avout radiological conditions in their atolls have not been

answered satisfactorily by DOE's Marshallese/English booklet

that evaluated radiological conditions in the Marshalls in

terms of risk and cancer fatalities instead of using radiation

The Marshallese, to my knowledge, have never
argued against use of standards or complained that they were
not applicable. This booklet may be a factor of confusion
rather than education for the Marshallese.

The full dimension of the-technical aspects of this problem in.
the Marshalls and the reasons for DOE's loss of credibility
with the Rongelapese, are not well known within DOE.

Dissatisfaction with the advice they have received reached

serious proportions in April 1983 when a party of DOE visitors

were interrupted in a meeting with the people on Rongelap by

an irate citizen and had to leave the island.

The meeting on

Rongelap was never resumed and the people’s anger and mistrust

(of DOE) has been-allowed to fester.

Many of us who have worked in the Marshalls have been

frustrated by the burdensome dietary restrictions, and we have
seen the hardships caused by the loss of use of fallout
contaminated islands.
All of this is being imposed by
application of radiation protection standards mandated by

Washington bureaucrats.

Right or wrong,

I. have argued that

exposures not found acceptable for the U.S. population are
also not acceptable in the Marshalls, and that radiological
criteria should be the same from atoll to atoll. This, of
course, is not compatible with the idea that the population of
each atoll should make its own judgment.
Short of acting
against Federal policies, or having the Department of Interior

(DOI) mount a successful effort to get an exemption from these

policies, the DOE appears to have no valid alternative but to
continue to apply current radiation standards in the
Turning radiological judgments over to the people
was a drastic unilateral action.
This appears to have been a
profcundly disturbing experience for some Marshallese and an
action that undermined confidence in DOE and in the United
Statcs Government.
The new advice that was obviously intended

to give freedom of choice has backfired.

The Rongelap people

foliowed the advice they were given, made the judgment not to

accept the risk,


and left their atoll.

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