ALPS, Anglo-Saxon invasion, Baltic pollution, classism, cumbria, E.ON, EEOC, Energy Solutions, Environmental Classism, Environmental racism, ethnicity, Fukushima, Gaelic peoples, garbage workers, half-life, ICRP, ionizing radiation, Lillyhall, Loeb, Martin Luther King, Memphis, Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb, Memphis Tennessee, Mississippi River, nuclear garbage, nuclear industry, nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, nuclear waste classification, nuclear waste consumer goods, poverty, President's Island, RACE Facility, racism, radiation, radiation in the environment, radiation standards, radioactive racism, radioactive waste, recycling nuclear waste, sanitation workers, Sanitation Workers Strike, State of Tennessee, Studsvik, Sweden, Tennessee, US EPA, Vattenfall
In 2009, the Swedish company Studsvik settled over a lawsuit, which said that black employees were subjected “to excessive radiation exposure, more than their white co-workers” at Studsvik’s Memphis, Tennessee, USA, facilty. This was forty one years after Martin Luther King was assassinated (April 4, 1968), while supporting the strike of Memphis sanitation workers, subsequent to the deaths of two workers crushed in the back of a garbage truck, which followed upon years of “poor treatment, discrimination, dangerous working conditions” – a strike declared illegal by Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb .
While the legal complaint is said, by (Swedish) Studsvik, to have predated Studsvik ownership, Studsvik is clearly comprised of wicked people: “In April 2011 Studsvik praised defeat of a bill in the US State of Tennessee legislature that would have prohibited dumping low-level nuclear waste in landfills… Tennessee is one of the few states that allows dumping of low-level nuclear waste in landfills and the only state that allows dumping of nuclear waste on a single-license, rather than seek government approval for each shipment of waste.“[3a] Low level is misleading because this waste includes lethal, often long-lived and bio-accumulative radionuclides: “In the US ‘low-level’ radioactive waste includes all the commercial nuclear waste except irradiated fuel from nuclear reactors, the liquid and sludge from reprocessing and the solid into which that is converted.” In Europe some of this would be Intermediate Waste. [3b]
Studsvik had to agree “to adopt and maintain an anti-discrimination policy prohibiting discrimination.” They have recently left Memphis and are giving the facility over to Utah’s “Energy Solutions” – the same company whose ALPS system, which was to remove the most dangerous radionuclides at Fukushima, “has not been fully operational since it was installed nearly two years ago“, and thus TEPCO’s dumping unfiltered, diluted radioactive water into the Pacific (see Reuters in References )
Shocking enough that this was going on in the 1950s and 60s, https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/race-and-radiation-the-equal-opportunity-killer-at-the-savannah-river-site-south-carolina-usa/ but that it was still being perpetuated so recently is really too much: Is this why Studsvik sold the facility to EnergySolutions a few months ago?: “the case enjoins Studsvik from discriminating against its employees because of their race and from retaliating against workers who assert their rights, and enjoins Studsvik from making assignments in the shop area based on race.” If the racist behavior predated them, why did they have to be enjoined to not act racist?
Another shocking part of this tale is the “recycling” of radioactive metals by Studsvik (and others) into household goods. See more on this in references below.  In particular, dangerous alpha emitters like plutonium can easily slip behind variations in “background” radiation, but are very dangerous upon ingestion. The fact that Swedish Studsvik has shared one or more board members with Swedish IKEA should give people pause. By the way, RACE, LLC (Radiological Assistance, Engineering, and Consulting) is really the name of the company! No one could make this up! We have yet to definitively ascertain the historic owner.
Although Sweden appears to have 10 times more strict exposure standards, 0.1mSv, as compared to the international ICRP, 1mSv, standard, used by the US NRC, they have still been polluting the Baltic big time! The largest polluters listed are in Sweden, with the worst belonging to Swedish government owned Vattenfall, and 2 owned by German E.On – aptly named from Greek aeon, because some nuclear waste is with us for an eternity.
“HELCOM, 2013 Thematic assessment of long-term changes in radioactivity in the Baltic Sea, 2007-2010 Balt. Sea Environ. Proc. No. 135 Number of pages: 40” Note that this is water only; not air. It is less than 1% of what is in the Baltic. Most is from Chernobyl, Nuclear Weapons Testing and about 4 to 6 % is from Sellafield-La Hague Nuclear Facilities in the UK-France! Additional charts showing Cobalt 60 and Cesium 137 by year, and breakdown of sources, are found in our References-Additional Readings .
