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viewpoint

A mother’s worry

| Thursday, October 8, 2015

I certainly hope none of Notre Dame’s students were confused enough to actually take seriously the climate change lecture given by that talking-head for the nuclear industry. Ms. Cravens is a fictional writer doing what she does best — spewing nonsensical fiction.

Nuclear power is not the solution to fighting climate change. I live in Oceanside, California and less than 30 miles from my home, Cesium-137 and -134 were measured at eight becquerels per kilogram. These are the deadly contaminants flowing from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that have been devastating the west coast of the U.S.

Our ocean is almost 80 degrees now in October. I have never felt water so warm here until the last three years. I can’t even go to the beach anymore because I have little kids, who are about 50-times as sensitive to the effects of low-level radiation as adults because their cells divide more rapidly. Even natural background radiation is responsible for up to half of all irregularly inherited afflictions such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, reproductive abnormalities and many more.

Nuclear power plants, even when they operate within the standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, regularly release radioactive particles into the air and water as part of their normal procedures. Constant exposure to low-level radiation from a nuclear plant is actually worse than receiving one extreme dose. Higher doses of radiation kill the cells. But they are killed completely, so, over time, they can eventually rebuild. Low-level radiation, like the kind we are all getting from Fukushima, mutates our cells by attacking our DNA. Ninety-nine percent of all mutations are the bad kind, not the natural selection type — the result is cancer.

Laurel Kaskurs DeFalco

Oct. 7

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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