Shutting Down Nuke Plants Saves Lives

by on October 2, 2020 · 0 comments

in Energy, Environment, Health

Nuclear Shutdown New  October 2020

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Shutting Down Nuke Plants Saves Lives – A Case in Point

As reported in last month’s Nuclear Shutdown News, a violent storm damaged the Duane Arnold nuclear plant in Iowa, and hastened its already scheduled permanent shutdown.

In the September 8 Des Moines Journal, Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project ( made the case that closing the plant will mean there will be less radioactivity caused diseases in surrounding areas.

Mangano argued, “Similar to atomic bomb explosions, nuclear reactors create over 100 chemicals not found in nature.” Some of these are released into air and water and attack “human cells, leading to cancer, birth defects and other diseases.”

Mangano pointed out that “Political leaders, subject to the whims of powerful utility companies, who give large campaign donations, have conducted just one study of cancer near nuclear plants (in 1990), at the insistence of Ted Kennedy, and concluded that no radiation cancer link existed.”

It’s worth noting, however, that independent analysts of the study found there were abnormally high rates of childhood leukemia at the chronically malfunctioning Millstone nuclear plant in southeastern Connecticut, my old home place. And that Ted Kennedy, whose family compound in Massachusetts’s Cape Cod, is not far enough from the now shut down Pilgrim nuke plant, later died of brain cancer.

Meanwhile, using public health data, Mangano found evidence indicating abnormally high rates of cancer near Duane Arnold. “In Bento and Linn Counties,” he reported, “which flank Duane Arnold, the cancer rates in children 19 and younger was 7 % above the Iowa rate before Duane Arnold started operating (in 1974), jumping to 28% above in the decades after.”

“High rates of cancer near Duane Arnold continued. In the period from 2013-17, the Linn County child cancer rate was 20% above the state’s.”  In addition, the same county “had the highest rate of breast and cervical cancer cases under age 50 of all 99 Iowa counties. ”

To remedy all this misery, eliminate the radioactive poisons and turn to renewable energy sources like wind power, Mangano advises.

He has good evidence to do so. In a 2013 study with colleague Janette Sherman, they found that after the Rancho Seco nuclear plant near Sacramento, CA, shut down in 1989, “The estimated reduction of cancer cases in the county is 4,319.”

Sources:  Des Moines Journal,; Radiation and Public Health Project.



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