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 what will be a series of trainings around the country sponsored by the RMP. The next trainings are tentatively slated to be held in Chicago sometime in January; and in Albuquerque in March, 2016.
Hixson led participants through an intense classroom training on radiation basics lasting nearly five hours. This was followed for the next three hours by hands-on training using the monitors provided by the Project to take readings on selected radioactive samples Hixson provided. An edited video of the training will soon be available on the RMP webpage hosted on the website of Diné No Nukes of Albuquerque, NM.
The purpose of the RMP is to professionally train a cadre of frontline community members and activists who either live in or near nuclear/radiation-related facilities; or who are affected by some radiation contamination in the use of industry-grade radiation monitors. The Project intends to compile and archive data; and act as a validity check to industry and government information concerning contamination and spills of radioactive materials. Having the participants professionally trained and equipped with industry-standard monitors enhances the validity of their findings.
The Project is a joint venture of Diné No Nukes of Albuquerque, NM; Sloths against Nuclear State of Brooklyn, NY; and NEIS of Chicago Illinois. These groups raised close to $17,000 this year to purchase 15 hand-held devices. Fundraising continues (see below) and will go to cover the costs of future trainings, and purchase additional radiation monitors.
The RMP intends to offer the use of the monitors free of charge to individuals and groups living in or near communities threatened by some form of radiation contamination. Candidates will have to submit a formal application (see below) to be considered for receiving a monitor; and will have to agree to participate in a formal training conducted by RMP. Accepted applicants will also be urged to submit their data to RMP for archiving.
While other radiation monitoring projects have been in operation for years, it seems that the RMP model is the first of its kind in the U.S. While the fundamental purpose of the Project is to protect people and communities from radiation hazards, its overarching goal is to train a constantly growing cadre of professionally trained people whose information and data cannot be disputed or dismissed as irrelevant.
After Fukushima it became abundantly clear that citizens cannot count on the information coming from government agencies and the nuclear industry as being valid and unbiased, if not outright falsified. Nor can they count on the government to do monitoring when and where it counts. The RMP intends to create a corps of citizen experts whose data and training will serve as a reality check on the usual “the public was never in any danger” pronouncements of groups like the NRC and EPA.
Individuals and organizations interested in being considered for participation in the RMP can submit an application form by e-mail.
The Project continues to accept donations. Donors willing to support the RMP can send donations in one of several ways:
- Our GoFundMe site is still active:
Send the link along on Twitter and Facebook, with a little blurb about your experience at the Training. Up to 7% of your donation will go to GoFundMe fees. So….
2.) Donors wishing to make TAX DEDUCTIBLE contributions can do so through the NEIS website at:
and selecting the Radiation Monitoring Project from the “special purpose” field. NEIS will also accept checks by mail made out to NEIS, and marked “RadMonitoring Project” in the memo field.
The full title of the RMP is, “The Radiation Monitoring Project: Protecting Our Communities. Watching the Watchers.” You are on notice NRC; we WILL be watching from now on.