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December 04, 1974 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-12-04

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r

Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Fission studies spell

danger

Wednesday, December 4, 1974

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Arms agreement deceptive

IN THE WAKE of the Vladivostok
arms agreement, President Ford
Monday night presented the press
with a mesmerizing blend of the
pact's particulars and implications.
Ford hailed the pact as one that
will "set firm and equal limits on the
strategic forces of each side." He also
emphasized the trimming effect it
will have on the cost of a nuclear
buildup, adding, "It's a good agree-
ment and I believe the American
people will buy it."
On closer inspection, it comes clear
that the pact carries no assurances
that the U. S. defense establishment
has turned the corner on the Balance
of Terror mentality that we fifties
children have been chillingly inured
to.
Ford speaks glowingly of ceilings
and limits; yet he all but ignores the
crucial matter of verifiability. If
neither side is legally allowed to ver-
ify the other's good faith in execut-
ing the agreement, both sides will

certainly resort to illegal and more
costly supervision tactics. 1'
THE INTERNATIONAL power bal-
ance has shifted dramatically
over the past 20 years. Third world
nations have discovered strength in
solidarity and shunted the major
power clamp, on their resources.
Ford tells us we've seen an end to
the bomb boom. What we should re-
member is that no limit has been
placed on the destructive power of
individual weapons, that the pact will
not even dent the already unwieldy
defense budget, and that we will
clandestinely spend untold billions to
verify Soviet adherence to the pact
for lack of a legal verification means.
At a time when so many world-
wide crises demand American atten-
tion, we cannot afford to approve, by
default or otherwise, the American
militarists' tenacious belief in a
working overkill capacity as the best
way to serve "American" interests.
-PAUL HASKINS

By SUE WILHELM
IN THESE DAYS of fuel em-
bargoes and energy short-
ages, one is constantly hearing
how alternative energy sources
must be developed. Of the many
workable alternatives suggested,
the most controversial seems to
be nuclear fission. While many
people agree that the theory
behind nuclear fission is a via-
ble one, there remains great
doubt as to how safe it is.
Basically what happens dur-
ing nuclear fission is that uran-
ium is bombarded with neutrons,
some of which are absorbed by
the uraniim nuclei. These excit-
ed nuclei then split into two
nuclei of smaller mass, releas-
ing energy and other neutrons.
The energy released heats a
cooling agent, converting it to
steam which then powers an
electric generator to produce
electricity.
The controversy centers around
two main points: the safety of
the reactors themselves, and
the possible formation of an ex-
tremely toxic radioactive by-
product - Plutonium-239.
ALTHOUGH THE existing
nuclear power operators insist
that no public harm can result
from exposure to the normal
radioactive discharges from nuc-
lear power plants, other people
are not so sure.
Dr. Gerald Drake of Petosky
has been keeping close track of
health patterns in Charlevoix
County where the Consumer
Power Company's Big Rock
Point nuclear power plant is lo-
cated.
His study, conducted over a
;ive-vear period from 1967
through 1971, reveals some ra-
ther disturbing facts. During
this time, the infant mortality
rate in Charlevoix County was
49 per cent higher than any
other placein Michigan. The
rates of leukemia and o t h e r
cancer-related deaths also were
significantly higher.
These figures may or may
not be significant in themselv-
es; percentageschanges can be
drastic when such sm~all tin-
bers are being used. These fig-
ures do suggest, however, that
a more detailed study is needed
and that until then extreme cau-
tion should be exercised.

