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Nuclear dangers real and widespread

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  • Romi Elnagar
    Nuclear dangers real and widespread Posted on November 9, 2012 By Helen Caldicott, The StarPhoenix November 9, 2012 I write to reply to the allegations made
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2012
      Nuclear dangers real and widespread
      Posted on November 9, 2012
      By Helen Caldicott, The StarPhoenix November 9, 2012
      I write to reply to the allegations made about me in John Gormley’s
      column, More private liquor stores, less Caldicott (SP, Nov. 2).
      First, it is important for me to stress that the aboriginal people in Northern Saskatchewan are being exploited by the uranium and nuclear
      power industry, as they have routinely been in the United States and
      People who have lived benignly with nature for tens of thousands of
      years have been forced to allow mining companies to extract uranium from beneath their feet and to work in the mines.
      Ample evidence abounds in the scientific literature that one-fifth to one-half of uranium miners in North America have suffered from lung
      cancer. Furthermore, uranium miners are also exposed to carcinogenic
      whole body gamma radiation as well as the ingestion of radium – the
      element that induced leukemia in Madame Marie Curie.
      Many indigenous people who live near uranium mines are also exposed
      to radioactive elements, and newly elevated rates of cancer are now
      reported in these populations. We don’t know exact numbers because the
      Saskatchewan government has not performed a baseline health study on the populations affected.
      As if this ecological danger were not enough, the nuclear industry is proposing to bury 37,000 tonnes of extremely toxic, high level
      long-lasting radioactive waste from Canadian nuclear reactors among this vulnerable group of people, which, it is claimed will give them jobs.
      As the isotopes inevitably leak, they will contaminate the food chain for evermore inducing more malignancies and genetic disease over future generations.
      The Swedish attempt to bury waste, after which the Nuclear Waste
      Management Organization’s plans were fashioned, has recently run into
      technical problems, not the least of which is the proposed integrity of
      the nuclear waste containers.
      Gormley was upset that I referred to the global gas oven when
      discussing nuclear war and proliferation of nuclear weapons as a result
      of Canadian uranium exports. Surprisingly, Russia and the U.S. still
      target each other with thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger
      alert, ready to be launched with a three-minute decision time by Barack
      Obama or Vladimir Putin.
      Nuclear war could well be induced during a time of high international tension and anxiety, as happened on 9/11 when the Strategic Air Command went on the highest state of nuclear alert to DEFCON 2 (posted on its
      web page for only two or three days). All cities in Canada, the U.S.,
      Europe, China, Russia, England, Japan and Australia are targeted with at least one bomb.
      Such is the redundancy of the arsenals that New York City is
      presently targeted with 40 bombs and Washington, D.C., with 60.
      Secretary Bob McNamara and I wrote an article for the L.A. Times several years ago quoting these figures. Should the respective arsenals be
      launched by computer error or human mistake, nuclear winter would ensue
      and most life on Earth would perish.
      Finally, it is true that the Canadian film If You Love This Planet
      along with two other films on acid rain are classified as “foreign
      propaganda,” and one must register with the U.S. Justice Department to
      show these films. This extraordinary issue was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the ruling prevailed. As a result, Terri Nash who made the
      original, made another called, If You Love Free Speech.
      Caldicott is founding president of Physicians for Social
      Responsibility and was featured in the Oscar winning film, If You Love
      This Planet.
      © Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix


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