NRC Proposes Weakening 
of Radiation Exposure Limits
Our Comments Submitted June 24, 2015

Despite growing numbers of studies
finding no safe dose of radiation,
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
has proposed further weakening
of exposure limits or the ALARA
(As Low As Reasonably Achievable).

Several government funded studies
of childhood cancer near nuclear power plants
followed in the wake of the 2006 German KiKK study.
As you can see, the studies show consistent
130% to 141% increases in observed cancers.

Table 1: Ian Fairlie, “A hypothesis to explain childhood cancers near nuclear power plants,” Journal of
Environmental Radioactivity , 133 (2014) 10e17, pg. 11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.07.024

Studies also show women and children
are far more vulnerable than men
for the same level of exposure,
EPA estimated 58% higher cancer rates
and our own National Academy of Sciences
estimated women are 52% more likely
to develop cancer than men
for the same level of exposure.

Arjun Makhijani, Brice Smith and Michael C. Thorne, “Healthy from the Start: Building a Better Basis for
Environmental Health Standards – Starting with Radiation,” Science for Democratic Action, Vol. 14, No. 4,
February 2007, pg. 3. http://ieer.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SDA-14-4.pdf

Our Comments to protest weakening of standards can be read

Environmental Injustice in Uniontown, AL
May 23-25, 2015

Garry Morgan visited Uniontown, Alabama
upon the request of the Alabama Rivers Alliance 
and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

The residents of Uniontown
have been subjected to injustice
at the hands of the TVA from coal ash disposal,
and suffer from governmental inaction
at Federal, State and local levels.

Government and corporations
are taking advantage of the poor
in this Alabama Black Belt region
which has created a feeling
in the populace of helplessness.
Sewage disposal system has failed
and corruption in the grant process is evident. 

Garry worked with local residents
and other environmental groups 
o stress the importance of open government
in exposing the inner workings
of local governmental activities
at the county and municipal levels.

At corporate and higher levels of state
and federal government,
Uniontown is a classic example
of environmental racism at its worse.

Government at all levels has and is currently
failing the residents of Uniontown, Alabama.
Political-Corporate corruption is evident.

Vanderbilt Conference
on the Health and Economic Effects
of EPA's Clean Power Plan
May 17-19, 2015

Vanderbilt Medical and Law Schools
sponsored this important conference.
Gretel drove up to hear the medical speakers
and learned much about the
health hazards of pollution.

Good news that modern efficiency experts
are calling for similar programs
to those TVA implemented in the 1970's,
but abandoned in the 80's.
Maybe there will be progress
in energy efficiency ahead.

The epidemiologists
and health professionals
had not included radionuclides
in their research on particulate pollution.
Gretel gave them copies of our formal
comments on the Clean Power Plan,
and they seemed keenly interested
in learning more about nuclear pollution
and about our Monitoring Program.

Our Clean Power Plan comments can be read

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant 2014 Annual Review
May 15, 2015

Multiple SCRAMS & Events discussed with NRC and TVA
by BEST/MATRR's Garry Morgan
during BFN's annual public meeting.

Morgan's report on 2014 Licensee Event Reports can be read

We Request Nuclear Emissions Schedule
Be Posted - TVA Board of Directors Meeting
May 7, 2015

We spoke to the Board of Directors
and presented them with a request
to post their Routine Nuclear Emissions Schedule online,
and to expand and post their real-time monitoring online as well.

Gretel was interviewed by a WHNT TV News reporter,
who included part of the interview
and details from our formal letter
in the Huntsville news segment. 

Our letter can be viewed 

Earth Days in Huntsville & Florence, AL
Make Radiation Visible Campaign
April 18-19, 2015 

We distributed literature and demonstrated methods
of tracking, recording and analyzing radioactive pollution
at two Earth Days in Huntsville this year,
one sponsored by the City at the Hays Nature Preserve
and the traditional Earth Day Event on the mountain
around the Monte Sano State Park main pavillion.
Both were delightful events with thousands of participants,
The Hays event had a plethora of colorful educational booths
and the Monte Sano event had wonderful live music
with Microwave Dave and other local music groups.

In Florence, BEST/MATRR member Jackie Posey
distributed literature and talked with folks about
the nearby Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant
just upstream on the Tennessee River
and about radiation pollution in the valley.
The annual Shoals event is always
lively with fabulous music!

