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Program Information
 Politics and Science 
 
 Weekly Program
 Professor Ernest Sternglass
 Politics and Science  
 For non-profit use only.
 No Advisories - program content screened and verified.
The excerpt taken below is from an interview of Ernest Sternglass quoted from the book Nuclear Witnesses, Insiders Speak Out, by Leslie J. Freeman, © 1981 by W W Norton & Company, and available on the internet at this website:
http://www.ratical.org/radiation/inetSeries/nwEJS.html

"While I was opposed to bomb testing and concerned about the misuse of medical X-rays, I still believed that you could keep radioactivity inside a nuclear reactor. All you had to do was make it airtight. I believed we could have thousands of nuclear reactors without danger of radiation. . . . But in 1970 my view changed.
Early in May 1970 I gave a talk at a meeting of physicists in Wisconsin. At that meeting I secured a report put out by the Bureau of Radiological Health about radioactive releases from nuclear power reactors. On the plane home, I opened this thing, and there I saw that instead of .001 or .0001 curies[24] coming out of nuclear reactors, as I had been told about Shippingport,[25] some reactors were discharging hundreds of thousands of curies--millions, hundreds of millions times more than what I had been led to believe.[26] It was all in the official tables.[27]
I was shaken up, and I said to a group of my medical students at Pittsburgh, "What do we do now? If I'm right about fallout, and these figures are right about radioactive releases, then there must be increases in infant mortality around every nuclear reactor in the United States."
So the students went to the library. I told them to take a look at the Dresden reactor near Chicago.[28] And what we found was exactly what we expected--the closer you got to the reactor, the more babies were dying. When radioactive releases went up, so did infant mortality; when they went back down, so did infant mortality. Babies were dying of respiratory failure, of all sorts of ordinary conditions normally associated with prematurity.
Some would say, "Well, the baby was premature. That's why it died."But when we looked at the statistics we found that prematurity grew 140 percent in the county when the radioactive releases went up and declined again when the leaky fuel rods were replaced. I got a friend of mine, Dr. Morris DeGroot, head of the Statistics Department at Carnegie-Mellon University, to look at some of these things. He did his own study, using a different technique, and he found definite, positive relations between releases of radioactivity and infant mortality.[29] . . .
Until 1970 or so I had really believed that one could trust our scientists and engineers to be honest. I really believed that our bureaucrats in Washington were honest people. And some of them were. They had written a report telling about the large leaks of radioactivity coming out of nuclear reactors.[42]
Little did I know that soon those honest people would be fired, stripped of their power to do any further detailed investigations of nuclear reactors. Their authority would be transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency to the newly created Nuclear Regulatory Commission--really just a bunch of AEC boys that would be moved over.
Nixon did this. I think he got a big payoff from the utilities, the oil companies, the banks, and all the other big corporations that had a heavy investment in uranium. The facts were devastating. The big corporations that were violating environmental laws and worker safety laws made payoffs so that the Nixon administration would go easy on enforcement. And Nixon promised the big energy companies, "No more regulation. We're going to hold the regulators down."

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00:58:16 English
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