While the study below is a federal one, it's openness has immense relevance to the believability of eventual data on health effects of low level radiation exposures in Michigan. As we turn to decomissioning power plants here in the near future, this will be a pivotal issue. So I urge any group with a remote interest to consider signing on. -- Phil Shepard email@example.com (517) 332-0761
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- Subject: Sign letter re radiation effects study (fwd)
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: 23 Feb 1999 06:30:54---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 16:32:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (Susan Gordon) Subject: Sign on letter - public input on health effects -BEIR VII Dear Friends - please consider signing on to this letter to the National Research Council. NRC is planning to conduct an assessment of the health effects of low dose radiation and it is important that this process be transparent and open to the public. We are asking that groups sign on to the letter with an organizational name and individual contact name. Please email me at <firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to sign on to the letter. We will collect organizational names until March 5th. Please forward this message on to other lists. Thanks, Susan Gordon **************** Sign on letter - Dr. Rick Jostes Study Director BEIR VII National Research Council Suite 342 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20418 Dear Dr. Jostes, We write as representatives of organizations concerned about the health consequences of exposure to low dose ionizing radiation. We are aware that the National Research Council is planning to conduct an assessment of the health effects of low dose radiation (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation, BEIR VII). We are encouraged that the Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Department of Energy deem this issue worthy of study at this time. We believe that the study will be enhanced by meaningful opportunities for public involvement. The results of BEIR VII are likely to affect public and worker radiation protection standards, residual contamination standards, and standards governing radioactive waste storage and disposal for years to come. Thus, BEIR VII may impact the health of millions of people. The U.S. public has a right to know that all relevant concerns are being addressed, and that public funds are being wisely expended. Good science benefits from transparency, openness, and public participation. This theme is stated repeatedly in the National Research Council's own study, "Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society." In fact, there are precedents for the National Research Council holding open meetings and seeking public comment. In 1995, the public was invited to provide input to a study entitled "Where should the US focus long-term efforts to improve the nation's environment?" The National Research Council panel of distinguished scientists listened to input from other scientists, engineers, and academics, as well as spokespersons for environmental organizations and Native American communities. There is no reason why the NRC could not adopt a similar model and process for BEIR VII. Therefore, we recommend that the NRC adopt procedures that will help ensure the kind of public involvement that can improve the BEIR VII process. Specifically, we recommend the following: 1. A clear plan for public involvement should be developed and adhered to. While there are different models for doing this, we recommend that a body with public confidence be designated to work with the BEIR VII committee to ensure a good public process and that public concerns are addressed in the study (one such group is the Federal Advisory Committee on Energy Related Epidemiologic Research and its Subcommittee for Community Affairs). This body would not direct the review, but would work closely with the BEIR VII Committee to ensure that an agreed-to public process is followed. The body responsible for public participation should receive periodic reports from the BEIR VII committee. 2. All information, data, etc. should be made available for the BEIR VII Committee's discussion and consideration, and also be made available to interested members of the public for review and comment. We are aware that the NRC may create web access to such documents. However, web access is inadequate by itself. Many public participants are not equipped to access such material via the web. Therefore, documents, data, etc. should also be made available in DOE, EPA, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reading Rooms. Another option is that electronic files on disk could also be made available to individuals. 3. All meetings of the BEIR VII Committee should be open to the public. As a first step, the Committee should conduct a thorough scoping process to identify all relevant information that is to be reviewed in the BEIR VII process. We would like to discuss these recommendations in a meeting, or conference call, as soon as possible. We will telephone you within the next two weeks regarding this request. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Sharon Cowdrey of Miamisburg Environmental Safety and Health (513-748-4757, fax: 513-748-0349). Sincerely, SIGN ON NAMES/ORGANIZATIONS # # # NOTE NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1999 # # # I can be reached via email@example.com PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RECORDS AND DISTRIBUTION LISTS ************************************** Susan Gordon, Director Alliance for Nuclear Accountability www.ananuclear.org 1914 N 34th, Suite #407, Seattle, WA 98103 ph 206-547-3175 fax 206-547-7158 ANA is a national alliance of organizations working to address issues of nuclear weapons production and waste clean-up.
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