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PSR Monitor

August 29, 2023

Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Ann Suellentrop (L) with Sen. Josh Hawley (2nd from R)PSR Kansas City's Ann Suellentrop, RN (left) with Sen. Josh Hawley

Victims of radiation exposure experience rare win in US Senate: What to know and how to help

Last month, victims of radiation exposure in the U.S. received a rare win during Senate votes on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate was convening to vote on a slew of amendments to the NDAA put forth by various Senators. Among the hundreds of amendments proposed — unexpectedly, and with large thanks to PSR Kansas City leader Ann Suellentrop's Congressional lobbying efforts — Sen. Josh Hawley [R-MO] introduced an amendment that would add specific Missouri residents to the Radiation Exposure Compensation ACt (RECA), a domestic program that provides partial compensation to victims of radiation exposure.

Sens. Ben Lujan [D-NM] and Mike Crapo [R-ID], champions of RECA in the Senate, worked with Sen. Hawley to include their entire RECA bill into his amendment, to make one large Senate NDAA amendment, S.Amdt.1058 to S.2226. The RECA Amendments of 2023 Act seeks to extend RECA for an additional 19 years and expand eligibility for victims of radiation exposure.

In a welcome surprise, the amendment passed, with a bi-partisan vote count of 61-37! This is a huge win for us! It shows growing support for bringing justice to the communities harmed by nuclear weapons. And it couldn’t have happened without the tireless advocacy from impacted community members, like the atomic veterans that PSR helped bring to DC to lobby Members of Congress, and who were on the Hill the very day that this momentous victory occurred. 

But the fight isn't over. 

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Reducing the risks of nuclear war — The role of health professionals

In August, 2023, over 150 health-related journals around the world – including prestigious publications such as The Lancet, British Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA – issued a very rare joint editorial titled Reducing the Risks of Nuclear War—The Role of Health Professionals. The editorial sounds the alarm about the escalating threat of nuclear war and calls upon all health professionals to take action.

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Lantern ceremony in Seattle - click to read more

In 75 Hiroshima & Nagasaki commemorations across the country, Americans strengthen the nuclear taboo

Do you think this would be a good moment to strengthen the "nuclear taboo"? You're not alone! Seventy-eight years after the atomic attacks against Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9), PSR tracked 75 diverse commemoration events spread across 21 states and DC, most of them in-person events. In solidarity with commemorations in Japan and around the world, Americans turned out in support of justice, peace and keeping the nuclear taboo intact, no matter what. Hiroshima-Nagasaki, Never Again!

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Images of webinar speakers - click to watch recording

Check out PSR's webinar on the global legacy of uranium

On August 23, PSR's Nuclear Weapons Abolition program hosted a knock-out webinar discussing neocolonialism, narrative setting, and racial inequity in the nuclear enterprise. Joined by academics and experts directly impacted by nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, we explored the various ways that communities around the world continue to be harmed by the legacy of uranium and its various uses, in particular how those who are most harmed are disproportionately Black, brown, and Indigenous communities.

If you missed the event, fear not! You can now access the recording on PSR's Youtube channel. Please watch the video and share with your friends and colleagues — we must uplift and amplify the voices of the communities and people most impacted by these weapons of mass genocide and the misguided pursuit of nuclear energy. 

    Watch the Recording    

Environment & Health

EPA heard us loud and clear on carbon

Last month we began collecting your comments on EPA's proposal to cut carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants. Together, PSR’s members submitted over 1,000 comments! Jointly with our partners at Climate Action Campaign (CAC), over one million comments were submitted! In addition, PSR signed onto organizational comments alongside dozens of partners in the health and environmental fields, through CAC and the Healthy Air Partners coalition. EPA will review all comments received before issuing a final rulemaking in the coming months. We will keep you up to date if further action is needed. Thank you for your outpouring of support on this critical rulemaking!

Health Harms of Gas Stoves - Animated PSA campaign continues

PSR’s Gas Stove PSA campaign continues with two new animated videos. The second in our campaign focuses on the air pollutants produced by gas stoves and their health impacts on the human body. The third video dives deeper into Environmental Justice, detailing the health disparities and disproportionate impact gas stoves and air pollution have on communities of color and low income communities. Watch the Gas Stove Pollutants video here and the Environmental Justice video here, and please share them far and wide to spread the word about how dangerous gas burning appliances are for our health and our planet!

White House - click to use the IRA Calculator

The Inflation Reduction Act – One year later

On August 16, 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) had its first anniversary. Since its passing, the landmark climate and clean energy legislation has ushered in a new era of clean energy investment in the United States. As of July 2023, 272 new clean energy projects in 44 US have been announced or started, totaling $278 billion in new investments. The IRA created 170,600 new clean energy jobs, and in the first half of 2023, US companies built more new solar generation than natural gas. The IRA also provides funds directly to consumers and property owners who decarbonize their homes and lifestyles in the form of tax credits and rebates. To find out exactly how much money you can receive from the IRA in your specific ZIP code, click on the link below to use Rewiring America’s IRA Calculator.