The time needed to reach 0.0015% of the original quantity is Half Life of the radionuclide x 16. Thus, 90 Strontium will be in the environment for over 466 years; 137 Cs for over 480 years; 134 Cs for 32 years; 65Zn, half life 243.66 days, will be in the environment for over 10 years; 58 Co, half life 70 days will be here for over 3 years; 60 Co, for 80 years; 106 Ru, half-life 373.59 days will be here for over 16 years; 51Cr will be here for over 1.2 years. Zinc is essential for life, as is Cobalt, which forms the center of Vitamin B-12. Cesium mimics potassium in the body and Strontium mimics calcium – meaning both are radiological and chemical poisons. Potassium is essential for nerve function, including the heart, and calcium for heart and other muscle function.
Looking at the Baltic, one can only imagine what is being done to places with less strict standards, like the Mississippi River! The RACE facility is on President’s Island in the middle of the Mississippi River where “3,500 acres (14 km2) of land, mostly in the flood plain, are still used for agriculture,…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President’s_Island People still fish in the Mississippi River, and towns, including New Orleans, source their water from the River. The US EPA pretends to have a .25 mSv standard for nuclear facility emissions, but they seem to count only a few radionuclides, and the international standard is supposed to include ALL. Furthermore, the EPA only has an air “standard” for nuclear facility emissions and no water “standard” for nuclear facility emissions! They have turned the standards upside down, where the thyroid alone is allowed .75mSv, whereas the organs should be additive, meaning the thyroid exposure should be less than entire body exposure- more to bear in mind with the US asking feedback on its standards at the beginning of August. All of these “standards” are for exposure to the “general public”. Workers are allowed greater exposure.
The Lily-white Swedes are now operating out of Lillyhall, Cumbria, UK  (Sorry I couldn’t resist that one). Is it so that they can abuse poor Cumbrians without being accused of racism? Forgotten is the fact that, not so very long ago, racism was used as an excuse for the Highland Clearances in Scotland “about 1850, the Clearances were at times supported by belief that the Celtic ‘race’ was inferior to the Anglo Saxon ‘race“.  Cumbria is a historically Celtic area. On the Irish Sea, Lillyhall itself faces the Celtic, Gaelic speaking, Isle of Man and Celtic, Gaelic speaking Ireland.  The siting of nearby Sellafield (1947) appears to have been the UK’s vengeance upon Ireland for having freed itself from the yoke of imperial oppression (1919-1922; 1937). However, worse punished is Northern Ireland, who opted to stay in the UK Empire! “Historical evidence suggests that following the Anglo-Saxon transition,[i.e. invasion] people of indigenous ethnicity were at an economic and legal disadvantage compared to those having Anglo-Saxon ethnicity. This has led to the development of the ‘apartheid-like social structure’ theory …”  Historic racism tends to perpetuate itself, to a large degree, in social class.
Race, LLC / Studsvik to Pay $650,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Harassment & Retaliation Suit
Radioactive Waste Processing Company Targeted Black Workers for Higher Radiation Exposure, Federal Agency Charged
MEMPHIS – A Memphis radioactive waste processing company will pay $650,000 to 23 African American employees and provide other relief to settle a race and retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit against Race, LLC, doing business as Studsvik, LLC (Civil Action No. 2:07-cv-2620, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division), Courtney Britton, who worked as a lead worker in the shop for Studsvik, and other African American employees, were subjected to racially offensive comments by their white supervisor. Further, the complaint alleged that Britton’s supervisor regularly referred to him and other African American employees with the N-word and other derogatory slurs, such as “boy.”
In addition, the EEOC said, white managers subjected Britton and other African American employees to excessive radiation exposure, more than their white co-workers. The EEOC also charged that Britton was suspended for 15 days and then laid off in retaliation for complaining about the racial harassment.
“Some of the discrimination alleged in this case is unusually extreme because of the physical danger it created for African American employees,” said EEOC Acting Chair Stuart J. Ishimaru. “It is deeply disturbing that this kind of race-based discrimination could be inflicted upon innocent workers. Further, the EEOC is particularly concerned when people who have the courage to speak out against such discrimination then experience retaliation by their employer. The EEOC will fight such misconduct forcefully, as we did in this case.”
Besides the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree resolving the case enjoins Studsvik from discriminating against its employees because of their race and from retaliating against workers who assert their rights, and enjoins Studsvik from making assignments in the shop area based on race. Studsvik agreed to adopt and maintain an anti-discrimination policy prohibiting discrimination, to distribute the policy and complaint procedure to all employees, and to provide mandatory training to all employees regarding the policy.
