Regarding your cover article "Repellant" (April 28), about 20 years ago a book was published by radiation scientists Gould and Goldman called Deadly Deceit. The book explained in detail an accident that occurred at the Millstone Nuclear Reactor in Waterford, Conn., about six miles from the town of Old Lyme, in 1975 when many tons of highly radioactive steam was released into the atmosphere. As your article states, later that year (your article incorrectly states that it was 1973), children started coming down with what would later be called Lyme disease.
It is widely understood by the scientific community that radiation causes bacteria and viruses to mutate. This means that a harmless bacteria or virus can become pathogenic (disease causing). Although it cannot be proven that it was radiation from the Millstone Reactor that caused the mutation that created Lyme disease, Gould and Goldman certainly considered it too much of a coincidence, especially since the disease did not exist prior to this accident.
Mr. Hardin (Mailbox, March 31), Tom Voorhees and Ginni Hassrick (Mailbox, April 28) are all correct in not trusting the official line about radiation. Having worked with radioactive isotopes in medical research, I know about the extreme precautions that need to be taken for their safe storage, handling, use and disposal. However, I do believe that the health effects from the radiation leak in Japan will be minimal for us on the North Coast. That cannot be said for the people of Northern Japan.
As many of us already know, the Nuclear Power Industry has a long history of dishonesty. It took many years and many lawsuits for the truth to come out about Three Mile Island, America's worst nuclear accident. The Nuclear Power Industry as well as the government uses a PR technique called "The Mushroom Effect": "Keep people in the dark, feed them bullshit."
Charles Davy, Bayside