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January 18, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-18

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Page 4-Thursday, January 18, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Rocky as: ore is e to come
By Dan sRose water supply of nearby Broomfield, Colorado. The their actions. The case is under appeal. The "truth force" if the court engages in speculation, possibilities, or
and Pauline Toole plutonium-soaked farmland is currently being razed and promises further activities. conjecture."
The plutonium trigger device for every nuclear shipped to Idaho for disposal. In the course of the trial; numerous experts in scientific Goldberger did not dispute the testimony of the
warhead manufactured in the U.S. comes from the Rocky A state regulatory commission detected sustained "low and health fields testified to the dangers at Rocky Flats. Dr. witnesses, but said that the defense did not prove that
Flats Nuclear Plant in Colorado. The plant, built in 1952 by levels" of radiation in 1974. That same year, a study Karl Morgan, the founder of the field of health" physics blocking the railroad spur would halt or seriously affect the
the United States Energy Research and Development released by the American Energy Commission reported which is concerned with the effects of radiation on health, operations of the plant.
Administration, is now operated by Rockwell International. that 200 employees at Rocky Flats suffered from plutonium concluded that the Rocky Flats plant should be shut down "It is this court's opinion that this statute (affecting
Every nuclear warhead - that adds up to a substantial contamination. Also in 1974, Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm and relocated no less than 50 kilometers from any' criminal trespassing and unlawful, obstruction of a
number of weapons and a fantastic amount of plutonium appointed a task force to investigate conditions at Rocky settlement. passageway) was not designed to justify an act of civil
which presents a potential hazard to anyone or anything in Flats. Rocky Flats should never have built at that location, Morgan, who calculated the internationally accepted disobedience or protest. The courts of Colorado may not be
theminmediate area. the task force concluded. It recommended that Rocky Flats level of allowable internal radiation, (the level of radiation used as political or legislative forums," the judge ruled.
Denver, the sixth largest city in the U.S., is 15 miles be phased out of existence. And an environmental impact the human body can absorb), said "The safety standards But Rocky Flats is not alone, observers have remarked
northwest of the Rocky Flats nuclear plant. statement issued in 1977 stated that further radiation leaks set for Rocky Flats are not even as stringent as those set for that the anti-nuke demonstrations could lead to a return to
Rocky Flats, a small town surrounded by the majesty from Rocky Flats are unavoidable. conventional nuclear reactors." the "sixties level of activism". Participants generally
of the Rocky, Mountains which loom in the distance, is the Dr. Carl Johnson of the Jefferson County Health He said even these standards are not strict enough. disavow such remarks.
transportation hub for radioactive material transport in the Department claims that Rocky Flats exposes the 1.6 million "The 1959 standards that I set give a false sense of security. Nonetheless, in the past few years, the number of
U.S. In addition to producing every American nuclear people who live in the Denver area to a rate of risk for In 1959 it was thought that the cancer risks from plutonium nuclear protest groups has increased dramatically.
warhead trigger device the plant occasionally retools Seabrooke, New Hampshire spawned the Clamshell
triggers of aging nuclear warheads from the world-wide Alliance which in turn gave rise to an entire group of
U.S. arsenal. Also, radioactive waste from nuclear similar organizations: Conchshell, Crabshell, Oystershell,
armaments plants around the country are collected at -and Seashell alliances. The organizations all link forces
Rocky Flats and then dispersed to temporary nuclear under the Mobilization for Survival, a national anti-nuke
waste disposal areas. umbrella group.
Rocky Flats has also been considered as aconstruction? NTI-NUCLEAR protest groups have been in Anti-nuclear protest groups have been in existence for
site for the new, controversial neutron bomb - the weapon . .n.c. decades. What is significant at present is the welding of two
which kills people but leaves buildings intact. Last July existence for decades. What is significant at distinct and prevalent anti-nuclear forces - the
President Carter postponed the actual construction of present, the of two distinct environmentalists and the disarmament activists. Rocky
