After years of battling their local nuclear power plant—and winning—Long Island environmental activists have turned on Brookhaven National Lab. The accusation? Its chemical and radiation releases are a threat to residents.

The battle came to a head last month in Suffolk Life, a half-million circulation weekly that has run several articles in the past few years about local environmental investigations of the lab. In an August 3 editorial, the paper traced a string of environmental calamities, from massive fish kills to airborne radiation, to Brookhaven. And it declared that, "It is time to unveil the lab for what it may well be, the biggest polluter on Long Island."

Brookhaven fired back. In angry words splashed across the front page of the lab's in-house newsletter after Suffolk Life failed to print previous letters-to-the-editor, director Nicholas Samios accused the paper of "gross inaccuracies" and denied that releases from the lab pose any...

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