Radiation Monitoring Project

Radiation Monitoring Project (RMP) is a collaborative project of Nuclear Energy Information Service (IL), Sloths Against Nuclear State (NY) https://www.facebook.com/SANSnuclear and Diné NO NUKES (NM) www.dinenonukes.org that began in September 2014.

RMP is designed to help address the rampant and growing danger of radiation contamination throughout the United States and Canada by empowering people living in contaminated and frontline communities to be able to accurately measure radiation levels in and around where they live. This vital information will help people make life-saving decisions about what areas are safe and what areas need to be avoided. This data can also provide information about radiation leaks that are not being monitored or are being covered up by nuclear interests.

Radiation is invisible, odorless and tasteless. Radiation is toxic in all its forms and can cause various life-threatening illnesses even at low levels. Radioactive materials are emitted from nuclear reactors, weapon laboratories, uranium mining and processing sites, and waste storage facilities.

People living near these sites don’t know what kinds of risks they are being exposed to. They don’t know if radiation is leaking into their neighborhoods, into their water or food supplies. They don’t know if it’s safe to let their children play outdoors.

Nuclear interests do not have a good track record when it comes to monitoring and reporting radiation emissions at any of the sites where radioactive materials are found. It is vital for people living in contaminated areas and in areas near any of these sites (frontline communities) to have the ability to monitor radiation levels for themselves and to share that information with others in their respective communities. RMP gives people the tools to do just that.

How the Radiation Monitoring Project Works:

RMP purchases state-of-the-art radiation monitors and provides in-depth, professional training on proper use these monitors and on accurate detection and assessment of radiation. RMP identifies communities and individuals in affected areas who are interested in receiving this training and in using these monitors. Whenever feasible, RMP collects monitoring data for anonymous compilation in a national database.

The number of potential target communities that would benefit from radiation monitoring is staggering. In the United States alone, there are 88 operating and closed commercial nuclear reactor sites, 35 civilian research and test reactor sites, scores of nuclear weapons and national laboratory sites, 10 known nuclear waste storage sites, an unknown number of sites where nuclear materials have been illegally disposed of and an estimated 10,000 unremediated uranium mining sites. RMP is focusing initial efforts in communities of concern on Indian reservations in the Southwest and West impacted by uranium mining and communities of concern near reactor and waste sites in Illinois. RMP is open to working with interested communities anywhere in the United States.

Unremediated Uranium Mines on Indigenous Lands:

“As long as the American public is not aware of the radioactive pollution in their area, the more they are susceptible to adverse health effects,”
Charmaine Whiteface from Defenders of the Black Hills, an organization dealing with radioactive contamination on Lakota and Cheyenne lands

Unknowingly, a huge percentage of Americans in the Western United States live everyday near radioactive waste sites contaminated from past mining. Beginning in the 1870s, uranium was discovered in Colorado and mined during the 19th century in both Colorado and Texas. The most contaminated sites were created during the Manhattan-Project or Atomic Energy Commission mining-era, largely on indigenous lands and within sources of drinking water for many indigenous peoples. In places like Churchrock, New Mexico—site of the world’s largest uranium tailings spill in 1979—both ground and surface water were contaminated. Today, the majority of these past mining areas remain un-remediated. Residents in Churchrock are still living with contamination from past mining and the 1979 spill. Such rural locations are not in the news and, in the past, did not receive the media attention that was created around Three Mile Island or Fukushima, Arnie Gundersen of Fairwinds Energy Education – an internationally recognized nuclear issues expert, especially on the Fukushima nuclear disaster — says in support of the project: “Radiation exposure to Native Americans is one of the great untold stories of the nuclear era. These detectors will help the truth to be told.”



NEIS hosted the first training session of the newly formed Radiation Monitoring Project (RMP) in Chicago on October 30th.  Nuclear researcher Lucas Hixson of Enformable Environmental Services of Michigan conducted an intensive training for 10 eager trainees on the topics of radiation and the field use of monitors. The Chicago event was the first of […]