Jan 29 2009
07:49 am

Compare and contrast the reporting:

Knoxville News Sentinel

Nashville Tennessean

The other interesting thing is that United Mountain Defense, a ragtag band of volunteer environmental activists operating with virtually no budget and living off the charity of residents at the spill site, seem to be the only ones asking the tough questions.

Factchecker's picture

Apple, meet orange

"It's very low. It's much lower than an X-ray. It's not at a level that should cause public concern," [ORNL associate director]Christensen said.

This sounds meaningless to me. An individual x-ray produces a dosage. The coal ash produces a dosage as a rate over time. How much time exposure to the ash (not to mention at what proximity) does it require to get an x-ray's worth of radiation? (And not considering that all x-rays do not emit the same amount of radiation.)

And in what durations are people being exposed to the ash?

R. Neal's picture

When it comes to reporting

When it comes to reporting on TVA, the KNS policy seems to be that offsetting negative news or tough questions with an equal amount of PR spin and BS equals "fair and balanced."

I can't imagine that reporter Scott Barker subscribes to this, and you have to wonder how much of it is editorial pressure v. throw it all out there and let the readers sort it out or...?

WhitesCreek's picture

UMD seems to go over the top

UMD seems to go over the top on the things they report. I think they mean well and are doing some good things but they've needlessly scared a bunch of people when they could have checked into things a bit before they went off. Perhaps that balances the "nothing to see here" we got from local officials when this began, but I would rather they stick to the facts and relate the data to things we can understand. The ashvalanche is bad enough and there is no need to exaggerate. This disaster is still a disaster.

The report mostly means that you want to wash the stuff off if you get it on you and don't eat or breathe it. The toxicity compares to ash in a fireplace. I've asked for but not received data on the background levels of these contaminants found in our native soil. All of them are naturally present in our dirt.

I also checked on the dosimeter one of our officials has worn from day one and it shows normal background radiation levels.

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