Lucas W Hixson may have uncovered a major abuse of the public trust by the NRC. In late March 2011 the NRC issued a directive that allowed the nuclear industry lobbyist group NEI to supply radiation monitoring data to the NRC who would then forward it to the EPA. March 24th the NRC discussed handing over radiation monitoring to nuclear industry lobbyists, April 14th RadNet was shut down and went back to routine monitoring schedules. This meant no ongoing food,water and air filter testing. Only the radiation level monitors were left operating. The EPA claimed that levels were going down as the reason for shutting down the expanded monitoring, but places like Idaho did not have the decreases seen at other sites.
The NRC directive put commercial nuclear power plant owners in charge of voluntarily providing the public with radiation monitoring data but it would be run through their nuclear industry lobbyists before it would then be provided to the NRC. Raw data was not provided directly to the NRC. Considering the massive US nuclear industry offensive to flood the media with propaganda downplaying the Fukushima nuclear disaster, they are hardly a reliable source to tell the public what the radiation levels are.
RadNet itself had many problems, stations didn’t work, some were not calibrated before the disaster. Even more disturbing is that the EPA does not even handle their own radiation monitoring network. The important function falls to a former Bush administration appointee running a business out of a rundown storefront in New Mexico. Under a $238,000 no bid contract Environmental Dimensions supposedly manages, maintains and operates RadNet, the only tool the public has to see if we are being subjected to nuclear fallout. The blogger that broke this story states that Environmental Dimensions has tripled their revenue in recent years. The company cites a different address as their mailing address. This shows up as a tiny house in Albuquerque. EDI was also part of a 12 million dollar contract in 2010 along with a couple of other contractors. The contract provides environmental & remediation services to the US Corps of Engineers. EDI claims to have been in business since 1990 but owner, Ms. Bradshaw worked for the DoD in 2006.
What little system the public has for radiation notification through the EPA has been shuffled off to a no bid contract with spurious origins and the system experienced widespread problems when it was needed most. That system was mostly turned off just over a month after the disaster. The NRC, the agency tasked with protecting the public from nuclear disasters decided to hand everything over to the nuclear industry’s lobbyists.
We will have more on the EPA RadNet issue in an upcoming article.
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