Letter to the Editor: Leo Kurtenbach — June 3, 2014

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About five years ago, the Brad Wall government initiated province-wide hearings, under the wise and efficient guidance of Don Perrins, The purpose of those hearings was to seek out how the citizens of this province felt about the expansion of nuclear power reactors.

Mr. Perrins’ final report stated that approximately 80 per cent of the people making presentations did not favor nuclear expansion.

Premier Wall now has stated that building nuclear reactors would create 700 to 800 “long-term” jobs. The world’s experience with nuclear power accidents is that it has been responsible for thousands of “long-term” deaths!

A few years ago, a book was published by the New York Academy of Sciences, titled, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” The book was authored by two noted Russian biologists -- one was an adviser to the president of Russia, and a third author was an environmental ecologist.

The book was edited Dr. Janette Sherman over a period of 14 months. It covers the years from 1986 to 2004. The book’s authors dispute the claim made by the World Health Organization, (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA) that Chernybol caused the death of only 4000 people. The book’s authors claim that Chernobyl caused over 900,000 cancer deaths globally -- and since children are more vulnerable to radiation, it may be passed on to future generations.

Dr. Rosalie Bertell, (died in 2012) was an American Catholic nun. She has been internationally recognized for her vast knowledge of the effects of low-level radiation and cancer. She had stated that the book mentioned above is “a must read” for all those bureaucrats currently promoting nuclear power as the only solution for climate change.

About 15 years ago, a small group of tourists from Canada were shown through a Cuban children’s hospital. The doctor (a lady) told us that after Chernobyl, 30,000 children from Russia, suffering radiation exposure, were brought to Cuba for treatment.

On March 11th 2011, a monstrous tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants. The tsunami killed about 5,000 Japanese citizens, while another 150,000 families had to leave the area due to damage to their homes, and possible exposure to radioactive releases from the damaged nuclear reactors. It is estimated that it will take many years to repair the damage, and many, many more years to deal with radioactive releases.

It is difficult to ascertain just who is going to pay for all the costs of this nuclear accident, including healthcare costs. Suggested total costs of the Fukushima disaster have been quoted at trillions of dollars.

Mining uranium may be a “gold mine” for the owners, and weapons manufacturers. But the experience to date is that it is not safe, it is not clean, and it is not cheap. It also is extremely dangerous, and extremely expensive.

 

Leo Kurtenbach

Saskatoon

 

Organizations: International Atomic Energy Agency, New York Academy of Sciences, World Health Organization

Geographic location: Russia, Canada, Cuba Saskatoon

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