NRC should have the courage and integrity to tell the truth about the health risks related to Limerick’s massive air pollution. Radiation, toxic chemicals, massive PM-10 from the cooling towers, and chlorine additives are all in our air. No problem according to NRC. Health crisis data around Limerick suggest otherwise.
To protect public health, Limerick needs to close now, and stop polluting our air.
VIDEO BLOG – PART 3 – AUGUST 2013
LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S DANGEROUS AIR POLLUTION IGNORED BY NRC
LIMERICK’S DANGEROUS AIR POLLUTION HARMS HEALTH.
10-26-11 ACE PROVIDED NRC WITH DOCUMENTED DETAILS FOR LIMERICK’S EIS PUBLIC HEARING COMMENTS.
• Our analysis of Limerick’s Title V air pollution permit and other documentation show why Limerick’s air pollution is a “major” threat to our region.
• NRC ignored this evidence in Limerick’s DRAFT EIS conclusions or NRC could not have concluded Limerick’s air pollution impacts are “small”.
• NO unbiased person could analyze the evidence and the reality and still come to that conclusion!
FACTS SHOW WHY NRC’S DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT IS ABSURD, WHEN CLAIMING LIMERICK’S AIR POLLUTION THREATS ARE “SMALL”
LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S AIR POLLUTION INCLUDES:
1. Radiation – from routine operations and accidental releases
2. Schuylkill River Toxics – from withdrawing 56.2 Million Gallons Per Day
3. Toxic Chemicals – from adding over 300 pounds per day to Cooling Towers
4. Greenhouse Gases, Combustion Chemicals & By-products – from Boilers, Etc.
• The National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII Report concludes that there is no safe level of radiation. Limerick routinely releases radioactive particulates, the most harmful kind of air pollution because inhaled radionuclides remain in your body causing long-term damage.
• There are additive, cumulative, and synergistic harmful health impacts from all the different radionuclides released into our air with other toxic air pollution. For example: Our region is at high risk for ozone. Ozone works synergistically with radiation to enhance to cancer-causing effects of radiation. Therefore, Limerick’s harmful air pollution impacts have been grossly underestimated.
• Limerick routinely releases a broad range of air pollutants released from 32 different air pollution sources. NONE have filtration.
Limerick’s air pollution contains PM-10, an air pollutant considered more dangerous than ozone, PM-10 is released from 4 different sources at Limerick and is massively released from Limerick’s cooling towers, yet PM-10 is not monitored, but only estimated by Exelon. No agency verifies Exelon’s estimates.
To avoid air pollution permit violations, in 2009, Limerick requested and received a 6-fold INCREASE in its Title V Air Pollution Permit limit for PM-10, dangerous cooling tower air pollution that is considered more deadly than ozone by the American Lung Association.
This was a legal maneuver to make it appear that Exelon complies with its air pollution permit for PM-10.
• Dr. Devra Davis compiled evidence from more than 1,000 air pollution studies in 20 countries showing the certain death rates for asthma, heart disease, and lung disorders were based on the amount of exposure to air pollution.
• Also, Limerick’s cooling towers host pathogens. Those infectious pathogens are transported into our air with the cooling tower plume. They can cause disease in humans and animals. NRC’s DRAFT EIS shows that Limerick’s cooling towers release microbiological organisms including SALMONELLA, LEGIONELLA, AND PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in immune compromised individuals.
IN 2009 LIMERICK ASKED FOR AND RECEIVED DRASTIC PERMIT INCREASES IN AIR POLLUTION FROM ITS COOLING TOWERS. THIS IS THE KIND OF AIR POLLUTION CONSIDERED MORE DANGEROUS THAN OZONE.
NRC’S 4-13 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT IGNORED ALL THE EVIDENCE OF LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S DANGEROUS AIR POLLUTION WHEN FALSELY CLAIMING LIMRICK’S AIR POLLUTION IMPACTS ARE “SMALL”.
COOLING TOWER AIR POLLUTION CONTAINS ENOUGH CHLORINE ADDITIVES TO CORRODE STEEL
• Nuclear Industry Studies Show Cracks Can Occur In Stainless Steel In 4 to 52 Weeks.
• Chlorine is added to Limerick’s Cooling Towers as Sodium Hypochlorite
• Limerick Uses 16,000 to 58,000 POUNDS PER DAY of Sodium Hypochlorite
NRC DISMISSED CONCERN ABOUT CORROSIVE AIR FROM LIMERICK’S COOLING TOWERS BY ALLOWING EXELON TO SAY IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THE CORROSIVE AIR FROM THE COOLING TOWERS TRAVELS OFF-SITE.
