A Letter to President Obama About Nuclear Energy

Thank you for your willingness to help end the influence of the nuclear power industry in the United States. Below are two letters that I am asking you to print out and mail to President Obama and your elected federal representatives in Washington DC.

 

To find the names of and addresses of your US Senators and House representatives, please use this link: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

 

By taking action on this important matter, you are adding your voice to a growing number of American citizens who recognize the health threats posed by nuclear energy and the urgent need for our leaders to make the fullest use of American ingenuity and “know-how” to create safe and sustainable energy alternatives.

 

If you doubt your ability to make a difference, please consider this quote from Margaret Mead:

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 

God bless,

 

Burton

 

Note: When sending the letter below, be sure to include your full name and address. (A mailed letter is preferable to email because letters seem to receive more attention by elected officials.)

 

 

A Letter to President Obama About Nuclear Energy

 

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500-0004

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

            I am writing you today because of the serious concerns I have about the United States’ continued willingness to pursue the use of nuclear energy to meet its energy needs. In light of the terrible disaster caused by the damage to the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, I believe that it is imperative for the United States to once and for all lead the way into an era of truly safe and sustainable methods of energy production, and I am asking you to truly be the leader the world so desperately needs to make this happen.

            To end our nation’s reliance on nuclear energy it is imperative that the influential strangle-hold that the nuclear industry (as well as oil and coal industries, both of which also pose health threats, although they are nowhere near as serious as those posed by nuclear energy production and its resultant nuclear waste) on government energy policy and funding to the detriment of all other forms of effective and safer sources of energy production.

            No group can be expected to willingly surrender a profitable monopoly position unless forced to do so, even when it is in our nation’s best interests that they do so. Such a position is precisely what the nuclear, oil, and coal industries have today, both here in the United States and abroad. As a proud American who deeply cares about our nation and its future, as well as the overall health of all of my fellow Americans, I beseech you to do all that you can to put an end to this monopoly.

            Some may think I am naïve to call on you to take such action at a time when America’s energy needs have never been greater. They might say I am foolish because it will take many decades before true energy alternatives will become available and in the meantime we cannot afford to make do without the energy sources we currently have. Mr. President, I respectfully disagree, and I think you do too, as evidenced in your March 30, 2001 public reaffirmation of your support for an energy standard requiring utilities to buy 80% of their power from clean energy sources. But in that same statement you also said, “We can't simply take it [nuclear power] off the table.”

            Mr. President, I believe that we not only can take nuclear power of the table, but that we must, and as quickly as possible, in order to best ensure the health and welfare of the American people. My reasons for saying this are as follows:

 

  • Research (The Tooth Fairy Project, et al.) has shown that the health risks of cancer and other immune deficiency diseases are significantly increased among both men (especially prostate cancer) and women (breast cancer) who reside within 100 miles of nuclear power plants.

 

  • This same research also shows a higher risk of birth complications and defects among babies born to parents residing within the same 100 mile radius of nuclear facilities.

 

  • The health risks posed by nuclear reactors in times of disasters such as those in Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island, obviously are even greater. For example, in his book, Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation Harvey Wasserman reported that following the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident the cancer rate of among those living in a 50 mile area increased by 700% and that 58% of the births in that area had complications.

 

  • The United States and her people can ill afford another such disaster on American soil, yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission now admits that at least three U.S. nuclear power plants need increased oversight from federal regulators  because of problems with safety systems or unplanned shutdowns. The facilities named by the NRC are the H.B. Robinson nuclear plant in South Carolina, Fort Calhoun in Nebraska and Wolf Creek in Kansas. Other nuclear power plants known to be at risk include: Indian Point in Buchanan, NY (located just 24 miles north of New York City); San Onofre in San Clemente, CA (located near two fault lines: the Oceanside fault and the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault ); Limerick in Limerick, PA; Dresden in Morris, IL; Diablo Canyon in Avila Beach, CA (midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and also located near two fault lines, the Hosgri fault and the Shoreline fault); Salem in Hancocks Bridge, NJ; Watts Bar in Spring City, TN; Peach Bottom in Delta, PA; Virgil C. Summer in Jenkinsville, SC; and Sequoyah in Soddy-Daisy, TN.

 

  • The dangers posed by nuclear energy and the radioactive substances used in its production is long-term and incalculable. As I am sure you know, radioactive isotopes stay active for a very long time.  Strontium-90 has a radioactive lifetime of 560 years.  Plutonium-239 has a full radioactive life of 500,000 years.  Cesium-137 has a radioactive lifetime of 600 years.  Iodine-131 is radioactive for 160 days.

