Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, has passed away…

Dear Readers,

This morning I learned of the passing yesterday (June 14th, 2012) of Dr. Rosalie Bertell, author of some of the most widely-read articles and books about nuclear issues including No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth.  She was 83.

Dr. Bertell was a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, the founder of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH), the recipient of numerous honors (such as the Right Livelihood Award in 1986) and held several honorary degrees.

In the nuclear industry, every life has an exact value, and every vote can be bought.  (That’s one reason so many nuclear waste sites are located in sparsely populated poor communities.  It’s cheaper.)

A life’s value is measured in dollars in America, yen, in Japan, euros in most of Europe, and so on.  The exact amount is plugged into various computer programs which then calculate the expected loss from an “unexpected” accident.

(That’s why they know not to transport spent nuclear fuel from San Onofre through Los Angeles, and wanted to build a “toll road” to Yucca Mountain instead (State Route 241 extension straight from SanO to Las Vegas/Yucca Mountain).  But Yucca Mountain is on hold, and so the toll road, heavily opposed by locals for other reasons, is also on hold.  But if Yucca Mountain is ever built, then Route 241 is sure to be bulldozed through shortly thereafter… because of a computer program which puts an exact value on each human life.)

But it is impossible calculate the value to society of the late Dr. Rosalie Bertell, who passed away peacefully from “severe respiratory distress due to advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” (see below for the official death announcement from GNSH).  (You can be sure she was not a smoker; she had merely been breathing our global polluted air all her life.  So are you.)

Dr. Bertell was a biometrician, environmental epidemiologist, and cancer researcher.  For a decade she was senior cancer research scientist at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  Dr. Bertell wrote and spoke about Depleted Uranium (“you’re basically throwing radioactive waste at your enemy…”) and many other topics.  After the Union-Carbide chemical spill in Bhopal, India, she went there as Director of the International Medical Commission to study the effects of that disaster (the largest non-nuclear industrial accident in history).  She also looked into the technical aspects of “HAARP” (America’s “High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program”), of which she wrote in 1996: “The ability of the HAARP / Spacelab/ rocket combination to deliver a very large amount of energy, comparable to a nuclear bomb, anywhere on earth via laser and particle beams, [is] frightening.”

And every so often she wrote to me — about a dozen times in the last 15 years, the last time being about a month after Fukushima.  Every letter was a treasure, and two are shown below.

It is impossible to calculate the value of someone who so relentlessly spoke truth to power, science to dogma, fact to falsehoods, and reason to propaganda.  And was so technically savvy while doing it.

We will miss Dr. Bertell with all our collective hearts.  She was awesome.


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

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Articles by: Ace Hoffman

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