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Response to Greg Clary “Activists push for closing Indian Point with help from actor Alec Baldwin”
Joseph J. Mangano, MPH, MBA

Letters To The Editor
Westchester Journal News
Monday, November 19, 2007

A new report released at this week’s press conference on health threats of the Indian Point nuclear reactors received much attention. It was also roundly criticized by New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (NYAREA), a group funded by the nuclear industry that has stated Indian Point is “safe” and nuclear power is “clean.”

But the pro-nuclear group only has slogans and opinions, while our research organization has carefully assembled many facts on nuclear safety (published in 23 medical journal articles) that raise troubling questions. In addition to the obvious threat of a catastrophic meltdown, Indian Point may have actually harmed local citizens with toxic radioactivity.

Official statistics show that

  • the plant has emitted the 5th most airborne radioactivity of any U.S. nuclear plant.
  • the Hudson River has 10 times higher radioactivity levels than in Albany water.
  • Strontium-90 levels in baby teeth near Indian Point has risen sharply since the late 1980s.

In addition, high cancer rates exist in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and Orange Counties, where nearly all residents live within 20 miles of Indian Point. Current rates are especially high for childhood cancer (22% above the U.S.) and thyroid cancer (70% above the U.S.), both of which are sensitive to radiation.

The current proposal to keep Indian Point in operation for 20 more years should be based on factual evidence, not on empty slogans. If NYAREA and the nuclear industry truly care about protecting people, it will cease the name-calling and take the issue seriously.

Joseph J. Mangano MPH MBA
Executive Director
Radiation and Public Health Project
Ocean City New Jersey
November 14, 2007

Joseph J. Mangano MPH MBA is Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a research and education group based in New York.

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