 

  • In addition, contrary to popular belief, low level radiation exposure that builds up over time is a more serious threat than most people realize. This fact has been known by scientists for decades. In 1972, for example, Dr. Abram Petkau found that the free-radical effect from chronic low radiation exposure is one thousand times greater than from a single large exposure from an atomic blast. This free radical destructive activity can occur from even small amounts of radiation exposure as a result of consuming radioactive particles that have fallen on food and water, which is exactly what is happening in areas of the united States today as a result of the Fukushima catastrophe..  These radioactive minerals are then incorporated into the body’s cellular structure, where they can harm cellular DNA, trigger the development of cancer, and cause other serious disease conditions, as well.

 

            Simply put, Mr. President, there is no safe level of radiation exposure. This fact was repeatedly stressed by the late Dr. John Gofman, MD. PhD, who was both a physician and a physicist, and who was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of radiation on human beings.  Nor was he alone is stating this. Here is what Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, director of the Health Physics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, wrote in the September 1978 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: 

            “There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of radiation so low that the risk of malignancy is zero…the genetic risks, and especially those associated with recessive mutations, may be as harmful and debilitating to the human race as the increases of cancer.”

            That is why I am calling upon you to put an end to nuclear energy production in the US, and to do all you can to ensure that the many tons of nuclear waste that have already been produced and stored in the United States by the nuclear power industry be properly disposed of and stored away from our water tables.

            It took the concerted effort of America’s greatest scientists to usher in the Atomic Age we are living in and threatened by today, Mr. President. Ironically, it will take a similar Manhattan-type Project to usher us out of the age of unsafe nuclear power and fossil fuels. But I know that your leadership on this issue can make it happen, and happen quickly.

            The United States is unrivaled when it comes to innovation and creating new and better solutions once the will of her people, especially her scientists, are marshaled. This has been proven time and again, such as when President John F. Kennedy decided it was in our best interest to develop our Space Program. Once he did, we put a man on the moon sooner than the 10 year time-table in which President Kennedy had set as our goal.

            With your leadership, the American people and her scientists, who are second-to-none in their expertise and ingenuity and who are blessed with the further advantage of our unique trait of “American know-how” can achieve a similar historic scientific advance when it comes to eliminating the need for nuclear power and fossil fuels and ushering in a new age of safe and sustainable energy.

            I hope and pray, Mr. President, that you will move our great nation in the direction both she and the rest of the world need her to go in.

 

God Bless you and God bless the United States.

 

 

A Letter to Your House and Senate Representatives About Nuclear Energy

 

[Address]

 

Dear [name of representative],

 

            I am writing you today because of the serious concerns I have about the United States’ continued willingness to pursue the use of nuclear energy to meet its energy needs. In light of the terrible disaster caused by the damage to the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, I believe that it is imperative for the United States to once and for all lead the way into an era of truly safe and sustainable methods of energy production, and I am asking you to truly be one of the leaders the world so desperately needs to make this happen.

            To end our nation’s reliance on nuclear energy it is imperative that the influential strangle-hold that the nuclear industry (as well as oil and coal industries, both of which also pose health threats, although they are nowhere near as serious as those posed by nuclear energy production and its resultant nuclear waste) on government energy policy and funding to the detriment of all other forms of effective and safer sources of energy production.

            No group can be expected to willingly surrender a profitable monopoly position unless forced to do so, even when it is in our nation’s best interests that they do so. Such a position is precisely what the nuclear, oil, and coal industries have today, both here in the United States and abroad. As a proud American who deeply cares about our nation and its future, as well as the overall health of all of my fellow Americans, I beseech you to do all that you can to put an end to this monopoly.

            Some may think I am naïve to call on you to take such action at a time when America’s energy needs have never been greater. They might say I am foolish because it will take many decades before true energy alternatives will become available and in the meantime we cannot afford to make do without the energy sources we currently have. I respectfully disagree, and I think President Obama does too, as evidenced in his March 30, 2001 public reaffirmation of his support for an energy standard requiring utilities to buy 80% of their power from clean energy sources. But in that same statement President Obama also said, “We can't simply take it [nuclear power] off the table.”