(AEC). The. recent disclosure
that the commission has been
suppressing studies by i.s own
scientists which found nu ,lear
reactors to be more dangerous
than was officially acxnowledg-
ed and which raised quest.ons
about reactor safety devices
make one wonder just how well
they are doing their jon.
Documents demonstrate that
the Commission ignored recom-
mendations from its own s:;en-
tists for further research on key
safety questions. They a i s o
show that at least twice t b e
commission consulted with the
industry it was supposedly re-
gulating before deciding not to
publish a study cri'ical of its
safety procedures.
It appears that the AEC is
more concerned with get+ing
nuclear energy off the ground
than with the safety of the peo-
ple involved.
According to spokespersons at
one nuclear power plant in West
Valley, New York, the radiation
doses received by its workers
are well within the allowable
lifetime range set by the AEC.
But plant inspection reports pre-
sent a number of telling mci-
dents of workers' skin being
punctured by plutonium necdles
and the like. One worker's head
was so contaminated that it left
radiation on his pillow.
IF THE ESTABLISHED reg-
ulations allow these kinds of
things to happen, what possible
purpose can they be serving?
If the company is not within
AEC regulations, why aren't the
regulations being enforced Ei-
ther way, the AEC comes out
holding the short and of t h e
stick.
During nuclear fission a very
dangerous byproduct is formed
- Pltonium-239. This substance
is perhaps the most toxic ma-
terial known to man; one thir-
tv-millionth of an ounce ters
than one grain of pollen) can
cause lethal cancer if inhaied
or swallowed. One tablespoon of
P-239 represents the official
maxium upermissible bod,7 bur-
den for 200 billion naeple.
The problem results from the
fact that once the P-239 is form-
ed, there is no way to get rid
of it. The only thing tnat can be
done with it is to put it in
storage until it deca.s. With a
radio-active half-life of 24,000
years, the substance would have
to be perfectly contained for at
least 100,000 years.

ONE OTHER interesting as-
pect of plutonium is that o n e
can make a very effective nuc-
lear weapon with only a few
pounds of it. This could really
boost the terrorist and black-
mailing business.
In the next quarter of a cen-
tury, the AEC plans to license
1,000 nuclear power plants in
the United States. By the year
2,000, these plants will be pro-
ducing 60 per cent of our eec-
tricity. They will also be pro-
ducing 660,000 pounds of pluton-
ium annually.
It is interesting to note that
although policy is being plan-
ned according to these bnng
range projections, the gnt'ern-
ment and the nuclear power in-
drstry agree that by the year
2000, nuclear fission could con-
tribute no more than 30 per cent
of our energy. The other seven-
ty per cent would still have to
come from non-nuclear sources.
The problems of safeguarding
the plutonium wastes produced
by such a system would be im-
mense. An analysis done by two
scientists and a staff attorney
from the National Resources De-
fense Council expressed great
skepticism that such a task can
be accomplished.
Present safeguard in asjres
are admittedly inadequate, and
ungrading them to the needed
level would be extrempiv d f-
ficult. One of the biggest ob-
stacles to improving safeguards
can be found in the nuclear now-
er industries' strenuous opposi-
tion to stricter controls.
IN A WORLD where law en-
forcement officials have diffiul-
tv securing confiscated heroin,
how are they ever going to Se
able to maintain nerpetial se-
clrity over the im-n1'ns quan-
tities of plutonium which is go-
ine to be produced?
There is one nossihl!, ise for
all this plutonium. Scienz sts
are experimenting with asnc-
ial tyne of fast breeder reac-
tor which would be p weeed by
P-239.
This reactor is, ho-v-r, very
much in the experiment,-l saog-
es and it will take ,-me time
before such a devic- can le
put into operation. Evem if the
fast breeder reactor is success-
fusl, do we really want to hi se
our energy system a sucn a
dangerous substance?
The possibility of accidents
occuring in a nuclear reactor
or storage area can not ne ignr-

Economy proves aloss

WHILE PRESIDENT Ford tries to
flog the economy into shape with
his anti-inflation whip, soaring un-
employment, expected to reach seven
per cent of the work force by next
month, indicates the weapon has lost
its clout. Two hundred thousand auto
workers will be layed off next month,
and it is predicted with chilling cer-
tainty that unemployment in the
auto industry will hit the 20 per cent
mark this winter.
These and other headline-making
statistics are not signs of an ailing
economy responding favorably to the
president's conservative economic
program..
Ford's economic policy is directed
at thwarting the inflation monster
he has labeled public enemy No. 1.
But now that unemployment has
worked its way up alongside inflation,
changes in that policy are clearly in
order. In gearing up for the inflation
fight, Ford called for a halt in the
rapid increase in federal spending
and curtailed growth of the monetary
supply. That policy places a damper
on economic activity and contributes
to rising unemployment, consequen-
eps Ford hoped to battle with reme-
dial programs.
OTHERWISE OPTING for a laissez-
faire approach, Ford denounced
wage and price controls and any
mandatory means of fuel conserva-
tion. He passed out shiny WIN but-
tons, urging Americans like an over-
grown cheerleader to "whip inflation
now."
Unmoved by Ford's appeal, the
economy continued its lack-luster
performance, slackening until even
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Dan Blugerman, Cindy Hill,
Ann Marie Lipinski, Cheryl Pilate'
Stephen Selbst
Editorial Page: Paul Haskins, Debra
Hurwitz, Steve Stojic, Becky Warner
Arts Page: Ken Fink
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan
t4
},