neutron bombs, but okayed a project to assemble trigger however, is welding Flats Action Group exemplifies this trend.
devices for the neutron bomb at the Rocky Flats plant. and prevalent anti-nuclear forces - the Dr. Everett Mendelsohn, the head of Harvard
Because of its importance to the nuclear establishment, environmentalists and the disarmament activists. University's History of Science Department, described the
Rocky Flats has emerged as a prime target for anti-nuke linkage between nuclear weaponry and nuclear energy at a
forces. Since 1974 the Rocky Flats Action Group has led a Rocky Flats Action Group exemplifies this trend. Colorado symposium on nuclear power early last year.
campaign to close the plant. Last spring the group garnered "Conceived in warfare, born in guilt, nuclear energy was
national attention when 5,000 demonstrators rallied at nurtured in the belief in the technological fix . . . The
Rocky Flats to demand the closing of the plant. The question that we've asked in one form or another ever
gathering included dissenters from all parts of the country. since, is: Can the warfare atom and the peaceful atom be
Prominent members of the left, such as Alan Ginsberg, separated?"
Daniel Ellsberg, and Stokley Carmichael, came to speak disease equal to that of plant employees, who come into were low. Now they know differently, yet the standard The Rocky Flats Truth Force and scores of nuclear
against the nuclear threat to society which is epitomized by close contact with radioactive material each day. remains low." opponents say no, pointing to places like Rocky Flats,
the Rocky Flats plant. Johnson has compiled statistics which indicate a higher Dr. John Goffman, professor of physics at the Hanford, Washington, or Savannah River, South Carolina,
Anti-nuclear forces have clamored so long about incidence of lukemia, lung cancer, and birth defects among University of California, Berkeley who isolated the first the sites of government nuclear reactors. Many contend the
imminent holocausts that their claims tend to be people who live near Rocky Flats than anywhere else in the milligram of plutonium and has spent 32 years as an air, soil, and water are continually contaminated by
disregarded by a skeptical public and downplayed by the country. epidemiologist, testified that only one-millionth of a gram nuclear waste seeping out of these plants.
media. But the danger at Rocky Flats is very real. Consider The Rocky Flats protest was billed as the first in this of plutonium causes cancer. The opponents say that the nuclear industry uses
the history of the plant. nation against the neutron bomb. The speakers enumerated From his review of government documents, he said he nuclear energy as a mask to develop more and more
Rocky Flats has suffered more than 200 fires in the past the threats represented by the plant. After the exuberance calculated that the Rocky Flats plant has released between extensive and damaging nuclear weaponry and that the
26 years, including the second worst industrial fire in the of the rally, 50 members of the Rocky Flats Truth Force one-third and one-half of a pound of plutonium into the attendant technology will be ultimately used for military
United States. That fire, in 1969, destroyed $20 million worth participated in a civil disobedience action - a sit-in on the atmosphere. Goffman predicted that two of every 100 purposes. Uttering words that have been repeated
of plutonium - enough plutonium to manufacture 77 bombs little-used railroad tracks leading to the plant. people in the area will die of lung cancer - caused solely by innumerable times, they speak of human error and air
like those dropped on Nagasaki. Unknown amounts of They were arrested for violating the trespass act and plutonium. fears that a monolithic nuclear dependency - whether for
radioactive particles were released into the Colorado sky. unlawfully obstructing a passageway. Ten of the He advocated closing the plant and somewhat military purposes or for energy usage - will destroy us all.
ELeven thousand acres of farmland were contaminated defendants were tried on these charges, including Ellsberg. facetiously recommended that the plant be buried
when 1,200 barrels of plutonium-tainted oil, buried at the Early in January, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge underground in some remote area of the country. Despite
Rocky Flats site, rusted and leaded underground. The oil Kim Goldberger found the 10 guilty of trespassing and the testimony of the experts, Judge Goldberger ruled that Dan Rose is a student at the University of Colorado.
also filtered beneath the water table and into the drinking sentenced them to five months of suspended probation for the dangers caused by the plant "are not imminent except Pauline Toole is a former Daily staff writer.