   IRA Calculator    

Ratepayer dollars are being used to block clean energy

Did you know in 47 states across the country, utility companies can use your money to help block funding for clean energy? If you live outside of Maine, Connecticut, or Colorado, the money you pay towards your monthly electricity bill can legally fund consultants and lobbyists that are pushing fossil fuels in your state government. Electricity is a necessity. When we register with our local utilities, we don't sign up for political spending against our own interests. Proliferation of methane use, anti-electrification efforts by gas utilities, and even political favors and bribes have been unwittingly funded by us, the everyday consumer. Utility companies should be focusing, like PSR, on a just transition away from fossil fuels for the betterment of everyone’s health, environment, and economic viability.

SoCalGas Has To Pay For Misleading Customers on Renewable Energy

The California Attorney General recently announced that SoCalGas will most likely pay a serious fine for advertising methane gas as "renewable." The AG's office conducted an investigation into the utility’s environmental advertising actions and found that SoCalGas made misleading comments about methane gas across many platforms, including electronic and print media, backdrops, promotional materials, and informative displays. If the court approves the settlement, SoCalGas will have to pay hefty penalties for misleading customers. Half of the paid penalties will be used to fund a project focused on environmental justice through the California Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. To learn more about the price SoCalGas will have to pay for lying about methane gas, click on the link below.

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Upcoming Events

GBPSR September Monthly Meeting
Mon. Sep. 11, 7:00 pm EDT
GBPSR's monthly meeting – open to all. Contact Executive Director Anna Linakis at for questions or to request the Zoom link.

Oppenheimer, Nuclear Victims & Preventing Nuclear War Now
Wed. Sep. 13, 4:00 pm ET
The War in Ukraine and Oppenheimer have us all thinking about nuclear weapons. You are invited by PSR Maine and other Maine groups working for nuclear disarmament to participate in a Zoom group discussion to share your thoughts about the movie and a way to a world without nuclear weapons. Register

Community Town Hall – Northeastern Pennsylvania
Wed. Sep. 13, 6:00 - 7:30 pm EDT
University of Scranton, Loyola Science Center - Room 133, 800 Linden St, Scranton, PA
PSR Pennsylvania hosts this town hall to talk openly, share opinions, and ask burning questions about environmental health specifically affecting the community. Register

Perishable: Plastic, Healthcare, and People
Thu. Sep. 14, 6:00 - 7:00 pm EDT
Join PSR Pennsylvania to learn more about health crisis of plastics, as investigators examine the impacts of plastics under a microscope, and also begin to quantify the health effects of extraction and production of what are, at base, highly chemical materials. Register

Commercial Induction Cooking Workshop – CHECK Program
Fri. Sep. 15, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT
RE Farm Café at Windswept, 1000 Fillmore Rd, State College, PA
Part of the CHECK Program – Induction Cooking Workshops collection sponsored by PSR Pennsylvania. Are you interested in decarbonizing your building by converting your commercial kitchen to induction cooking equipment? If so, join us! Register

March to End Fossil Fuels in NYC
Sun. Sep. 17, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
New York City, NY
PSR Pennsylvania is organizing a group of healthcare professionals to join the march. Register

UN International Day of Peace
Thu. Sep. 21, 6:30 pm CDT
Cowles Commons Peace Garden, 221 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA
Dr. David Drake, past president of PSR, will be the keynote speaker.

Climate & Nuclear Webinar Series: Part 1 | A Global Challenge: Modeling the Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Climate and the Effect of Climate on Nuclear Weapons – Important Interactions
Fri. Sep. 22, 1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT
Part one of this Greater Boston PSR webinar series focuses on the connections between nuclear weapons and climate change. Subsequent sessions on Oct. 10 at Noon & Nov. 14 at Noon. Discount available with a free GBPSR membership. Learn More & Register

WPSR 2023 Health Justice Gala
Fri. Sep. 22, 5:30 pm PDT
Mercer Island Community Center, 8237 SE 24th St, Mercer Island, WA
Join Washington PSR for a night of delicious food and drink, friends and community, awards and auction. Register

San Francisco Bay PSR 2023 Virtual Gala
Wed. Sep. 27, 6:00 pm PDT
Awards, Auction, Music! Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Holder, a national health leader advocating for comprehensive medical prevention and care strategies for poor communities impacted by climate change. Register

