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#752 - July 13, 2012

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Full issue

Editor: Dirk Bannink

With contributions of Peer de Rijk, M.G.Devasahayam, Diane D'Arrigo, Joanna Widstrand, Greenpeace International, Falk Beyer (Nuclear Heritage Network), River Network and the Laka Foundation.

In memory of Rosalie Bertell
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Dr Rosalie Bertell, Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, founder of the Institute for Concern for Public Health and lifelong campaigner against the humanitarian and environmental impact of military and industrial pollution. She will be sorely missed by all those whose campaigns she assisted and those whose lives she touched. Rosalie was 83.

Born in 1929 in Buffalo, NY, Rosalie Bertell earned her PhD in Biometrics at Catholic University in Washington, DC. She was a Carmelite and then a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart for over 50 years. She worked at Roswell Park Memorial Cancer Institute studying the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation and was influential in preventing nuclear reactors, specifically one near Niagara Falls, NY, next to a baby food company -the first proposed reactor stopped by public opposition in the US. 

She compiled much of her expertise on the dangers of low dose ionizing radiation in her first book, No Immediate Danger? Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth (1985, republished by The Women’s Press, Toronto). Among numerous honors and achievements, she received the Right Livelihood Award (alternate Nobel Peace Prize) along with Dr. Alice Stewart in 1986 “for raising public awareness about the destruction of the biosphere and human gene pool, especially by low level radiation.” She provided expert support to help people on the receiving end of the radioactive wastes and industrial poisons from Love Canal to Chernobyl to Rongelap and the Marshall Islands to Bhopal to communities in 60 countries. 

Rosalie’s many writings and speeches, her scientific knowledge and fierce and gentle love must carry us on. She did not stop -has not stopped– as we continue her work and pass it on to the next generations.