To: President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate
MAKE RADIATION VISIBLE
We petition the U.S. Government to make radioactive pollutants released from commercial nuclear reactors visible with dye-markers, public health alerts, and comprehensive real-time monitoring. We want to make this invisible toxin visible, since radioactive waste/emissions are known to increase the risk of cancer and DNA mutations for many generations to come.
Why is this important?
Radiation is odorless and invisible, undetectable by human senses. Sadly, Fukushima school children were sent into the path of a radioactive plume, rather than away from it; and it took a Texas school explosion killing nearly 300 students before the law required odors in gas. We want to ensure a plume can be spotted before an emergency occurs. Like odor-markers for natural gas, we ask that visible dyes be dispersed with emergency radiation releases, providing immediate, direct warning about where radioactive plumes are traveling – a critical life-saver for first-responders and the public.
We also request that Public Health Alerts be posted when known radioactive carcinogens and mutagens are released into our biosphere. We have weather alerts, smog alerts, and even pollen alerts, why not radiation alerts? Unfortunately, it has been "out of sight, out of mind." People deserve to know when they are being exposed to these highly toxic elements, not a year later, but when they are actually exposed – so they can protect themselves.
Currently neither EPA nor NRC require comprehensive, radiological monitoring and real-time online reporting of on-site releases. The NRC relies on the nuclear plant operators to self-report radioactive releases based on quarterly averages – only once a year. Simply the fox watching the hen house.
We call on the NRC and EPA to upgrade radiation monitoring systems throughout the nation, both on reactor sites and in reactor communities (50 mile radius), with real-time online data about radioactive levels around nuclear facilities. Following the Fukushima explosions in 2011, less than 100 EPA monitors recorded radiation levels as the plumes traveled across the U.S. Since then, hundreds of citizen volunteers across the country have begun providing real-time radiation monitoring online, but this should be done by the EPA and NRC with citizen oversight.
The governmental agencies charged with protecting public health and safety by enforcing safety standards and radiation levels have a responsibility to conduct transparent monitoring to ensure safe levels are not exceeded. Currently the United States lacks comprehensive radiation monitoring, even though 1 in 3 Americans lives within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. An interagency effort is needed to 'connect the dots' and ensure public oversight.
We call on the NRC and EPA to coordinate and upgrade radiation monitoring systems for compatibility and transparency. The technology is well developed, both for monitoring and for reporting real-time radionuclide data online. The benefits of national radiation monitoring far outweigh the relatively small costs. Without comprehensive monitoring, government regulators cannot, and do not, adequately protect public health or protect our air, food and water from nuclear toxins that bio-accumulate and remain dangerous for generations to come.
Again, we petitioners request the following:
Dispersal of visible dyes with emergency radiation releases, providing immediate, direct warning of radioactive plumes.
Public health alerts for routine and emergency radiation releases into the public biosphere from mining, incineration, accidental releases, leaks, or spills.
Real-time radiation monitoring, to coordinate and transparently report multiple agency radioactive emissions data to the public.
Nuclear operators posting real-time on-site monitoring data to the interagency monitoring website and upgrading area dosimeters to real-time radionuclide monitors. Quarterly averages reported annually are not good enough for the American people being exposed to these toxins.