At the training, Studsvik’s highest ranking individual will either appear in person or via video conferencing to announce and affirm the company’s commitment to a zero tolerance policy concerning race discrimination, its new anti-discrimination policy, and the penalty for violating the policy. Finally, Studsvik will provide annual written reports for three years to the EEOC regarding its job assignments and any complaints about discrimination.
Regional Attorney Faye A. Williams of the EEOC’s Memphis District, which includes Tennessee, Arkansas, and 17 counties in Northern Mississippi, said, “Racial harassment remains a longstanding problem in the workplace for many minorities. Mr. Britton and other African American employees endured the abuse because they needed to work to support their families. The manager who rendered such abuse is no longer employed and cannot be rehired. This resolution ensures that there are now policies and procedures in place so that African American employees are treated with dignity and respect in this workplace.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at http://www.eeoc.gov.” http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-31-09a.cfm (Emphasis Added)
(Note that the first job of the alleged culprit (whose name we found elsewhere), as listed on linked-in was in Missouri, USA, so he does not appear to be a “southerner”. He is working in radiation safety at nuclear facilities – commercial and national labs- all over the US and even Canada, since he was fired from – or left- RACE. Beware!)
 “The Memphis Sanitation Strike began on February 11, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Citing years of poor treatment, discrimination, dangerous working conditions, and the horrifying recent deaths of Echol Cole and Robert Walker, some 1300 black sanitation workers walked off the job in protest. They also sought to join the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1733. Echol Cole and Robert Walker had been crushed in a mechanical malfunction on February 1; city rules forbade black employees to seek shelter from rain anywhere but in the back of their compressor trucks, with the garbage. Memphis’s mayor, Henry Loeb, declared the strike illegal and refused to meet with local black leaders. (He did meet with AFSCME’s national officers.)[ Heavily redacted files released in 2012 suggest that FBI monitored the strike and increased its operations in Memphis during 1968.” References and the rest of the article at the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis_Sanitation_Strike
 “Japan’s Fukushima operator begins groundwater release to ocean
Posted:Wed, 21 May 2014 05:00:06 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) – The operator of Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant began releasing groundwater that it said is within legal radiation safety limits into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, in a bid to manage huge amounts of radioactive water built up at the site.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/N5wi8D-D4cc/story01.htm
Excerpt: “A water treatment facility known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System, designed to remove the most dangerous nuclides, was completely shut down again this week. The system has not been fully operational since it was installed nearly two years ago.”
[3a] “In April 2011 Studsvik praised defeat of a bill in the US State of Tennessee legislature that would have prohibited dumping low-level nuclear waste in landfills. Both of Studsvik’s US processing facilities are in Tennessee. Tennessee is one of the few states that allows dumping of low-level nuclear waste in landfills and the only state that allows dumping of nuclear waste on a single-license, rather than seek government approval for each shipment of waste.” They also opened a metal “recycling” facility at Lillyhall UK, in September 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studsvik. They have sold the Memphis RACE and Erwin Tennessee facility to Energy Solutions.
According to “World Nuclear News”: “Studsvik scales back US presence“, 12 February 2014, Studsvik sold both the Memphis and Erwin facility to Energy Solutions. The article notes that: “The Memphis facility specializes in volume reduction and recycling of waste materials and large components such as steam generators, reactor heads and feed water heaters.” It cites Studsvik as saying that with the sale, Studsvik is “eliminating a considerable financial risk.” They have kept a joint venture with URS Corporation at facilities under the control of the US DOE. Read the entire article here: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Studsvik-scales-back-US-presence-1202144.html Erwin is in extreme eastern Tennessee, along the Appalachian Trail. Appalachia is well-known as a bastion of mostly white, Scots-Irish, poverty, and for its fighting spirit.
