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Radiation caused cancer hit US movie stars

“The connection between fallout radiation and cancer in individual cases has been practically impossible to prove conclusively. But in a group this size you’d expect only 30-some cancers to develop. With 91, I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up even in a court of law.” 

FROM PEOPLE MAGAZINE:Occupy the NRC 21 Sept 12,  Few moviegoers remember The Conqueror, a sappy 1956 film about a love affair between Genghis Khan and a beautiful captive princess. But to the families of its stars, John Wayne and Susan Hayward, and of its director-producer, Dick Powell, memories of The Conqueror have begun to acquire nightmarish clarity.

The movie was shot from June through August 1954 among the scenic red bluffs and white dunes near Saint George, Utah, an area chosen by Powell for its similarity to the central Asian steppes. At the time it did not seem significant that Saint George was only 137 miles from the atomic testing range at Yucca Flat, Nev.; the federal government, after all, was constantly reassuring local residents back then that the bomb tests posed no health hazard. Now, 17 years after aboveground nuclear tests were outlawed, Saint George is plagued by an extraordinarily high rate of cancer (PEOPLE, Oct. 1, 1979)—and the illustrious alumni of The Conqueror and their offspring are wondering whether their own grim medical histories are more than an uncommon run of bad luck. 
Of The Conqueror’s 220 cast and crew members from Hollywood, an astonishing 91 have contracted cancer, PEOPLE has ascertained. Forty-six of them, including Wayne, Hayward and Powell, have died of the disease. Another star of the film, Pedro Armendariz, survived cancer of the kidney four years after finishing the movie—but killed himself in 1963 at the age of 51 when he learned that he had terminal cancer of the lymphatic system. Says Dr. Robert C. Pendleton, director of radiological health at the University of Utah: “With these numbers, this case could qualify as an epidemic. The connection between fallout radiation and cancer in individual cases has been practically impossible to prove conclusively. But in a group this size you’d expect only 30-some cancers to develop. With 91, I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up even in a court of law.”
No responsible agency of the federal government will comment for the record on the Conqueror case—or, for that matter, on any private citizen’s complaint about health problems arising from the Nevada tests. The situation for the military is different. In 1977 Cpl. Paul Cooper claimed that his participation in the tests had resulted in leukemia. The Defense Nuclear Agency says a PEOPLE story on Corporal Cooper persuaded it to set up a program to contact other military personnel who may have been affected. (The DNA toll-free number is 800-336-3068.) But the DNA refers nonmilitary complaints to other federal agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, all of which refuse to discuss the situation. (Their ostensible reason is that they had nothing to do with the tests, which were conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission. The AEC was disbanded in 1974.) ……

The concerned survivors are not antinuke activists; most say their faith in safe nuclear energy is unshaken. What angers them is mounting evidence that the government knew a great deal more about the danger of fallout from the tests than it told. Aboveground nuclear explosions at the Nevada Test Site went on from January 1951 until August 1963. During that time the Atomic Energy Commission devoted most of its public-information efforts to reassuring apprehensive citizens. One 1955 AEC booklet distributed near the test site, for example, advised: “Your best action is not to be worried about fallout.”

Yet Dr. Harold Knapp, the DNA’s adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former member of the Fallout Studies Branch of the AEC, says the experts knew better even then. “The government definitely had a complete awareness of what was going on,” he now says. “To a trained professional, the information contained in some of their once-confidential reports is most shocking.” A recently published report prepared for congressional investigators on the impact of the bomb tests concludes: “All evidence suggesting that radiation was having harmful effects, be it on sheep or on the people, was not only disregarded but actually suppressed…The greatest irony of our atmospheric nuclear testing program is that the only victims of U.S. nuclear arms since World War II have been our own people.” (NOTE: RADIATION EXPOSURE CAN CAUSE MUTATED DNA LEADING TO HEREDITARY ILLNESSES…AND EVEN TO THIS DAY THE NRC AND NUCLEAR PROPONENTS DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW/BELIEVE THIS! WAKE UP PEOPLE, THIS IS CRIMINAL!!!)

No bombs were tested during the actual filming of The Conqueror, but 11 explosions occurred the year before. Two of them were particularly “dirty,” depositing long-lasting radiation over the area. The 51.5-kiloton shot code-named “Simon” was fired on April 25, 1953, and the 32.4-kiloton blast “Harry” went off May 19. (In contrast, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 13 kilotons.) “Fallout was very abundant more than a year after Harry,” says Dr. Pendleton, a former AEC researcher. “Some of the isotopes, such as strontium 90 and cesium 137, would not have diminished much.” Pendleton points out that radioactivity can concentrate in “hot spots” such as the rolling dunes of Snow Canyon, a natural reservoir for windblown material. It was the place where much of The Conqueror was filmed. Pendleton also notes that radioactive substances enter the food chain. By eating local meat and produce, the Conqueror cast and crew were increasing their risk.

One of the first members of the company to make a connection between the film and the fallout was Agnes Moorehead. Her close friend Sandra Gould, who was featured with her on the TV show Bewitched, recalls that long before Moorehead developed the uterine cancer that killed her in 1974, she recounted rumors of “some radioactive germs” on location in Utah, observing: “Everybody in that picture has gotten cancer and died.” As she was dying, she told best friend Debbie Reynolds: “I should never have taken that part.”

Moorehead was not the only one who came to feel that way. …..

Source of Article: People Magazine 1980 http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20077825,00.html

http://www.facebook.com/OccupyNRC http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=275468899238682&set=a.157069831078590.31188.150882998363940&type=1

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September 21, 2012 - Posted by | health, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA

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