> Grand Junction, CO 81501
> (970) 248-7162
> (970) 248-7198 fax
> alternate numbers:
> (303)692-3447
> (303)759-5355 (fax)
>>>> Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com> 12/02/07 12:05 PM >>>
> Dec. 2
>        Note the qualifier below that this tailings article is from the
> 1970s.  This is ooooold news.  Hasn't the UMTRA project taken care of all
> the tailings?
>        Norm:  WHY did you post this here??  (Not that I expect an answer
> of course . . . .)
> Steven Dapra
> At 12:46 PM 12/2/07 -0500, Norm Cohen wrote:
>>Uranium tailings threaten health out west.
>>Coalition for Peace and Justice; UNPLUG Salem Campaign, 321 Barr Ave,
>>Linwood; NJ; 08221; 609-601-8583; Cell Phone - 609-335-8176; MySpace
>>websites: www.coalitionforpeaceandjustice.org
>>                www.unplugsalem.org
>>From: NucNews at yahoogroups.com [mailto:NucNews at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf 
>>NO Nukes South Australia
>>Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 7:34 PM
>>To: NucNews at yahoogroups.com
>>Subject: [NucNews] America's Greatest Atomic Radiation Crisis
>>By Don Munson
>>Ever hear of uranium "tailings"? It's a fine,
>>sand-like end product from the dozens of uranium
>>ore-processing plants scattered throughout the
>>Far West. Thought to be of no value, or danger,
>>hundreds of thousands of tons of this material
>>were dumped on the plains, to be snatched up by
>>building contractors who used it on construction
>>jobs-like hospitals, homes, schools and churches.
>>Now, it's been discovered, the stuff is
>>radioactively hot and we are facing a catastrophe
>>of monumental proportions.
> [edit]
>>** THE END **
>>Note: This article was from the 1970's.
> [edit]
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