On September 1st the National Cancer Institute Will Hold Virtual Briefing about Trinity Test Radioactive Fallout

A Tuesday, September 1st virtual briefing by the National Cancer Institute about their Study to Estimate Radiation Doses and Cancer Risks Resulting from Radioactive Fallout from the Trinity Nuclear Test is set to re-traumatize the Trinity Downwinders and their families.

In 2013, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) first met with members of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium to discuss their proposed study, the Downwinders were more than willing to help.  The Downwinders believed that the federal government had finally decided to return and document the harm done to the People of New Mexico by the first atomic bomb test on July 16, 1945 at the Trinity Test Site.  https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/how-we-study/exposure-assessment/trinity

Over a short amount of time, that trust evaporated.

Early on, NCI promised the Downwinders that they would be able to review the draft reports NCI would prepare for publication.  NCI paid the Downwinders and others to assist them in obtaining the crucial support of Tribal and Pueblo entities that would allow them to move forward.  However, once NCI had the Tribal and Pueblo resolutions, they limited communication with the Downwinders.

Nevertheless, the Downwinders offered a list of concerns about the study and requested that it include the Hispanic members of the communities living adjacent to the Trinity site.  They also queried whether the study could identify enough sources to adequately report about 1945 lifeways firsthand because the number of people still living who could share their memories was limited.

As the study proceeded, the Downwinders registered further concerns.  One question was how the NCI would address the re-suspension of particulate matter from the heavy windstorms that exist in New Mexico.  They also asked about an NCI questionnaire that was about 1945 food sources.  It was clear to the Downwinders that the research done by NCI had not utilized local experts to learn about the lifeways of Native People and Hispanics and how they accessed food in 1945.

In short, it was not clear that the NCI would be responsive to the Downwinders’ questions.

NCI will release six papers about their study on September 1st at 8 am Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).  Those people who register for the virtual briefing will receive digital copies of the six papers by email immediately following publication.  A short summary of the six papers, in both English and Spanish, will also be emailed.

The September 1st one-hour virtual briefing will begin at 2:30 Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).  After a welcome, opening prayer and introductory remarks, a pre-recorded presentation by the principal investigator Dr. Steve Simon will give an overview of the study results.  Finally, thirty minutes is scheduled for questions and discussion.  To register for the virtual briefing, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F5DCQSW.    

NCI is planning to host a second video conference the week of September 7th.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, said, “We’ve been waiting seven years for the NCI to complete and release this million dollar study.  We can only hope it tells the truth about what we all know to be true from our lived experiences and from what science now reflects and supports.”  https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provided the wrong links in their HOLTEC webinar public notice about how the public could connect to yesterday’s (August 25, 2020) presentation– thus disenfranchising the public to participate in the webinar.  Below are the corrected links for today’s (August 26, 2020) webinar, and the Tuesday, September 2, 2020 webinar:

*****Note: Corrected hyperlinks to NRC’s WebEx site*****

SUBJECT: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Conduct Public Online Webinars for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Holtec HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility – August 26, and September 2, 2020

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will conduct additional public meetings via webinar soliciting comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Holtec International’s (Holtec) proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in Lea County, New Mexico.  The draft EIS evaluates potential environmental impacts of Holtec’s request to build and operate the proposed CISF.

The public meeting webinars will be accessible to the public by navigating, on the day and time of the meeting, to the internet link below and entering the event number and password associated with the date of the webinar when prompted.  Telephone access will be required for the audio portion of the meetings and is available by dialing the telephone number and entering the passcode provided below.  The NRC staff will present the results of the draft environmental impact analysis and receive the public’s comments on the draft report.  The NRC invites members of the public to attend the public meeting webinars and to present oral comments on the draft EIS.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – 4:00 pm MT (6:00 pm ET)



Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 278 6216

Event password: HOLTEC


Telephone access:

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459


Wednesday, September 2, 2020 – 9:00 am MT (11:00 am ET)



Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 183 5099

Event password: HOLTEC


Telephone access:

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

The public may also submit written comments on the draft EIS before September 22, 2020.  Members of the public can provide comments by any of the following methods:

    • E-mail to  Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov
    • Online at  https://www.regulations.gov/ (search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0052)
    • US Mail to the following address: Office of Administration, Mail Stop:  TWFN-7-A60M, ATTN:  Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001

The draft EIS can be found on the NRC public webpage for the Holtec CISF license application at https://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/cis/holtec-international.html.  If you do not have internet access, contact the NRC Public Document Room at 800-397-4209 for assistance.  Questions regarding the draft EIS should be directed to Jill Caverly at 301-415-7674 or at Jill.Caverly@nrc.gov.



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