Video of Earth Day April 18, 2015, 
Hays Nature Preserve in Huntsville, Al.

We Challenge Watts Bar 2 Licensing
March 26, 2015

We express concerns about the radiologically stressed
Tennessee River accepting more nuclear waste,
the existing age of the plant
whose construction began in 1973,
the mid-20th century ice-condenser reactor design,
aging structural and components degradation
compounded by high-burnup fuel,
and the flawed assessments of effluents release
measurements based on averaging
rather than real-time monitoring data.

Our formal Comments to NRC re Watts Bar 2 Licensing Issues can be read 

Appeal to TVA - Pollution and Cancer in Our Valley
Feb. 12, 2015

Garry spoke and presented a compelling request
to the TVA Board that they consider
the suffering from cancer in our valley
communities near nuclear power plants
and stop pursuing the dangerous,
dirty, expensive and antiquated
avenue of nuclear power generation. 

Garry Morgan's comments can be read 

Madison County DDT Contamination
Misrepresented by EPA Officials

BEST/MATRR member Karen Jones
leads a Triana community effort
to hold EPA accountable and
push for further cleanup
of the Superfund Site
near the town of Triana.

Triana is a largely black community
adjacent to Redstone Arsenal
on the Tennessee River
in Madison County, Alabama.
The DDT contamination
of the Triana water supply
was identified in 1977, and
cleanup efforts substantially improved,
but did not eliminate, DDT and
chemical contamination in the area.

The predominance of health issues
in the community persists,
and the EPA appears to be misrepresenting
the levels of serious pollution.
Fish and water warnings
need to be posted.
This is an environmental justice issue,
and we will persist until appropriate
action is taken.

Garry Morgan's Summary of the issue can be read


History of Yucca Mountain
Nuclear Waste Repository
Dec. 27, 2014

A Fact Sheet on Yucca Mountain History (10 pages)
has been written by Garry Morgan.
This important history of the controversial
radioactive waste repository located in Nevada
reveals the follies, the profiteers, and the wasted resources
dumped on this doomed project.

Some 70 years of research
have brought us no solutions
to the contamination for our planet
of radioactive toxins that remain
dangerous for millions of years.

Given the instability of the earth's crust,
a geological solution has proven unviable,
despite the expense.

This Yucca Mountain History can be read

Protest of EPA Nuclear Advocacy
in Proposed Clean Power Plan
Dec 15, 2014 

We submitted formal Comments (12 pages)
on the EPA Clean Power Plan
protesting the inclusion of nuclear power in the plan.
Although we applaud much of the proposed plan
and the EPA’s initiative to create and implement
an environmentally healthy plan,
including nuclear power is a contradiction
in EPA goals and is inappropriate
for a Clean Power Plan.

Carbon is not the only waste product of energy production
that threatens the viability of our planet.
Nuclear pollution is far more insidious in its impact
simply because it is invisible
and the poison symptoms are generally delayed;
but radioactive toxins attack living cells and
damage DNA structure,
resulting in extremely serious
long-range pollutant damage to our planet.

To encourage operation extensions for aging reactors
will impact the environment and health of millions of Americans,
since one in every three lives within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. 
To encourage building more nuclear reactors
is a proven financial folly and environmental risk.

Nuclear power unnecessarily sacrifices the genetic future
of our citizens and other species on the planet,
at a time when truthfully clean, sustainable energy resources
are available at far lower costs to our economy,
our environment, and to future generations.

EPA can stop adding to the environmental
and financial debts produced by nuclear power
simply by eliminating your inclusion and support for
nuclear power in your Clean Power Plan.

To do otherwise is a betrayal of EPA's very purpose. 

We argue that nuclear is unreliable in a warming world,
contributes mightily to thermal pollution,
and produces highly toxic
and enduring radioactive waste.

70 years of intensive research
have not helped solve how to sequester
or dispose of these enduring toxins.

Our comments can be read

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
November 7, 2014 

BEST/MATRR Again Helps Sponsor the Wild & Scenic Film Festival
We have sponsored the first two
Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Huntsville,
and plan to continue supporting this excellent venue.