01 e mtcbtgan B3atIly
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

President

Angell

on

the

Union

I.

Vol. .XXXIX, No. 90

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

v

A question of priorities

MAJOR ISSUES on this campus,
such as the morality of the Uni-
versity's investments, war related
research, or the lack of student ser-
vices, are often resolved for better or
worse, permanently or temporarily, on
one day, after a relatively short
discussion-at the Regents' meeting.
Today is such an occasion. Today the
Regents will virtually end all major
discourse on the fate of the Michigan
Union.
For some time various student
groups, faculty members, ad-
ministrators, and Regents have
discussed what to do with the Union. It
is an ailing structure which sorely
lacks the ambiance generally
associated with a campus student
union. It was designed as a place for
students-just men at first-to make
new acquaintances. As University
President James Angell said in 1907,
the Michigan Union was intended to
provide a "headquarters orhome" for
students. President Angell made an in-
teresting choice of words to define the
Union.
Around the turn of the century it was
not very easy for students to go home
for the weekend and there certainly
was not much in Ann Arbor to occupy
their time other than studies. And, of
course, the school was much smaller
then. All that existed was a small
community of students in the midst of
a large farming area. A student Union
as President Angell described was just
common sense. It gave students the
feeling of belonging.
Now, students think nothing of
driving to Detroit for the night or going
home for a weekend, even if they live
in New York. There are numerous bars
and restaurants within walking distan-
ce of campus. And most students live
in non-University housing. The em-

second-rate citizens in a community
which was developed for their benefit.
It appears that there is little need for
the kind of institution of which
President Angell once spoke. But just
the opposite is true.
More than ever students need a place
on campus which they can call their
own, or rather home. Students now
tend to fall into cliques in their first
year and often leave the University af-
ter four years not knowing anyone out-
side of a small circle of friends.
Students come to a University to ex-
pand their horizons, to meet others
who have different backgrounds and
different perspectives. There is .no
such place on this campus today which
exist for that purpose. A Union that
exists solely for students would restore
some of the needed emphasis on the
total student welfare.
But the Regents have had -some
trouble accepting the idea of a Union
run for the benefit of students. Some
Regents are concerned about the
commitment to life-long Union mem-
bers-anyone who is a University
graduate: The Regents say that the
hotel in the Union should always be
reserved for these life-long members,
despite the fact that the hotel space
could be used for much needed dorm
rooms for students. But how many life-
long Unikon members can be proud of
the Union as it is today? It would seem
that most alumni would rather see a
vibrant Union alive with student ac-
tivities. And the students who graduate
today, how attached could they be to a
building which only served as a point of
reference when giving directions?
We can only hope that the Regents
will think of students' welfare first and
last today when they decide for what
and who the Union exists. All students

An extract from the.
President. James B..
1907.

Annual Message of
Angell for the year

The organization of the students known
as the Michigan Union will prove to be an
event of much importance in the life of the
University, if the expectations of its
promoters are in any considerable degree
realized. Its aim is to establish a sort of
headquarters or home, to which the students
may resort in their leisure hours and there
cultivate acquaintance with each other.
They have now no common meeting place
where they may meet in friendly social
intercourse. Members of fraternities may
indeed meet in their respective houses. But
members of different fraternities have no
gathering place, where they may form
social ties with each other, but a majority of
our students are not members of
fraternities. For the last three or four years
a large number of our students and some of
the members of the faculties have been
carefully considering the problem of finding
a method of facilitating the intercourse of
our young men with each other. Their effort
has finally resulted in the purchase of the
residence of the late Judge Cooley as the
home of the Michigan Union. The society is
making such alterations in the house as will
adapt it to its new purpose. The situation
contiguous to the campusuis most fortunate.
The associations of the house, so long the
abode of one of the most distinguished and
beloved of our Professors, lend great
interest to it. If the Union; which is open to
all students at a moderate cost, is widely
conducted, the advantages should be very
great. There is no graduate of a college who
does not-recall some of the friendships.
formed with fellow students as not only the
most charming feature of his
undergraduate life, but also as having made
as deep and abiding impression on his mind
andcharacter as the instruction received
from his teachers. We have done too little to
furnish facilities for our students to meet
each other in their leisure hours and profit
by social intercourse. We may well do
whatever we can to encourge the students in
establishing themselves favoring conditions
in the home of the Michigan Union. And our
Alumni can render no better service to us
than by coming to the aid of the students
with generous contributions for the refitting

President James B. Angell

1

I

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