[3b] Definition of Low Level Waste in US (compared to Europe): http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/llw/llwhome.htm
 Devine, Tom (2011). “Chapter 5, Human Selection and Enforced Exile, Section 2′. To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750-2010“, Smithsonian Books, ISBN 1588343170 as referenced in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances
 Thomas, Mark G., Michael PH Stumpf, and Heinrich Härke. “Evidence for an apartheid-like social structure in early Anglo-Saxon England.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 273.1601 (2006): 2651-2657, as referenced in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_settlement_of_Britain “As Bede later implied, language was a key indicator of ethnicity in early England. In circumstances where freedom at law, acceptance with the kindred, access to patronage, and the use and possession of weapons were all exclusive to those who could claim Germanic descent, then speaking Old English without Latin or Brittonic inflection had considerable value.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxons#Migration_.28c.410-c.560.29
 Regarding “Recycling” of Radioactive Metals into Household Goods (and Clothing):
“Studsvik RACE Here in Memphis, Studsvik-RACE processes large contaminated components from nuclear power and weapons facilities and super-compacts paper, plastic, wood, cardboard, rubber, metal (pipes, valves, motors, conduit, wire, etc.) asbestos, soils and debris in addition to many other activities. Studsvik, at its Erwin, TN site, ‘thermally processes’ radioactive resins –some of the hottest so-called ‘low-level’ radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors. Community concerns stopped the company here in Memphis and later in Erwin from opening a new nuclear incinerator, but they still perform other nuclear processes in both locations. (Their current website indicates incineration intent.) In Sweden, their origin, they ‘recycle’ radioactive metal from closed European nuclear reactors into the everyday metal recycling market to make anything made of metal. They have gotten contracts to ‘process’ closed nuclear complexes in the UK including the infamous Sellafield reprocessing site, attributed with radioactively contaminating the Irish Sea.” http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/outofcontrol/memphisfocus.pdf
“Major efforts have been undertaken by the nuclear industry, the so-called regulators and the international radiation promoting agencies such as IAEA, ICRP, OECD NEA and EURATOM/EC to deny the danger of dispersing large volumes of radioactive materials. Computer codes have been devised and false claims about acceptable doses have been perpetrated and circulated to give the impression that nuclear waste is being safely taken care of, but it is not. Dispersion starts here in the Baltic Region and it can be stopped here.
In the U.S. we have been fighting every agency’s efforts to legalize selling nuclear waste for commercial purposes. We appeal to our allies in Europe and elsewhere to join this battle, which was waged here years ago but is currently not well known.
Two of the world’s few radioactive waste metal recyclers are Studsvik in Nyköping, Sweden and Ecomet-S across the Baltic Sea in St. Petersburg. These companies are recycling radioactive metal from nuclear power and other facilities and selling them to companies for use in a wide range of products.
In the U.S. we have been fighting hard to stop these practices. Several companies have licenses to process and release radioactive metal in the U.S. We believe that pressure from the public and metal industry are preventing wholesale unrestricted releases. Three of the U.S. companies, ToxCo, EnergySolutions (formerly Duratek) and Aerojet (which processes depleted uranium), have Metal Melt licenses from the State of Tennessee. The U.S. federal government has not been able to make rules via democratic public processes to generically deregulate nuclear wastes. The only way they are able to do it is secretively through exemptions and license amendments. There is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ban on the commercial recycling of nuclear weapons wastes. However, as metal prices rise, there is growing pressure from DOE sites where the metal is stored to overturn or circumvent that prohibition.” (Emphasis added) Excerpt from “Summary of Presentation by Diane D’Arrigo, at Coping With Nuclear Waste, 27-29 April 2007, Stockholm, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Washington, D.C.” http://nonuclear.se/darrigo20070427.html
“Act now to stop DOE release of radioactive waste into commerce!
Please tell Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that we do not want radioactive waste in the marketplace nor in our zippers, frying pans, cars, houses and baby toys.
Ask him to make permanent and expand the current bans placed on release of metal from radioactive areas of the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) sites.” The rest of the article, petition and more info here: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5502/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17060
“Tennessee’s role as the nation’s destination for low-level radioactive waste processing, disposal and more by Don Safer, President, Tennessee Environmental Council
TENNESSEE ALLOWS RADIOACTIVE WASTE PROCESSING and disposal practices that are unique in the United States. This has made Tennessee the nation’s primary pathway for the processing and disposal of low level radioactive waste materials. In the year 2000 (the last year that the NRC compiled these numbers in a state by state comparison) Tennessee was responsible for 58.6% of the materials that were disposed at the 3 licensed landfills receiving radioactive materials in the U.S. Add the radioactive materials that were incinerated and land filled and Tennessee received at least 75% of the nation’s llrw. Currently Tennessee is collecting a 1.5 cent per pound fee on approximately 41 million pounds of material that comes to radioactive waste processors across the state annually. The state Division of Radiological Health (DRH) does not break down these numbers for in state and out of state generators. In 2009 almost 4 million pounds of these materials ended up in 4 Tennessee landfills with about half going to the North and South Shelby County landfills; Chestnut Ridge in Anderson County received 1,861,000 pounds. The other landfill in this program is Carters Valley in Hawkins County.” (Emphasis added) Read the rest and more here: http://www.nonukesyall.org/Tennessee_rad_waste.html Memphis, on the Mississippi River, is Shelby County seat. From the Mississippi, any radioactive run-off will also eventually reach the Gulf of Mexico and the Ocean.
Originally published July 9, 2014, updated April 7, 2016 to reblog in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King