Sunday, June 17, 2007

What's in your water?

Since 1996 the nuclear plant in Braidwood, Illinois has experienced several leaks of tritium laced water. Unfortunately the residents did not know about this and have been drinking radioactive water for at least 10 years. In March of 2006 the Illinois Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Exelon which owns the nuclear facility after they acknowledged the spills.

Here are several links to additional information:

Illinois Files Suit

Illinois Obtains Injunction

EPA Illinois Updates

Newshour Report with Video

Good Background Story

The basic premise behind the story is that the company did not adequately disclose the spills and the residents drank the water without knowing it was radioactive. To say exposure to radiation is not healthy would be an understatement. It is likely impossible to determine the health impacts on the residents now and the "incubation" period for cancer is not exactly known. Radiation exposure may cause cancer on a shorter timetable or exacerbate preexisting conditions. There may be increasing cancer rates and other rare diseases right now as a result. Other effects on the citizens may be longer term in the form of damaged DNA, genetic disorders in future generations or who knows what else.

Another spill occurred May 25, 2007. When will it end? How many more times do people need to be unwittingly exposed to pollution/radiation until something is done? Nuclear energy is not a safe alternative and it becomes even deadlier when secrecy and profits are put ahead of public safety. Please don't forget about the people of Braidwood or the dozens of other communities who live near these facilities. Pressure your elected officials for full disclosure and rigid enforcement of regulations in place to ensure that public safety is the most important consideration.

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