Ford was forced to admit that we are
caught in a recession. Action more
concrete than the old college try and
pep rally style buttons is required to
remedy the present situation.
Ford's aides continue to toss
around the idea of an increase in the
gasoline tax, although the president
has so far refused to play ball. Last
week the measure assumed new ur-
gency with Canada's announcement
that all its exports of crude oil to this
country would be phased out by 1982.
Our largest supplier of foreign petro-
leum will begin slashing its supply by
100 barrels a day this January. Even
Henry Ford II, chairman of the Ford
Motor Company took a solitary stand
among most auto makers and work-
ers, calling for a tax increase last
week.
HTOWEVER, THE president, backed
by Treasury Secretary William
Simon and the chairman of the
Council of Economic Advisers, Allen
Greensnan, continues to balk at such
measures.
According to the New York Times,
Simon, in a burst of opnosition to
stimulative action, declared recently,
"I will resist these pressures with
every ounce of strength I have. We
have been heading in a dangerous
direction . . . the danger of killing
the system that has given us the
highest standers of living in the
world."
A newly elected. heavily Democratic
Conoress deenly concerned with re-
cession and unemployment will un-
doubtedly lash out at that kind of
brash thinking. Ford will have to get
cracking and shift his conservative
policy under the whip of Congress.
As a presidential candidate for 1976,
Ford must be attuned to a voting pub-
lic increasingly pessimistic about the
economic outlook. Voters with empty
pocket books and little job security
don't normally reward an incumbent
with another term.
-SARA RIMER

ed either. Regardless of what
anyone says, accidents happen
and since a serious one ,iay
mean the annihilation of a city
the size of New York or Ph:l-
adelphia, there is just caus, to
be concerned.
Even in areas of high tech-
nological competence, coilinued
success can lead'to rxl'wed vig-
ilance. It wasn't co) on-g-3-o
that we managed to iiinerate
three astrona'its i i a - e r v
straightforward accilert where
the utmost precautions were Ll-
leeedlv heiru taken.
DR. H NNES, el aureate
in physics, summed up all :!,e
possibilities when 1 wrote'
"Fission energy IS on. if
a number of critiyl devices
work as they sho'il I]; n o-ti-
her of peonle in k v !ni5!tiis
follow all their ins uctiov, if
there is no sabotage, no hn ,-
ing of the trarspor's, if no re-
actor fuel processing plant or

reprocessing plant or repository
anywhere in the world issit-
uated in a region of riots or
guerrilla activity, and no revolu-
tion or war - even a 'conven-
tional one' - takes place in
these regions.
"The enormous q'iantities of
extremely dangerous material
must not get into th, hands of
ignorant people or de~pei adoes.
No acts of God can be permit-
ted."
The trend towards nuclear
power may be inevrabVe. But
certrinl, before the final decis-
ion is made, m'ich more i e-
sear-h needs to be domi, and all
tfe facts must be made public.
The people have tle right to
make the ultimate le-Isixn, and
the world hns a rigit to know
%0ht it is letting itself in for.
Ste Wilhelm is a writer for
The DailY's Editorial Page.

