Oct 6 Traprock News – Solidarity w/students; Sternglass comes Oct 7


1. Today, Thursday, October 6, 11AM

Starts at G Building, near the center of Holyoke Community College
campus, west of US91 in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
March for Free Speech!
March Against the War in Iraq!
March for College, Not Combat!

The UMass-Amherst Anti-War coalition, in solidarity with HCC
counter-recruitment students, has called for a peaceful mass march at
Holyoke Community College in Holyoke … to demonstrate our determination to
preserve freedom of speech on our university and college campuses and resist
police repression of anti-war students. http://www.campusantiwar.net

According to witnesses, on Thursday, September 29, a peaceful group of
approximately 30 counter-recruitment activists were attacked by members of
the HCC College Republican Club and the Holyoke campus police. One anti-war
activist, Charles Peterson, was pepper-sprayed by police and has since been
banned from the HCC campus where he is a student and works.

Charles Peterson is active in the Anti-war Coalition, Vice President of
academic affairs on the student senate, a member on the college’s learning
community committee, a frequent contributor to the Phoenix Press, the
student newspaper, and a tutor in the math center. He is also a recipient of
the David James Taylor Excellence in Philosophy award.

In support, Cindy Sheehan, Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace
writes: “I am appalled that students exercising their (fully sanctioned)
rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble were abused by law
enforcement officials. The right to patriotically dissent from our
government is a sacred right and these students should be given
commendations, not black eyes. They were claiming their places in our
democracy. The people who mistreated them should be the ones who are being
investigated for their brutality and heavy-handed over-reaction, not the
For more information, contact Justin (UMass) at (413) 320-9108 or
jfjln@yahoo.com or HCC Anti-War Coalition at info.hcc-awc@hotmail.com

2. “Secret Fallout” by Ernest Sternglass is available on the internet in its
entirety, at http://www.ki4u.com/Secret_Fallout/SF.html

3. Ernest Sternglass speaks on Radiation Health Risks,
for Downwinders in the Nuclear Age!

6:30 PM, Thurs, Oct. 6
All Soul’s Church Social Hall
399 Main Street at Hope Street, downstairs
Opposite the Courthouse & Public Library
At 7:30 please discuss how to help prevent a melt-down!

Sternglass will show statistics on the incidence of cancers, cancer deaths,
and other health effects downwind of nuclear reactors. A room will be
available for children’s activities, including making ‘tooth fairies’ in
support of our effort to collect baby teeth for assessment of strontium 90
levels in a 50-mile radius of the Vernon reactor. Please come.

How do you want to help prevent instituting an 18-second melt-down
margin proposed at the Vernon reactor, (oldest in New England)? We were
able to confirm this event just last Friday. Please forward, call or tell
in person any public officials, media, school nurses, physicians, health and
safety officials, teachers, bus drivers, nursing home and medical

BIO: Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass is Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics
in the Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of
Medicine. He joined the University in 1967 to direct the Radiological
Physics and Engineering Laboratory to develop new imaging techniques to
reduce the dose in X-ray and nuclear medicine examinations.
In addition, Dr. Sternglass has carried out extensive epidemiological
studies of the effect of nuclear fallout and reactor releases on human
health, in connection with which he has testified at hearings of the U.S.
Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, State Legislatures and U.S.
Government Regulatory Agencies. Sternglass is the author of “Low -Level
Radiation” (Ballantine 1972), “Secret Fallout”, (McGraw – Hill 1981) and
“Before the Big Bang” (Four Walls Eight Windows 1997). He is Scientific
Director of the Radiation & Public Health Project, a not-for-profit
research organization.

Cosponsored by Traprock Peace Center & All Souls Church
Free admission. Not wheelchair accessible. We intend to tape this for
internet access. Video help needed. Donations always appreciated so that we
may continue this work.

4. Friday, Oct. 7
“The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium and the Dying Children” Northampton

On Traprock’s 26th Anniversary of incorporation as a not-for-profit, this
stunning documentary made for German Public Television will be shown Friday,
at the Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, in downtown
Northampton, MA, by the Northampton Committee to End the War Against Iraq.
Frances Crowe and colleagues discuss what each of us can do now to
end the brutal use of toxic and radioactive waste in ammunition. (This film
is available for purchase for home use only, and we invite groups to
co-sponsor public viewings which require $2/person contributions. This
documentary will shown Oct. 8 at the Taos Mountain Film Festival as their
favored film on DU, deadly, ‘depleted’ uranium.)