Endocrine Disruptors in Plastics: State Policy Options
Tue. Oct. 3, 7:00 pm EDT
Join this webinar to learn about EDCs in plastic, how they impact our health, and potential policies to reduce them. Co-sponsored by PSR New York. Register

PSR Health Heroes Awards Reception
Fri. Nov. 3, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
1615 Dupont, 1615 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
Save the Date: Join PSR as we gather in-person to celebrate our successes in advocating for Nuclear Weapons Abolition and promoting Environment and Health. We will be honoring those that empower PSR's work which allow us to protect people from the gravest threats to us and our planet. Learn More & Register

In the news

Processing research on southwestern Pa., fracking and health, residents seek answers together
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug 19
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania President Ned Ketyer, MD


A Pennsylvania study suggests links between fracking and asthma, lymphoma in children
Associated Press - Aug 16
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania President Ned Ketyer, MD


New York Advocates Rally Against Dumping of Radioactive Waste in Hudson River
Common Dreams - Aug 15
Mentions PSR New York


Gov urged to sign Birds and Bees Protection Act
The Sun - Aug 15
Mentions PSR New York


The term 'turf' is misleading
Brita Lundberg, MD, Greater Boston PSR Board Chair; Sydney Engel, FNP; and Phillip Landrigan, MD; CommonWealth Magazine - Aug 13


10 cited at nuclear demonstration at Bangor
Bainbridge Island Review - Aug 11
Mentions Washington PSR


Forget the movies: Nuclear Weapon Development Has Real Victims
Win Without War - Aug 11
Interview with PSR's Jasmine Owens


Doctors need bias training
Jeff Ritterman, MD, SF Bay PSR Board Member, San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 10


78 years after bombing of Nagasaki, health experts raise alarm over risk of nuclear war
All Things Considered (NPR) - Aug 9
Radio interview with PSR Past President Ira Helfand, MD on editorial published in over 100 medical journals


Amid 'Oppenheimer' craze, Madison marks 78 years since Hiroshima bombing
Wisconsin State Journal - Aug 8
Coverage of PSR Wisconsin's Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration


Opinion: Use of depleted uranium in Ukraine ignores environmental & health consequences
Village Magazine (Ireland) - Aug 8
Mentions PSR


U.S. Groups to Biden Trade Chief: Ensure Deals Don't Block Bold Climate Action
Common Dreams - Aug 8
Letter signed by several PSR chapters


Industry Plaintiffs Drop Lawsuit Challenging Washington State’s Climate-Friendly Building Codes
EarthJustice - Aug 7
Mentions Washington PSR


What is Park Equity?
Nonprofit Quarterly - Aug 3
Mentions PSR-Los Angeles


California voters could force more sunlight on public records
Cal Matters - Aug 3
Quotes PSR-Los Angeles Executive Director Martha Dina Argüello


Small anti-pipeline victory: More evidence required from Eversource
The Reminder - Aug 3
Mentions Greater Boston PSR


'This is acres of plastic': Environmentalists concerned over artificial turf replacement at Newton high school
Boston Globe - Aug 3
Quotes Greater Boston PSR Board Chair Brita Lundberg, MD


A Call for Meaningful Disarmament Diplomacy as Required by Article VI of the NPT
Arms Control Association - Aug 2
Letter signed by PSR


DOT Should Consider Climate Impacts of Proposed Offshore Export Terminals
Turtle Island Restoration Network - Jul 31
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania's Tammy Murphy


Hydrogen hubs — leave gas in the ground
Barbara W. Brandom, MD, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Jul 31


Sailing the Seas of Conscience
The Progressive - Jul 31
Mentions PSR Wisconsin


Physicians: It's Crucial to Address Gas Stove Emissions
CleanTechnica - Jul 30
Coverage of PSR's new gas stove pollution PSA series


Doctor and activist hopes Oppenheimer film sparks action
KEYT - Jul 29
Quotes PSR-Los Angeles President Bob Dodge, MD


Nuclear weapons: 'Meet the moment'
Sean Arent, Washington PSR, The Seattle Times - Jul 28


SEPTA gas plant in Nicetown still faces opposition as city weighs permit renewal
WHYY - Jul 28
Mentions PSR Pennsylvania


Oppenheimer: From Trinity to Doomsday
Robert Dodge, MD, PSR Board Member, Common Dreams - Jul 24


Extreme heat's impact on our health demands we take action
Washington PSR's Breck Lebegue, MD; Chris Covert-Bowlds, MD; and Michael Soman, MD; The Seattle Times - Jul 24


Report: Oil and Gas Air Pollution
Public News Service - Jul 10
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania President Ned Ketyer, MD


Climate Change, Nuclear Weapons, and Hope
Robert Dodge, MD, PSR Board Member, Common Dreams - Jul 8


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