The  festival is really exhilarating,
with exquisite cinematography
of wilderness sports and beautiful places
and excellent storytelling
about southern environmental issues and our natural wonders.
The folks who put this national festival together
do a really impressive job of compiling the short films
into a beautifully paced and fascinating evening of films.
The local hosts choose films from
Alabama and other southern locations
to make each event special
and locally meaningful.

The Festival was shown in the Lowe Mill Arts / Flying Monkey Theatre
to a full theatre and an appreciative audience,
and was hosted by Alabama Rivers Alliance, Alabama Environmental Council, Coalition for a Greener Huntsville and Madison County, and Flint River Conservation Association.

Questioned TVA Directors' Motives
for Continued Pursuit of Nuclear Power
November 6, 2014

We spoke and presented TVA Board of Directors
a short but pointed questioning of their motives
in continuing to pursue nuclear power,
despite the economic and environmental risks 
to their corporation
and the people of the Tennessee Valley. 

Our letter can be read 

Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards
PowerPoint Presentation
at Annual APIEL Conference
for Environmental Lawyers and Activists
at University of Tennessee Law School in Knoxville
October 17-19, 2014

BEST/MATRR was invited to give a 45 minute PowerPoint presentation
on Radioactive Emissions & Health Hazards Near Nuclear Plants
during the Annual APIEL Conference for Environmental Lawyers. 

The 3 day Appalachian Conference
was hosted by the University of Tennessee
College of Law in Knoxville, TN,

an exceptional facility.

Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant 
License Extension Protest
Sept 29, 2014

We again submitted formal Comments (12 pages)
protesting the Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant (SQN)
License Extension and our 3rd response to 
Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). 

We once again pointed out flaws in the process
and specific reasons the SQN Reactors Operating License
should not be extended the proposed 50%
beyond its design-basis life span. 

Our formal comments can be read

EPA Again Cancels Public Meeting
on Superfund Clean-Up Site
in Madison County, AL
Sept. 26, 2014

BEST/MATRR President, Stewart Horn,
and Director of Monitoring, Garry Morgan,
both submitted interview forms
after the EPA again cancelled a public meeting
 regarding the Superfund Site contaminating
the African American community of Triana
with DDT and other highly toxic chemicals. 
Triana is on the Tennessee River
adjacent to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL.

One of our members is heading the Triana
community effort to fight the pollution.

DDT and other pollutant contamination levels
were measured by biologists at
the Department of Fish and Wildlife,
but their findings were misrepresented
in an EPA summary report. 

We are protesting this travesty and the suffering
of the largely black community it impacts.

Morgan's submission can be read

DOE Plan to Increase TVA
Commercial Power Plant Production
of Radioactive Tritium for Nuclear Weapons
Sept. 21, 2014

Comments spoken and submitted (5 pages)
at Public Meeting with
the Department of Energy / National Nuclear Security Administration
(DOE/ NNSA) regarding
the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(DSEIS) for Tritium Production in Tennessee
(at commercial TVA nuclear power plants
to produce radioactive Tritium for nuclear weapons).

We protest the proposed increase in un-filterable tritiated water
(heavy water that remains radioactive for 120 years)
that will be added to the Tennessee River,
and consequently, to Chattanooga drinking water.

Although the radiation danger from Tritium
is underplayed because it is a relatively low energy emitter,
Tritium is a form of hydrogen
that can transform H₂0 water
into radioactive H₃0 water, 
which can permeate every cell in the body
including our DNA.

According to Dr. John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D. 
(co-discoverer of uranium, physician, and nuclear physical chemist),
this low-energy emitter, Tritium, does more
damage to our cells and DNA
than higher energy forms of radiation.  
(See Dr. Gofman's "No Safe Dose" video at MATRR.org)

Our formal comments can be viewed

Protest Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant
(SQN) License Extension
Sept. 17, 2014

BEST/MATRR spoke at Public Meeting
regarding the Sequoyah Nuclear Power
Plant (SQN) License Extension
and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

We once again point out flaws in the process and
specific reasons the SQN Reactors Operating License
should not be extended 50% beyond its design-basis life span.

Formal comments submitted Sept. 29, 2014

TVA Votes to Defund Energy Efficiency by 25%
August 21, 2014

BEST/MATRR spoke and sent letter to TVA Board of Directors
regarding their choices as Directors,
including their vote to reduce spending
on Energy Efficiency programs by 25%.