            I believe that we not only can take nuclear power of the table, but that we must, and as quickly as possible, in order to best ensure the health and welfare of the American people. My reasons for saying this are as follows:

 

  • Research (The Tooth Fairy Project, et al.) has shown that the health risks of cancer and other immune deficiency diseases are significantly increased among both men (especially prostate cancer) and women (breast cancer) who reside within 100 miles of nuclear power plants.

 

  • This same research also shows a higher risk of birth complications and defects among babies born to parents residing within the same 100 mile radius of nuclear facilities.

 

  • The health risks posed by nuclear reactors in times of disasters such as those in Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island, obviously are even greater. For example, in his book, Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation Harvey Wasserman reported that following the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident the cancer rate of those living in a 50 mile area increased by 700% and that 58% of the births in that area had complications.

 

  • The United States and her people can ill afford another such disaster on American soil, yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission now admits that at least three U.S. nuclear power plants need increased oversight from federal regulators  because of problems with safety systems or unplanned shutdowns. The facilities named by the NRC are the H.B. Robinson nuclear plant in South Carolina, Fort Calhoun in Nebraska and Wolf Creek in Kansas. Other nuclear power plants known to be at risk include: Indian Point in Buchanan, NY (located just 24 miles north of New York City); San Onofre in San Clemente, CA (located near two fault lines: the Oceanside fault and the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault ); Limerick in Limerick, PA; Dresden in Morris, IL; Diablo Canyon in Avila Beach, CA (midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and also located near two fault lines, the Hosgri fault and the Shoreline fault); Salem in Hancocks Bridge, NJ; Watts Bar in Spring City, TN; Peach Bottom in Delta, PA; Virgil C. Summer in Jenkinsville, SC; and Sequoyah in Soddy-Daisy, TN.

 

  • The dangers posed by nuclear energy and the radioactive substances used in its production is long-term and incalculable. As I am sure you know, radioactive isotopes stay active for a very long time.  Strontium-90 has a radioactive lifetime of 560 years.  Plutonium-239 has a full radioactive life of 500,000 years.  Cesium-137 has a radioactive lifetime of 600 years.  Iodine-131 is radioactive for 160 days.

 

  • In addition, contrary to popular belief, low level radiation exposure that builds up over time is a more serious threat than most people realize. This fact has been known by scientists for decades. In 1972, for example, Dr. Abram Petkau found that the free-radical effect from chronic low radiation exposure is one thousand times greater than from a single large exposure from an atomic blast. This free radical destructive activity can occur from even small amounts of radiation exposure as a result of consuming radioactive particles that have fallen on food and water, which is exactly what is happening in areas of the united States today as a result of the Fukushima catastrophe..  These radioactive minerals are then incorporated into the body’s cellular structure, where they can harm cellular DNA, trigger the development of cancer, and cause other serious disease conditions, as well.

 

            Simply put, there is no safe level of radiation exposure. This fact was repeatedly stressed by the late Dr. John Gofman, MD. PhD, who was both a physician and a physicist, and who was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of radiation on human beings.  Nor was he alone is stating this. Here is what Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, director of the Health Physics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, wrote in the September 1978 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: 

            “There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of radiation so low that the risk of malignancy is zero…the genetic risks, and especially those associated with recessive mutations, may be as harmful and debilitating to the human race as the increases of cancer.”

            That is why I am calling upon you to put an end to nuclear energy production in the US, and to do all you can to ensure that the many tons of nuclear waste that have already been produced and stored in the United States by the nuclear power industry be properly disposed of and stored away from our water tables.

            It took the concerted effort of America’s greatest scientists to usher in the Atomic Age we are living in and threatened by today. Ironically, it will take a similar Manhattan-type Project to usher us out of the age of unsafe nuclear power and fossil fuels. But I know that your leadership on this issue can help make it happen, and happen quickly.

            The United States is unrivaled when it comes to innovation and creating new and better solutions once the will of her people, especially her scientists, are marshaled. This has been proven time and again, such as when President John F. Kennedy decided it was in our best interest to develop our Space Program. Once he did, we put a man on the moon sooner than the 10 year time-table in which President Kennedy had set as our goal.

            With your leadership, the American people and her scientists, who are second-to-none in their expertise and ingenuity and who are blessed with the further advantage of our unique trait of “American know-how” can achieve a similar historic scientific advances when it comes to eliminating the need for nuclear power and fossil fuels and ushering in a new age of safe and sustainable energy.

            I hope and pray, Mr. President, that you will move our great nation in the direction both she and the rest of the world need her to go in.

 

God Bless you and God bless the United States.

 

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