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Higherdeath rate for those living near Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

The full report may be downloaded at or

Sustainability press release


Major findings of the reportIn 1968-1974, largely before operations at Browns Ferry began, the local mortality rate was just 1.7% above the U.S. Thereafter, the gap steadily increased, until by
2009-2010, the local rate was 20.5% greater – the largest elevation in at least 43
years. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)• Infant mortality in the seven closest downwind counties from Browns
Ferry in 2009-2010 was 21.6% above U.S. rate, a steady increase from the early
1990s, when it was below U.S. rate. The excess is 40.3% for Hispanics and 32.6%
for whites. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
• Of the 10 Alabama counties with the highest incidences of thyroid cancer from 2005-
2009, four (4) are among the seven-proximate/downwind counties. (National Cancer
Institute, State Cancer Profiles) Radioactive iodine produced by nuclear power or bombs
is the only known cause of thyroid cancer.
• Local death rates in the seven counties surrounding Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
were especially high for young persons. From 1999-2010, the rates for persons who
died at age 0-24 and 25-44 were 27.4% and 25.7% higher than the U.S. rates,
respectively. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
• Since fall 2012, local citizen group Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team
(BEST) monitoring has recorded radiation levels from double to 40 times greater
than background levels downwind and downriver from Browns Ferry, with only near
background readings upwind and upriver. Since the highest levels recorded were
found 70 miles downwind, early datum suggest the possibility that radioactivity from
Browns Ferry may travel long distances before returning to earth.
“We find it hard to believe the mantra we hear from the nuclear industry saying there is
no need to worry about radiation exposure even though numerous studies tell a different

story,” said Garry Morgan, Scottsboro member of Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability
Team (BEST). “We couldn’t get any real time information about radiation emissions from
Tennessee Valley Authority, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or the Environmental
Protection Agency,” he added, “so we decided to take our own measurements.”
In October 2012, measurements began. Fifty data collection sites were established
surrounding Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. A background level of radiation was determined
after which counts per minute of alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray radiation above background
levels were recorded in air, water, and land. All measurements were taken using a protocol
from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The
group found that the highest levels of radiation were detected in Scottsboro, Alabama, 70
miles downwind of the Browns Ferry site.
BEST commissioned epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, MPH, MBA, Director of
Radiation & Public Health Project, who provided background historical and community
health information and analyzed the radiation data collected by the citizen team for the

report. Data from Montgomery, Alabama was used as a control community because there is
no nearby nuclear plant.
“The measurements from the collection sites taken by the BEST radiation monitoring
team coupled with older data before and during Browns Ferry Nuclear reactor operations
show a troubling pattern of increased rates of morbidity, mortality, and incidences of cancers
for those living downwind from Browns Ferry, especially for infants,” said Mangano.
The authors of the study recommend spectrographic analysis to identify offending
radionuclides and their sources.
Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team/Mothers Against Tennessee River
Radiation (BEST/MATRR) is a local chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense
League. The full report may be downloaded at or

June 8, 2013 - Posted by | health, USA

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