Rich Travis, Staff
Buchanan is a town in the United States where tens of thousands of people have been diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, and it sits just 35 miles from New York City!
Also nearby is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which is situated on the Hudson River and serves the electricity needs of approximately 2 million people. It has two working reactors which have operated since 1974 and 1976, respectively.
For years, the public has been told that nuclear power is a safe and clean alternative to fossil fuels. But the people of Indian Point and surrounding areas know those claims are untrue and they are now paying the price of all the failed promises of safe energy.
Thyroid Cancer rates, in and around this area, has seen a huge spike in the last 15 years. Some say as many as 20,000 thyroid cancer cases. 20,000!
What Does The Thyroid Gland Do?
Thanks to heightened awareness among sufferers and the medical community, thyroid cancer diagnoses are on the rise, making cancer of the thyroid, one of the most common in the US.
Looking at thyroid cancer statistics for the entire USA, as of March 2015, there were about 62,450 new cases of thyroid cancer (47,230 in women, and 15,220 in men) and 1,950 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,080 women and 870 men).
There are different kinds of thyroid cancers, and a great deal of mystery surrounds how and why some people are affected and others are not. But there is one, sure-fire, unmistakable way to get thyroid cancer and that’s by RADIATION. (Specifically, Iodine-131 which is a gas produced by the fissioning of uranium.) The thyroid gland requires iodine, a naturally occurring chemical, but it doesn’t distinguish between radioactive Iodine 131 and naturally occurring iodine. Iodine 131 enters the human body via the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe, damaging and killing cells, a process that can lead to cancer and other diseases.
Understanding and comprehending how a nuclear power plant like Indian Point works, is difficult by any standard. Sadly, what most people fail to realize is that nuclear power works on the premise that, in order to function, it has to emit radiation. And even small doses of radiation, accumulated over time, can be extremely dangerous.
Those poor souls who call Indian Point home have unknowingly lived next to a veritable cancer-generating machine for decades. Life is hard enough without man-made poisons silently infiltrating your body through the air you breathe and water you drink!
Clearly there are a staggering number of thyroid cancer victims in and around Indian Point, which have become known as cancer clusters. Groups are speaking out. People are frightened. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, called for its closer.
An international team of researchers led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health found a clear dose-response relationship, in which higher absorption of radiation from I-131 led to an increased risk for thyroid cancer that has not seemed to diminish over time.
But with the discovery of this blatant health hazard, where is the outrage? Where is the media? Why isn’t this front page news? And how is this happening here in the US?
Not surprisingly, Indian Point victims and their families are outraged and they demand to know why the government hasn’t protected them. They want answers.
Bottom line, it seems that every time the general public is told that there is nothing to worry about, the opposite is true. Yet over and over again, Americans learn this lesson the hard way.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is a ticking time-bomb. Table for a moment that it continues to vent thyroid cancer-causing radiation and realize that the plant is now over 40 years old and running on expired licenses.
Are we looking at a possible Chernobyl just miles from New York City!? It’s possible, especially when you consider that there have been 9 incidents in the last year alone. This is cause for huge concern. Remember, Chernobyl experienced only 1 incident before the horrific explosion in 1986. Additionally, Indian Point Power Plant is ten years older than Chernobyl.
The most recent incident was a Tritium leak, a Radioactive substance leaking into the ground water. Officials said that it didn’t leave the site and was contained. But understandable and truthful information is usually scarce when nuclear accidents happen, just look at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
The Indian Point Power Plant’’s long list of issues and incidents often go unnoticed or even mentioned in the media. Even after the most recent tritium leak, this is not a topic being discussed or mentioned.
Nuclear energy powers cities all over the world. Unfortunately, these power plants are too close to our cities and towns. The threat is real. The dangers are evident. The cases are growing.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and law says that it can release radiation. But only if it is below a certain level. Unfortunately, even low doses CAN harm people. Radiation, on any level is still radiation. And that is the #1 cause of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer can cause several symptoms:
- You may get a lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom
- You may have pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears
- You may have trouble swallowing
- You may have trouble breathing or have constant wheezing
- Your voice may be hoarse
- You may have a frequent cough that is not related to a cold
If you’ve been injured, there is even the Department of Justice’s Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and you can make a claim.
Due to Indian Point’s vulnerability to terrorism, a laundry list of safety problems, the storage of 1500 tons of radioactive waste onsite, and the lack of a workable evacuation plan, Riverkeeper has been working toward the permanent shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Get involved!
There are many thyroid cancers in the area of Indian Point and a Fukushima or Chernobyl-type disaster is waiting to happen in this old and dangerous plant that is only 30 miles from NYC. Call & write the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shut down Indian Point Power Plant. 1-800-368-5642. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Wash.D.C. 2055-001. Also safety concerns: 1-800-695-7403.