THE
nuclear
gulated
Atomic

SAFETY standards of
power plants are re-
and controlled by the
Energy Commission

Letters

to

The

Daily

\ .
'
5
i
Y 4" ;.
°t'
i
'

4

'relief bowl'
To The Daily:
MILLIONS OF dollars a r e
spent annually on college foot-
ball in America. Mi:higan's
narrow defeat by Ohio State
was a disappointment to thous-
ands of fans who felt we deserv-
ed a trip to the Rose Bow). The
energy, interest, concern, and
money involved in our spr.rts
program are phenomenal.
At the same time that we are
concerned with the scores of
Big Ten football, however, mil-
lions of people are dying of
starvation. It seems strange
and ironic that people in Africa
and throughout the woid a r e
daily concerned with 4croung-
ing enough food to star alive
while we celebrate over Thanks-
giving dinners.
Consequently, we pro7ooe an
"unofficial" Relief Bow! here
in Ann Arbor on New Year's
Day. Let our football team play
in a bowl game by inviting un-
ranked Oklahoma in a Re ief
Bowl to provide funds to begin
alleviating the problems of
world starvation. Although this
may have to be an unofficial
move by individual Mlayers at
both schools, we could become
involved in a very serious world
problem by allowing tw3 great
football teams to play. Lit s put
great football to better u3e than
selling razor blades!
WHAT BETTER way to give
fans, alumni, and studens a
good football game, give some
really positive publicity to the
University, and feed a starv-
ing child? What do you say, Ian
Canham and Bo? How about
it, players?
-KentKargel
Chris LaBeau
Norm Nickle
December 2
freedom march
To The Daily:
AS BOSTON enters its third
month of court-order-d busing,
violent attacks and racial in-
sults continue against black stu-
dents. A National Freedom
March for Human Dignity has
been called for December 14
at the Boston Commons by
black and trade union leaders.
William Owens, Massachusetts
.tt. -~nrw~.t namd nmhm.

situated know that we will r.o
longer tolerate the injustices
that are being perpetrated on
our children."
Why participate in another de-
monstration? What good will it
do? Florynce Kennedy, a New
York City attorney answers
those questions, sayi ig. "T h e
racists understand that what's
going on in Boston is a national
issue, and they have been mobil-
izing on a national scale. The
racists marching in Boston will
speak for all of -is unless we
answer them."
TWO OF THE first historical
parallels that emerged from
the recent events in Boston were
with Little Rock and Selma,
Alabama. The rights won by
the Civil Rights MAovement in
the 1960's were won by national
mass actions. If the racism in
Boston goes unanswered, it will
not only mean a victory against
the black community in Boston,
but a setback for the entire Civ-
il Rights Movement.
Already, the effects of the
situation in Boston can be seen
throughout the country. T h e
U.S. Supreme Court has ruled
against busing in Detroit and
Richmond, Virginia. In New
York, an earlier busing plan is
being watered down by state
authorities.
The code words of "forced
busing" and "neighborhood
schools" lose their meaning when
closely examined. First, the rac-
ist actions in Boston have been
encouraged by the school com-
mittee and city council, it spite
of the court order for busing.
SECOND, BUSING has exist-
ed in Boston for years. As Wil-
liam Owens explained, "The is-
sue in Boston is not busng.
That's a charade. For years
white parents bused their child-
ren into the heart of predormn-
antly black Roxbury to attend
the quality technical high school
there. They never balked at
that. It is only now when we
talk about equality of resources
that they balk."
The real issue in Roston is
the right of black children to
attend desegregated schools in
search of a better education.
Reactionary tactics of pitt;ng
ethnic group against ethnic
group, of dividing the working
rlnm nmyinst itselfare well

"We HAVE witnessed w h a t
was believed to be the destruc-
tion of racism in the South, only
to see it rise with the, support
of President Ford in the N.o t'
"We have watched and we
have waited for some relief to
come to our people in tile Bos-
ton area as they suffered these
pains of humiliation, but none
came. Instead, we witnessed the
Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux
Klan and the American Nazi
party come out of their darkness
and despair to be reborn, and
fed by the racist whites in South
Boston."
More than 400 individuals and
organizations have endorsed the
Dec. 14 Freedom March. Among
the sponsoring organizations
are: Coalition of Black Trade
Unionists, Black Caucus of The
Communications Workers of
America, National Council of
Churches, Commission for the
Elimination of Racism, Scuth-
ern Conference Educational
Fund, and the American Feder-
ation of Teachers, Local 672.
If we in Ann Arbor and the.
surrounding area are to show
both our abhorrence of the rac-
ist attack against the Boson
black community, and our sup-
port for civil rights of all Amer-
icans, we must join in building
the National Freedom March
now.
THERE WILL BE a planning
meeting on Dec. 4, at Confer-
ence Room 1 and 2, Michigan
League, 7:30 p.m., to which all
organizations and individuals
are invited in order to provide
transportation and build sup-
port for this important action -
to turn back the violence and
racism in Boston. The Freedom
Riders went South in the 60's;
we've got to go North, to Bos-
ton, now.
-Deborah Mutnick
Marty Pettit
Dec. 2
malpractice
To The Daily:
DEBRA HURWITZ'S editorial
on medical malpractice suits in
today's Daily leaves at least
one very important question un-
answered. What portion of the
malpractice s u i t s brought
against Michigan physicians are
legitimate attempts to recover
financially some loss due to
poor medical treatment and

