Letters From Readers
To the editor: Ralph Andersen states that I am "determined to scare people with discredited claims" about heath risks of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point (Letters from Readers, May 30).
I am a health researcher, and direct a group of health professionals and scientists who are experts in radiation health risk. Mr. Andersen is a physicist who never conducted a single study of cancer risk from radiation. He cites critics of our work who also have never done radiation-cancer studies - and thus, are unqualified to "debunk" our research.
He works for the Nuclear Energy Institute, which represents profitable, multibillion-dollar utility companies unwilling to admit that nuclear power is dangerous.
Our group's goal is not to scare people, but to provide the facts behind nuclear power. We have published 23 medical-journal articles and seven books on radiation health, while Andersen and his colleagues have done none. Our work includes the only study measuring radiation levels in bodies of Americans living near nuclear reactors.
Indian Point is subject to a meltdown from terrorist attack (it is near New York City) or mechanical failure (a Greenpeace report documented four "near miss" accidents from 2000 to 2003, the most of any U.S. plant). The reactors have also released the fifth highest level of total radioactivity of any U.S. plant - greater than Three Mile Island.
Cancer rates in Fairfield County and nearby New York counties exceed national rates. What proof does Andersen have that Indian Point is not the cause?
Our doctors, physicists and epidemiologists have statistics. We have proof. Where is their proof? If Entergy cannot prove Indian Point safe, the reactors should be shut down.