[ RadSafe ] Citizens can monitor radiation around plant (another fantasy as seen by Joseph Mangano)

Sander Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Sun Dec 28 11:08:35 CST 2014

As found at: 
Citizens can monitor radiation around plant
Published December 28. 2014 4:00AM

Publication: The Day
Recent findings have moved state and federal regulators to publicly discuss
problems at the Millstone Power Station nuclear plants in Waterford. Topics
have ranged from defective parts in reactors to rising water temperatures in
the Long Island Sound, where the plant draws and releases heated water.

Regardless of the issue, all Millstone discussions are to protect public
health and safety, a government duty mandated by law. But oversight by
government only may not be enough. For example, "refueling" - replacing used
uranium fuel with new fuel - recently occurred at Millstone reactor 3.
During refueling, which takes several weeks, the reactor shuts and many
maintenance tasks are performed - some of them involving releases of

As these tasks are going on, Millstone workers temporarily took radiation
monitors out of service for maintenance. So, any radiation leaks into the
environment would occur when less monitoring is in place.

How much radiation is released from Millstone is a very elusive concept.
Most official releases are difficult to find on the Internet and even more
difficult to understand. In addition, government does nothing more than
declare whether releases are within legal limits.

Insufficient government oversight of Millstone's radiation releases carries
a message that greater involvement is needed from local residents.

Citizens aren't scientists, but they still can play a key role in radiation
monitoring. For decades, hand-sized, easy-to-use devices have been available
to count levels of radiation in the air. After the Three Mile Island
meltdown in Pennsylvania in 1979, devices were placed in nearby public
locations, so people could be warned more quickly in case of another

But after the disastrous meltdown in Fukushima, Japan three years ago, many
more citizens have purchased and used counters - not for meltdowns, but for
routine releases from reactors.

Millstone generates more than 100 chemicals not found anywhere on Earth -
except when atomic bombs explode and nuclear reactors operate. Each
chemical, in particle or gas form, is radioactive. They are mostly stored in
reactors as waste, but some escape and can enter human bodies through
breathing and the food chain.

Once in the body, radioactive chemicals kill cells or damage the DNA in
healthy cells. If enough harm is caused, cancer, birth defects, or other
disorders can result. Fetuses, infants, and the elderly are especially
vulnerable to radiation damage.

Radiation from Millstone's reactors, in operation since 1970, may have
harmed local residents. Since it began, Millstone has released the third
highest amount of radiation of any U.S. nuclear plant.

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