To The Daily:
SINCE ARRIVING on cam-
pus the 1st of July this year,
I have read numerous articles
that downgrade the military in
general and the Army in partic-
ular. Admittedly I may be bias-
ed, being a professional soldier;
however, I also try to be objec-
tive whenever I judge some-
thing. I only wish that some
of your readers and staff would
do the same.
In your November 13th issue
the Army once again takes it
on the chin with the article by
Ms. Beth Nissen. In his article
she stated that "The United
States Army granted parole to
convicted murderer, Lieutenant
William Calley." My Freshman
Comp II instructor would have
to place this in the category of
a "glittering generality."
In truth it was the Secretary
of the Army, Howard Calloway,
a civilian political appointee,
that granted the parole. I might
also point out that this parole
is not effective until November
19, after Calley completes one
third of his 10-year, commuted
sentence.
LIEUTENANT CALLEY, as
most people know already, was
originally convicted by an Army
General Courts-Martial for the
murder of 22 Vietnamese civil-
ians. He was given a sentence
of life imprisonment, forfeiture
of pay and allowances and re-
duction to the lowest enlisted
grude. That sentence was later
reduced to 10 years imprison-
ment, forfeiture and reduction

often made not by the ph
but by the physician's in
company. If a large nui
the suits are legitimate t
system requires no chan
if the majority of suits
tempts to make mone
both patients and doctors
MEDICINE, by its
does involve risk. Life,
nature, also involves r
what? If a physician p
to the best of his abil
that ability meets the st
set by his professiona
government and compl
or even death still result
to blame? The physicia
patient? God?
--Jeff Ogden
November 21

ysician
surance
mber of
hen the
age, but
are at-
y then
suffer.
nature,
by its
'isk. So
erforms
ity and
andards
and the
ications
t who is
an? The
army

Army Disciplinary Barracks,
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Judge Elliott's latest move
was to grant Calley his freedom
on his personal recognizance in
lieu of $1,000 bond.
The point I'm trying to make
is that the Army did try to pun-
ish Lieutenant Calley. Civilian
appointees are the ones that are
setting him free.
CONTRARY TO what some
may believe, the blame of the
Vietnamese War should not be
placed upon the Army. We are
not the ones that start wars,
we fight them. The decision to
become involved in Southeast
Asia was made by those respon-
sible for foreign policy, our
presidents.. This decision was
given the concurrence of the
Congress, they provide the
funds for which to purchase war
materials. If we must blame
someone, let's put the blame
where it belongs, on those ci-
vilians that were elected to of-
fice.
The conduct of the war was
also dictated by our civilian
heads of state. Possibly a rea-
son why our involvement lasted
so long and the actual conflict
is still going on. I am sure that
had they been given absolute
authority, our military com-
manders could have arrived at
a more conclusive, humane, and
quicker solution.
Finally, for those of you that
feel that you must express
yourselves, please, be factual
and do not use "glittering gen-
eralities."
-Garold A. Klabunde
Sergeant Major
United States Army
November 14
prisoners
To The Daily:
I AM writing in hopes that you
will be kind enough to put my
name and address along with a
friend of mine in your campus
newspaper in regards to cor-
resnondence.
We are two men incarcerated,
without any family or friends,
and we seek correspondence
with anyone wishing to corre-
spond.
We would be grateful if you
will consider our plea. Thank

, A

J..fr722z

: ...
,a
l" 7w_ /

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