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March 5, 1973

Nuclear Fuel Hazards

Author Affiliations

Moorestown, NJ

JAMA. 1973;223(10):1158-1159. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220100052022

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To the Editor.—  Many of the points emphasized by Press "Nuclear and Fossil-Fueled Plants Generating Electricity" (22:1281, 1972) need to be thoroughly developed so that physicians are properly informed of the environmental hazards of nuclear generating plants. Dr. Press listed only one reference—M. Eisenbud's thesis (Science 144:288, 1964)—which claimed that a 1,000-megawatt coal-fired plant would release to the atmosphere each year 28 millicuries of radionuclides. Based on this claim, Eisenbud and others have attempted to exonerate nuclear plants from any possible comparable criticism as emitters of radioactivity.The fallacy of coal-fired plants creating harmful radioactivity has been laid to rest through an exchange of letters between the Scientists Institute for Public Information, Dr. Glenn Seaborg, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and the National Coal Association. The fact is that coal-fired plants emit no fission products.Dr. Press included a chart in his article that "represents an estimate of the