|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Tue, 8 Jul 2008 09:22:04 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] RADIATION: NIST plutonium spill, Boulder, CO|
Moore: The plutonium spill at NIST: What's said and what's not Opinion by LeRoy Moore Daily Camera (CO) July 7, 2008The June 9 spill of plutonium at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder has been widely covered by the news media. The tale mainly has been a buildup of damning detail, capped by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's July 2 suspension of NIST's license to handle radioactive materials until NIST improves its procedures.
The public learned early on that the spilled plutonium, which was in powder form, was not, as initially reported, confined to the room in which the accident occurred. Some of it -- an amount "below the legal limits" -- went down a drain into Boulder's sewer system.
The phrase, "legal limits," refers to official standards that limit permitted exposure. Such standards should not be confused with safety. The National Academy of Sciences 2006 report on low-dose radiation exposure affirmed that any dose of radiation is potentially harmful. A British study concluded in 2004 that cancer risk from plutonium may be 10 or more times more dangerous than allowed for by existing standards. Ulrich Beck says exposure standards may "prevent the very worst from happening, but they are at the same time 'blank checks' to poison nature and humankind a bit."
... For the entire column, see http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2008/jul/07/the-plutonium-spill-at-nist-whats-said-and-whats/ -- Lenny Siegel Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight a project of the Pacific Studies Center 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/961-8918 <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.cpeo.org _______________________________________________ Military mailing list Military@lists.cpeo.org http://lists.cpeo.org/listinfo.cgi/military-cpeo.org
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