Remembering Three Mile Island
The first is a letter by nuclear whistleblower Paul Blanch to Dr. Rosalie Bertell, an epidemiologist and expert in the health affects of low-level radiation. You can find a copy of the letter online here.
You don't know me but may have read about me in the Time magazine cover story in February 1996 and also the front page of the Wall Street Journal in March 1998. I am a prominent whistleblower who uncovered major corruption within the NRC and my employer Northeast Utilities. As a result of events I uncovered at Millstone, Northeast Utilities was almost bankrupted, and the NRC extremely embarrassed.
I was one of the expert witnesses at the TMI litigation and agree with you there was a major cover-up of vital information. The presidential commissions, the NRC and the DOE are all aware of this cover-up. As an expert witness, I had access to the all the original records. I have documented evidence, which I have given to the NRC, that the primary containment was breached shortly after the hydrogen explosion that occurred on March 30, 1979.
This breach occurred at a time when the radioactivity in the containment was close to its peak. Preliminary estimates indicate that as many as 40 million curies may have been released during the following hours. The NRC and the licensee estimated the maximum of 10 million curies of releases.
Not one of the studies ever even questioned the data that was readily available as it could have alarmed members of the general public. Contact me if you have any questions.
Paul M. Blanch
135 Hyde Rd.
West Hartford, CT 06117
The following statement was made by Jane Rickover, daughter-in-law of Admiral Hyman Rickover, who was known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy." It was notorized by William Lamson on July 18, 1986. Jane Rickover has verified the authenticity of the document and the events described in it. You can find it online here.
In May, 1983, my father-in-law, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, told me that at the time of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident, a full report was commissioned by President Jimmy Carter. He [my father-in-law] said that the report, if published in its entirety, would have destroyed the civilian nuclear power industry because the accident at Three Mile Island was infinitely more dangerous than was ever made public. he told me that he had used his enormous personal influence with President Carter to persuade him to publish the report only in a highly "diluted" form. The President himself had originally wished the full report to be made public.
In November, 1985, my father-in-law told me that he had come to deeply regret his action in persuading President Carter to suppress the most alarming aspects of that report.
[Signed] Jane Rickover
Jane Rickover appeared before me and swore as to the truth of the
Dated at Toronto this 18th day of July A.D. 1986
[Signed] William F. Lamson
William F. Lamson Q.C.
Notary Public for the Province of Ontario
Finally, here is a copy of Bertell's own signed, notarized statement from 1998 on the TMI disaster. It is online here.
I feel that former President Jimmy Carter should come forth with all of the facts surrounding the Three Mile Island Accident, especially those which involved the radiation release and the dose to the public.
This disclosure should, moreover, be in language which can be easily and correctly understood by the public, and not massaged to hide the truth. After the accident, for example, I found that the dose officially assigned to the public, was called: "measured dose to the public from the accident" - where "measured" meant it only included the dose after the rate matres were in place the third day after the accident began; "accident" meant that the radiation dose received during the same time period in 1978 when the TMI reactors were all operating and there was Chinese nuclear test fallout, could be subtracted.
President Carter was, and continues to be by his silence, complicit in keeping the true facts of the Three Mile Island Accident from the American and world public. While it may have been legally although not morally, permissible to withhold this information in 1979 under the guise of national security needs, now that the Cold War is over it is no longer credible that the US government protect the nuclear industry at the cost of the lives and health of its citizens.
As I, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, President of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, stated in my e-mail to President Carter of February 10,1998, President carter was and is involved in the cover up of the Three Mile island Accident, and in particular the serious health damage to the people who lived nearby. I was on the Citizen's Advisory Council to the Blue Ribbon Panel set up by President Carter to investigate the TMI accident. The members of this public panel did not have FBI clearance, with the possible exception of Dr. Kemmeny who had worked on the Manhattan Project. The staff, selected from those who worked for the NRC or DOE, did have such security clearance, and therefore they were able to withhold any information they or their superiors wanted to declare "classified", from the Panel. The nuclear weapons program demanded that workers and the military personnel handle this radioactive material and the nuclear ordinance, therefore health effects of radiation could be classified for national security to prevent rebellion.
At the first meeting of the Citizen's Advisory Council to the Kemmeny Commission, I brought up this potential problem and asked what provisions had been made for the Commission members to have security clearance so that they might have full access to the truth about the accident. Another Advisory Council Member asked who was in charge of reactor operations during the accident. These two questions were never answered, and they were enough to cause the dissolution of the entire advisory panel. In fact, Dr. Kemmeny even stated publicly to the press that we had never been invited to Washington [although the Commission paid our air fare and hotel bills]. The Industry Advisory Council to the Kemmeny Commission continued to function during the investigation.
The nuclear industry has frustrated the litigation of all of the serious health claims of the TMI exposed people, in spite of the Supreme Court's ruling in 1997 that these claims must be heard. Lawyers for the nuclear industry are gloating that they are "invincible" before the Courts. Using dirty tactics, they have managed to eliminate all of the expert witnesses which the victims had engaged to bring their cause before the Court, subsequently causing the cases to be dismissed for lack of witnesses. There may be as many as 2,000 people who have not had their grievances heard by the courts. This dismissal, after the Supreme Court Ruling, as accomplished through a judge's ruling, not through the court hearing which the people had been promised. The people have still, almost 20 years after the accident, not had their day in court!
It is my opinion that former President Carter should come forth and make the truth known so that the court cases for the victims can be reopened. I believe that it should also be made a court ruling that defendants, such as the nuclear industry, should not be allowed to declare their own witnesses the official spokespersons for a branch of knowledge, able to define for the court the methodologies which they accept and practice as the only legitimate ones! It was such a ploy that was used to dismiss the TMI plaintiff's witnesses. This is blatant violation of justice and of the human rights of the victims. It is especially abhorrent in the questions of health effects of radiation, a field of public health which was usurped by the nuclear physicists under the exigencies of potential nuclear war after World War II. Professional Health Physicists are not required to have any training in biology, public health or any medical discipline. Their methodologies are very limited and unacceptable to many professionals in the fields of epidemiology, occupational and public health.
[Signed] Dr. Rosalie Bertell
Notarized by Michele D. Guy, July 10, 1998