[ RadSafe ] Claim that Film exposes “regulatory capture” of USA’s NRC by ...

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Fri Jan 27 17:00:13 CST 2012

Dear Mr. Helbig,
      Thanks for your post to radsafe.
      Brookhaven Labs Tritium problem was from a  fuel storage pool near/in 
the BNL HFBR --- the
High Flux Beam Reactor.  I doubt the Brookhaven Medical Research  Reactor 
was too big a part of the problem.  Wonder where the town in the  film was 
located with respect to BNL???  Did the town draw
its water from water wells near BNL or was there water from a surface water 
 source???  I'm sure 
there are EPA Hazwaste etc. sites near the Lab.  The 2 productive  reactors 
at BNL were closed
because of this tritium problem.  The Hollywood Types in the Long  Island 
Hamptons were probably
quite pleased with this outcome.  Shoreham Nuclear Facility (which  never 
opened) is not far from BNL.
I suspect people pay dearly for their electric energy there now.  That  
part of Long Island is 
fairly rural with nice ocean beaches nearby.
      One of my former colleagues at BNL once told  me that the great white 
shark from the Jaws
movie was actually caught by a fisherman fishing at the East end of Long  
Island (from the ocean 
shore).  Shoreline fishing doesn't get more exciting than  that!!!!  Wonder 
if it was a serious 
Fish Story (untrue????)???
     So, the BNL HFBR and BMRR closed because  of a fairly trivial Tritium 
problem.  Nuclear Engineers and 
others lost their jobs.  BNL still has RHIC, NSLS, NSLS II, AGS, etc.  to 
make life interesting.  It is
a physicist's playground.  I'm sure RHIC is important, but it is no  CERN 
Large Hadron
Collider.  Guess the USA's next high energy particle physics facility  will 
be an electron collider...
     The tritium problem is being remediated in various  ways.  Persons 
living south of BNL no longer
draw their drinking water from their home water wells.  Cancer there  --- 
elevated levels???
I wonder how true this is
      Smith Point Beach was quite nice before the  big plane crash happened 
there.  I don't think I went back to the beach  there after that event.  
Smith Point is just south of BNL.  I was  leaving the AGS and the 
lab that night after a good night of neutron spectrometry.  I heard  the 
news on my radio as I was driving
home.  It was all quite sad.  There were reports of people in  rowboats and 
small boats trying to help the plane crash victims.  There was  no hope --- 
no one survived the crash, right????  For a while after  that
people were finding body parts on the beach.  The local Medical  Examiner 
and his helpers were 
quite overwhelmed with their task.
      Hope you all have a good weekend!!!!
     Regards,   Joseph R. (Joe) Preisig,  PhD
In a message dated 1/27/2012 8:21:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
rwhelbig at gmail.com writes:

The bad  thing is that this film may very well make into a number of
theaters if it  is being acclaimed at Sundance -

Film exposes “regulatory capture” of  USA’s NRC by the nuclear industry

by Christina  MacPherson

Sundance Diary: "The Atomic States of America" Turns the  Lens on
Nuclear Power ONEARTH, BY BRUCE BARCOTT January 26, 2012  "....... The
Atomic States of America, a film based partly upon her  memoir, Welcome
to Shirley.

McMasters’ book chronicled her  childhood growing up in a blue-collar
Long Island town next to the  Brookhaven National Lab, one of the
federal government’s leading nuclear  research stations. In the 1990s,
news broke (thanks to citizen activists  and a local newspaper
reporter) that Brookhaven’s three reactors regularly  leaked deadly
nuclear materials into the local water  supply.

McMasters didn’t realize what was going on until college, when  a
roommate asked her, “Why are you always going home to all  these
funerals? What’s going on there?” The answer: Cancer, cancer, and  more

Atomic States directors Sheena Joyce and Don Argott,  who made the
documentary Rock School in 2005, expand on McMasters’  material,
looking at other nuclear power plant-adjacent communities and  their
chillingly similar experiences with radioactive leaks.

The  great service of the film, besides being highly entertaining, is
its  unmasking of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Most people in
towns near  cooling towers had assumed the NRC was looking after their
safety. Joyce  and Argott make a devastating case against that
assumption, showing how one  more federal regulatory agency had turned
into a puppet of the industry it  was supposed to oversee. By the end
of the film, the NRC was reminiscent of  the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) prior to the financial  meltdown.

“At one of the documentary filmmakers forums over the  weekend, we
talked about this recurring theme of regulatory capture,”  McMasters
told me. “Again and again, we’re seeing the corporations that  are
supposed to be regulated take over the regulatory agency through  money
and politics.”

Nothing illustrates that so starkly  in Atomic States as the shocking
footage of Energy Secretary  Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning
scientist, bowing to the humiliating  taunts of Representative Joe
Barton, a republican from Texas who heads the  House Committee on
Energy and Commerce. In the aftermath of the Fukushima  nuclear
disaster, Barton demanded to hear Chu declare he had no  second
thoughts about the Obama administration’s plan to give loan  guarantees
to private companies to build new nuclear power plants. Chu  complied.
“That’s what I wanted to hear,” Barton  chuckled. ....

Christina  MacPherson | January 27, 2012 at 3:42 am | Categories:
Resources  -audiovicual, secrets,lies and civil liberties |  URL:

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