January 6th, 2001

Re: Tragic events show additional dangers from hydroelectric power

Amidst airplanes crashing into walls (Buena Park, CA), mountains (Boulder, CO), cotton fields (Louisiana), and buildings (apparently intentionally, but none dare call it terrorism, in Tampa, FL), all in the past day (wow, what a day!), you may have missed a very sad incident which proves that those who worry more about hydroelectric power's dangers than about the dangers from nuclear power plants -- while appearing utterly mad at the outset -- are not entirely incorrect.

In Tbilisi, Georgia (part of the former Soviet Union), three lumberjacks were irradiated with Strontium-90 and have been hospitalized in serious condition, according to an AP report in today's North County (CA) Times.

The victims found two containers of Strontium-90 which are "believed to have been used as signal beacons during the construction of a nearby hydroelectric plant 30 years ago."  Hundreds of local villagers are in a panic, officials said.

The Soviet Union has poisoned the Earth with more man-made radiation than any other country, but there are a number of contenders for the notorious title.  Among our own abuses is this one:

The United States Navy has placed hundreds of thousands of listening devices, mostly powered with radioactive materials such as Plutonium-238 and Strontium-90, in the oceans to listen for Russian submarines.  It's high time we insist that the Navy go and get these devices.  If they wish to replace them with benign solutions, that's their business.

This message written by:
Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

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