They were reminded that Energy Efficiency
is seven times more cost-effective than nuclear power;
therefore, they were voting to abandon their mission
to benefit the people of the valley
and instead voted to continue
to raise customers' electric bills
to pay for nuclear,
rather than saving valley residents money,
improving their homes,
buildings and factories,
and creating more jobs
with Energy Efficiency and CHP Co-Generation. 

EPA Proposed Weakening Radiation Protection
July 19, 2014

Comments submitted (11 pages) in protest
against EPA's Proposed Rulemaking
which would weaken Radiation Protective Action Guides,
hugely increasing doses of public exposure
to radionuclide contaminated water.

We called on the EPA to reexamine its dosage models
and to use verifiable data via real-time monitoring,
rather than theoretical models,
to determine dose limits for nuclear workers
and the U.S. public and environment.

Comments can be viewed

BEST/MATRR Annual Members Meeting
June 14, 2014

Garry Morgan gave a presentation on radiation monitoring
and Gretel Johnston presented the campaign to

Guest Speaker, David Lochbaum
of the Union of Concerned Scientists,
presented a paper on
Tritium Emissions from Sequoyah and Browns Ferry
 that he had completed
as a gift to our group.

There were lively discussions
about nuclear issues and
on our goals for the coming year,
and members voted on officers: 

Stewart Horn was voted President for a second term, 
Gretel Johnston was voted Vice-President and Secretary,
and Garry Morgan was voted BEST/MATRR Treasurer.

Members came from Chattanooga in the east
and from southwest Tennessee in the west,
as well as from north Alabama.

Browns Ferry Annual Safety Meeting
May 21, 2014

Garry spoke and presented to the NRC and TVA
important issues at the
public Browns Ferry Annual Safety Meeting.

Issues included antiquated parts 
and resultant, repeated power supply failures.

Mr. Morgan outlined 25 serious problems identified
in a 2010 Institute for Nuclear Power Operations
(INPO) report on Browns Ferry,
and asked if any of the problems had been fixed.

He pointed out that a later peer-review report on Browns Ferry
by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in 2013
would verify progress on the issues
reported in the 2010 INPO report, and asked
for access to read the non-profit organization's WANO report.

Public access to these reports, commissioned by TVA
and issued by these two non-profit organizations,
has be denied by TVA on grounds
of potential proprietary information.
We strongly contest this denial of access
and have requested permission
to review the reports
without removing them from the TVA library.
Permission denied.

BFN safety issues can be viewed

TVA Board Meeting
May 8, 2014

We Call for Energy Independence 

We spoke at the TVA Board Meeting and presented the Directors
with a (14 page) letter calling on the TVA to
"Lead the Nation Towards Energy Independence"
and presenting documentation on the environmental and economic
advantages of Energy Efficiency and Renewables.

Gretel was also interviewed by a Huntsville WHNT TV News reporter,
who took a copy of the letter
and included part of the interview
and information from the letter in the news segment.

Watts Bar 2 Pre-license Inspection - NRC Meeting
April 9, 2014

We Question Safety of "New" Watts Bar 2 Reactor License Process 
and TVA Perspective on Stakeholders

BEST-MATRR and SACE raise questions about non-nuclear parts usage 
and NRC's inspection role. 

NRC's answer: "We are a sampling organization...
we have not inspected all the parts...
TVA's responsibility".  http://youtu.be/Xbb9KMBo990

Watts Bar NRC Inspection for Unit 2 video http://youtu.be/-yhPd18Gi4I

TVA's slide on Watts Bar Stakeholders 
lists the NRC Commissioners as #1
followed by CASE - an NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) group
followed by the NEI, the nuclear industry lobbyist.
TVA Customers are listed as #4.

Citizens ask question about TVA's listing.
We think that NRC, as the regulator, is not a Stakeholder
and that NEI, as the nuclear industry lobbyist,
should not be considered more of a Stakeholder than TVA customers,
who pay for the plants and live with the waste.
. This provides a rare insight 
into TVA's management philosophy
- nuclear industry first, customers last. 
TVA "spins" answer to question about their slide.


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