Why Indian Point nuclear power plant needs to be shut down

April 29, 2017- by Steven E. Greer, MD

I have long been a critic of the overuse of CT-scans due to the radiation risks and costs. I’m not sure why, but it has long been a concern of mine going back to medical school. I used to ask radiology residents how much radiation was delivered by a CT-scan, and they had no idea. I knew it was a big case of denial. Hospitals and doctors make too much money from medical imaging to cut back. I recently watched a PBS Nova episode about the Chernobyl nuclear site and how they built the to cover it up. It took 18-years of design and construction. When the Chernobyl reactor blasted, it released 400% more radiation than the Hiroshima bomb. To date, there have been more than 2,000 people who worked on the site clean up site who have died from radiation.

In surrounding areas, the rates of grotesquely deformed fetuses with cyclopia, anencephaly, etc. was huge. A group of UCSF researchers used the exposure data from Chernobyl to conclude that low doses of radiation causes leukemia.

Yet, despite these risks, major urban areas, like New York City, have nuclear power plants, with bad track records, still operating. Governor Cuomo has promised to shut down the Indian Point plant, but not until many years from now.  There is no real urgency.

Indian Point has already been found to be leaking dangerous levels of radiation. If a meltdown occurred due to an earthquake or human error, millions of people would be exposed to deadly radioisotopes, such as cesium.

It is time to shut down Indian Point now, not in 2020.

This entry was posted in - Opinion, - Policy, CDC, Congress, Emergency medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, UC San Francisco. Bookmark the permalink.

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