5. Saturday, Oct. 8, 11AM – 4PM Bring Our National Guard Home Now:
a state-wide campaign to bring the Massachusetts National Guard home from
Iraq, Organizing Meeting in Cambridge, 11 am, October 8, 2005,
FEATURING: A panel of Military Families Speak Out members including Nancy
Lessin, Charlie Richardson and MA National Guard Families and
Interactive workshops, at the Cambridge Friends School, 5 Cadbury Road,
Cambridge. See complete details, three strategies to be discussed and
contact info for organizers on our calendar at

7. Monday, October 10, may be the anniversary of those remarkable remarks by
Senator Byrd, as he spoke in the US Senate, paraphrased here … “If you
sign this piece of rag (skirting direct responsibility for declaring war on
Iraq) you might as well hang a sign over Congress … ‘GONE FISHIN’!!'”
Where is Congress as the blood flows, dark and red? Please consider where
you might stand with a banner or sign on this federal holiday, to help end
war, and rebuild everywhere.

Best regards,

Sunny Miller, 413-773-7427
Charlie Jenks, Web Site Manager, 413 773-5188 x. 2

This week the web site has 3000 visits daily.
Please see your favorite resources there.
Wish Charlie a happy birthday in October.
Make his NOT a late-night, thankless job!
Underlying other news of the day this question remains:
What wouldn’t you do to prevent a melt-down?

The Vernon, Vermont reactor is just 15 miles from here.
In June the Vermont legislature gave away the store, and linked
payments for new radioactive waste storage on the shores of
the Connecticut River to a 20% increase in power output.
No reactor we know of has achieved this much power increase.
What can you do to stop the loss of a back-up cooling pump,
increased water pressure and operating temperatures, and
the reduction of the ‘safety’ margin from emergency shut-down
to the beginning of a melt-down to only 18 seconds.
Why aren’t these details front page news, this week?

We appeal for your initiative to preserve this land,
these communities we love.
Please call a reporter, editor, or media news desk.

Truth matters – Labors matter – Gifts matter

in a Neighbors’ Network to End War

Here is an excerpt from “Secret Fallout,” by Ernest Sternglass
A portion of Chapter 19, “The Present Danger”

(Request: Let’s encourage neighbors to use the term reactors, rather than

… Strangely enough, it was through my concern about the possible effect
of the October 1976 Chinese fallout discovered in southeastern Pennsylvania
by the operators of a nuclear plant on the Susquehanna River not far from
Three Mile Island that I first learned of the high releases from the
Millstone reactor.

Apparently, as in the case of the Albany-Troy episode back in 1953, a heavy
rainstorm brought down very large amounts of fallout from a nuclear cloud,
setting off radiation alarms at the Peach Bottom Nuclear Power station near
the Maryland border. That rainout had caused the evacuation of many of the
workers from the plant. The EPA had failed to warn either the public, state
health authorities, or the reactor’s health physicists of the potentially
high local fallout, hoping that it might not happen. Only when the plant
supervisor got in touch with Thomas Gerusky at the Pennsylvania State Bureau
of Radiation Control and checks were made at other locations such as the
Three Mile Island plant did it become clear that the high iodine 131 levels
were due to fallout, and not an accident at Peach Bottom.

When the iodine levels in the milk started to climb to a few hundred
picocuries and no one had warned the public that pregnant women should not
drink the milk, a colleague of mine at the University of Pittsburgh and I
decided to hold a news conference to issue such a warning.

As it turned out, Gerusky decided not to order the cows to be placed on
stored hay, even though some areas in Pennsylvania reached levels close to
500 picocuries per liter. Only in Massachusetts and briefly in Connecticut
and New York did the health departments order dairy cattle to be switched to
uncontaminated feed, and only in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which
obtained most of its milk from Massachusetts, did infant mortality continue
its sharp decline in the following few months among all the New England

When a news story with my findings on the rises in infant mortality
following this episode was published by the Washington Post-Los Angeles
Times News Service in the summer of 1977, I received a phone call from a
newspaper reporter in Connecticut, who asked me whether I had examined the
possible effect of the Millstone plant releases on the pattern of infant
mortality changes in New England. Someone had given him a copy of a recent
annual environmental report for this plant, and he wondered whether I might
be willing to look at it for him since he was unable to interpret its

When the report arrived a few days later, I turned to the pages dealing with
milk measurements. I could hardly believe my eyes. The control farms located
in a direction where the wind rarely carried the gases from the stack showed
levels of strontium 90 of only 5 to 7 picocuries per liter, similar to the
rest of the East Coast. The concentrations in other nearby farms, however,
reached values as high as 27 of these units, higher than those typical for
Connecticut during the height of nuclear-bomb testing back in the early
1960s and similar to the highest concentrations measured by N.U.S. at
Shippingport. For the people living within 10 to 20 miles of the plant,
nuclear-bomb testing might just as well have never ended.

