[ RadSafe ] A non-solution for a non-problem

THOMAS POTTER pottert at starpower.net
Tue Jan 31 16:02:54 CST 2012

The concern expressed by the good citizens of Long Island (whose trust of anything nuclear had vanished long before the Brookhaven flap, and could hardly have been reduced further by anything Brookhaven might have done) about the H-3 leakage from Brookhaven is entirely appropriate. It should not have happened, and, given that it did happen, some corrective action was warranted.

But why not some thoughtful concern about what might be the most appropriate course of corrective action? (Are we bound by some law of man or nature to have and act on only one concern, to the exclusion of all other related concerns?) How does the small, but actual exposure of the good citizens of Tennessee to this H-3 in the name of preventing unlikely potential small exposure of the good citizens of Long Island make sense to anyone, including the good citizens of Long Island, who certainly would not have put up with it themselves? 

There is much to be said for the inclusion of the public in decisions of this kind. They are among the stakeholders. But the stakeholders who won this battle were holding the long, wooden, sharp-pointed variety.

Tom Potter

---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 22:58:23 -0500
>From: William Lipton <doctorbill34 at gmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] A non-solution for a non-problem
>To: Jerry Cohen <jjcohen at prodigy.net>, 	"The International Radiation
>	Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List"
>	<radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
>	<CAJODVEHO_ZNZECsUr54nuEHMSvdYtBBE2RT5ihXihcfnt1Sw2g at mail.gmail.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>I am more disturbed by the fact that BNL management allowed the fuel pool
>of the High Flux Beam Reactor to leak into the aquifer for as long as 12
>years before discovery.   Despite promising to install monitoring wells in
>1994, Brookhaven management delayed the installations.  Later monitoring
>showed tritium levels up to 32 times federal drinking water standards.
>As the GAO Report<http://www.powerreactorrp.com/References/Groundwater/GAO_Brookhaven.pdf>states:
>"Brookhaven's delay in installing the monitoring wells raised serious
>concerns in the Long Island community about
>(1) the laboratory's abiity to take seriously its responsibilities for the
>environment and for human health and safety and (2) DOE's competence as an
>overseer of the laboratory's activities."
>While shipment of the water for disposal was not technically necessary, I
>don't blame the population and elected officials for their distrust of this
>explanation, since previous DOE assurances of adequate monitoring were
>Bill Lipton
>It's not about dose, it's about trust.
>On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 6:27 PM, Jerry Cohen <jjc105 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Previously, on radsafe, the BNL tritium problem was discussed and, as I
>> recall,
>> it was shown that in no way was it a public health problem. In fact, there
>> is no
>> way that release of tritium to the environment could, in general, cause a
>> significant health problem . Given this situation, I am disturbed that so
>> much
>> of my tax money has been squandered on a project that is little more than
>> "show
>> business". Given the technological ignorance of the news media, couldn't
>> the DOE
>> find a much cheaper way to assuage the concerns of a technologically
>> ignorant
>> public than shipping water to Oak Ridge?
>Message: 7
>Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 23:26:10 -0800 (PST)
>From: Ahmad Al-Ani <ahmadalanimail at yahoo.com>
>Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] A non-solution for a non-problem
>To: jjcohen at prodigy.net, radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
>	<1327994770.41788.yint-ygo-j2me at web111715.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 8:18 AM AST Jerry Cohen wrote:
>>OK, so  distrust is the problem, rather than a genuine health threat. Now that 
>>Long Island groundwater has been shipped to Tennessee. Does the public now have 
>>confidence in BNL, DOE, or nuclear energy in general. Just what did we get for 
>>the tax money spent?  Jerry
>A stern reminder to the decision makers in the nuclear industry that when an organization agrees on something subject to public protest, they better fulfill the promise.
>BNL could have saved a lot more of the tax money, and save themselves the negative PR by implementing the agreed monitoring systems, even if it was not necessary from health perspective.

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