March 2 presentation on uranium and nuclear weapons

From the New South Network:

What? A presentation by Linda Cataldo Modica

Northeast Tennessee Activist and Organizer with Erwin Citizens Awareness Network, the Aerojet Action Project of the Appalachian Peace Education Center (APEC)

and the Core Team of Sierra Club’s National Nuclear Free Campaign

When & Where? March 2 Saturday 7pm to 9pm. Top Floor, Battery Park Apartments, One Battle Square, Downtown Asheville, N.C.

Focuses on Eastern Tennessee’s Uranium & Nuclear Weapons Industry, Community Activism on Public Health around nuclear facilities, local & international organizing efforts, the work of both Tennessee and North Carolina citizen scientists, & the findings from wide spread sampling of surface water, sediment, attic dust & ground water. Also touches on related impacts to Western North Carolina and Asheville due to downwind and downstream movement of radioactive releases, transport of highly radioactive materials on our highways, regional importance to reprocessing, and permanent disposal problems.

The heart of Atomic Appalachia is located in the northeastern corner of Tennessee where several Energy & Defense Department contractors are concentrated. While DOE-contractor, Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS), in Erwin & defense-contractor, Aerojet Ordnance Tennessee, in Jonesborough are the major polluters of our waters, they also discharge radioactive contaminants into the air, as do Studsvik (a nuclear waste processor in Erwin) & AREVA (which downblends weapons-grade uranium at NFS). NFS, Aerojet, Studsvik and AREVA are clustered in the Nolichucky River Watershed. In the Holston Watershed to the north, radioactive waste is dumped at the Carter’s Valley Landfill in Hawkins County. Further down river, past Norris Lake but also in the Holston Watershed, is Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) which, during decades of nuclear weapons production, has dumped 1000 tons of elemental mercury on water-rich southern Appalachia also leaking radioactive wastes into our water, air, and soil.

Concerns about the impact on community health of our area’s nuclear facilities have been palpable for decades, but it is only since the formation of Erwin Citizens Awareness Network & APEC’s Aerojet Action Project that the health concerns of the residents of Erwin & Jonesborough have been publicized & also brought to the attention of state & federal officials.

This presentation will summarize Tennessee Health Department data on cancer incidence rates in Unicoi County (home of NFS, AREVA & Studsvik) & of federal agency reports. It will also make the link between local health consequences of uranium weapons production & of other local nuclear operations with the health impacts – especially on women & children – in war zones. Local & international organizing efforts, the work of both Tennessee and North Carolina citizen scientists, & the findings from widespread sampling of surface water, sediment, attic dust & ground water — collected upstream & downstream of NFS & Aerojet — will also be presented.


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