And when I looked at infant mortality in New England in preparation for a
lecture at the University of Rhode Island, the familiar pattern I had seen
at Dresden, Indian Point, and Shippingport once again confirmed the
seriousness of these levels of fallout in the milk. While throughout the
1950s and 1960s all the New England states had shown the same infant
mortality rate, following the onset of releases from Millstone in 1970,
Rhode Island, directly downwind, suddenly stopped declining as rapidly as
all the other states. By early 1976, before the October fallout arrived from
China, Rhode Island had nearly twice the infant mortality rate of New

Shortly after I presented these findings at the University of Rhode Island,
I received a telephone call from State Representative John Anderson of the
Connecticut legislature, asking me whether I would be willing to undertake a
more detailed study of the possible health effects of Millstone and the
nearby Connecticut Yankee Reactor at Haddam Neck for the people of
Connecticut. I agreed on the condition that he would send me the full
environmental reports for the two plants for every year of their operation,
together with the detailed annual vital statistics reports of the State of

A few weeks later a large box arrived containing the reports. The story they
revealed was a repetition of what had taken place at Shippingport, except
that this time the environmental and health data were much more detailed and
extended over many years before and after the start of operation. Again, the
strontium 90 levels in the soil and milk increased as one approached each of
the two plants. The levels were a few times higher near the Millstone Plant,
with its boiling-water reactor (BWR), than near the Haddam Neck plant, with
its pressurized-water reactor (PWR), which was similar to Shippingport and
Three Mile Island.

This time, however, data was available for every year of operation on a
month-by-month basis, and it was possible to see how in the first few years
of operation, the strontium 90 levels were no different near the plants from
those in the rest of New England. But gradually, as the fallout from bomb
testing was washed into the rivers and the ocean by the rains, the soil and
milk levels declined all over New England, while they stayed high or even
rose for the farms within a 10- to 15-mile radius of the plants.

On a number of occasions, when there was a particularly heavy fallout from a
Chinese nuclear test, as in October of 1976, the records of the milk
measurements showed the arrival of the fallout very clearly as a peak,
particularly for the short-lived iodine 131 and strontium 89, and to a
lesser degree for the long-lived cesium 137 and strontium 90. But what was
even more disturbing were the even larger peaks of strontium 90 and cesium
137 in July and August of 1976, months before the bomb was detonated, not
only in the local farms but as far downwind as Providence, Rhode Island.

Yet the summary in the front of the utility’s environmental report for 1976
maintained, as it had every year, that the strontium 90 and cesium 137 in
the milk was attributable to fallout from nuclear testing. It was sad to see
that the once so hopeful nuclear industry now needed the continuation of
nuclear-bomb tests to stay in operation.

To calculate the radiation doses to the bones of children, I used the high
local excess values of strontium 90 in the milk along with the NRC’s own
calculational model given in NUREG 1.109. The results were of the order of a
few hundred millirems per year, many hundreds of times the value of less
than 1 millirad arrived at by the utility when the strontium 90 was left out
of the calculations, and far above the maximum of 25 millirems per year that
was proposed by the EPA as the maximum permissible value from the nuclear
fuel cycle.

Thus it was no surprise that the EPA as well as the NRC issued statements
after my reports had been sent to State Representative Anderson and
Congressman Christopher Dodd, in whose district the Millstone Plant was
located, which claimed that the high strontium 90 and cesium 137 levels in
the milk near this plant were due to fallout and could not be attributed to
releases from the plant. The EPA and NRC never even attempted to explain why
the levels of these radioactive substances should increase as one approached
the stack from every direction.

Instead, these government agencies, on whom the public depended for the
protection of its health and safety, tried to mislead the public. They
claimed that there was little strontium 89 present along with the strontium
90, as is always the case when fresh fission products escape into the
environment, and that therefore the strontium 90 could not be due to plant

But what the nonspecialist could not have known is that strontium 89 has a
very short half-life of only 50 days compared with 30 years for strontium
90. While the long-lived strontium 90 continues to build up in the soil
around the plant, the strontium 89 rapidly decays away. Thus, when the cows
return to pasture in the spring and summer, the milk shows predominantly the
accumulated strontium 90, and very little of the short-lived strontium 89.

Vermont Public service Board
112 State Street, Drawer 20
Montpelier, 05620-2701

: clerk@psb.state.vt.us