NRC EXPRESSED NO CONCERN ABOUT IMPACTS TO THE LUNGS OF PEOPLE OFF-SITE WHO ARE FORCED TO BREATHE LIMERICK’S DANGEROUS CHLORINATED AIR POLLUTION.
LIMERICK’S MASSIVE DANGEROUS AIR POLLUTION WILL CONTINUE AS LONG AS LIMERICK CONTINUES TO OPERATE.
NRC SHOULD TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HEALTH RISKS OF LIMERICK’S AIR POLLUTION AND REFUSE TO RELICENSE LIMERICK. TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH, LIMERICK NEEDS TO CLOSE NOW AND STOP POLLUTING OUR AIR.
Radioactive groundwater and drinking water threats from Limerick will increase as long as the nuclear plant operates. Limerick should be required to close early. Instead of providing protection to the environment and public, NRC displays astounding willful blindness as it ignores, denies, and dismisses documented threats and harms.
VIDEO BLOG – PART 2 AUGUST 2013
NRC HAS NEGLIGENTLY DISMISSED LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S UNPRECEDENTED THREATS AND HARMS TO OUR DRINKING WATER
THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER -
LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT IS SLOWLY BUT SURELY DESTROYING THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER, THE VITAL DRINKING WATER RESOURCE FOR ALMOST TWO MILLION PEOPLE FROM POTTSTOWN TO PHILADELPHIA.
LIMERICK THREATENS A DRINKING WATER DISASTER, YET NRC IRRATIONALLY CLAIMS HARMS ARE “SMALL”
INDISPUTABLE FACTS PROVE LIMERICK IS CAUSING UNPRECEDENTED THREATS AND HARMS TO THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER, INCLUDING:
EXTREMELY DANGEROUS DISCHARGES
• Cooling Towers Toxics – including Extremely Dangerous Chemicals and Pathogens
• Heated Discharges – 110 Degrees (Over 20 Degrees Higher Than River Heat Limit)
• 14.2 Million Gallons Discharged From Limerick Into The River Each Day.
• In 2013 Limerick Was Given A Pollution Permit Without Limits (A Free Pass To Poison The River) Because Limerick Can’t Meet Safe Drinking Water Limits For The Kind of Pollution (TDS) That Transports Radiation and Other Toxics Into the River. Exelon Could Filter, But Won’t.
• Limerick’s Cooling Towers Are An Effluent Stream From The River To The Sky -Discharging Up To 42 Million Gallons Of Toxic, Highly Corrosive Steam Into Our Air Each Day
• Limerick Withdraws 58.2 Million Gallons of Water From The Schuylkill River Each Day – More Than Double Total Withdrawn For Norristown, Pottstown, and Phoenixville Water Customers
• Limerick Returns Only 1/4 of The Water It Withdraws – Billions Of Gallons Are Depleted From The Schuylkill River Each Year, Even After Supplementation.
• Limerick Started Operating in 1985. By 1999, The Schuylkill River Had Record Low Flows. Now You Can Walk Across The River Where You Once Needed A Boat.
TOXIC MINE WATER PUMPING TO OPERATE LIMERICK
• Exelon Pumped Billions of Gallons of Unfiltered Toxic Mine Pit Water Into the Schuylkill River (Up to 80 times Safe Drinking Water Standards) to Supplement the Flow for Limerick Operations.
• As Long As Limerick Operates, Billions of Gallons More Toxic Mine Water Will Continue to be Pumped Into This Vital Drinking Water Source.
LIMERICK THREATENS THE WATER SUPPLY ACROSS SIX COUNTIES
• Extraordinary Water Use Caused By Limerick’s Cooling Towers and The Potential For An Endless Water Supply For A Limerick Meltdown Threatens Water Availability From Schuylkill County to Philadelphia, And From The Delaware River.
RADIOACTIVE THREATS TO PUBLIC HEALTH, WILDLIFE, AND FISH
A BROAD RANGE OF DANGEROUS RADIONUCLIDES ARE IN SCHUYLKILL RIVER WATER, FISH, AND SEDIMENT. (Confirmed by Exelon’s Radiological Monitoring Reports to NRC)
RADIATION WAS FOUND IN PHILADELPHIA’S WATER (20 miles downstream from Limerick) AT SOME OF THE HIGHEST LEVELS IN THE NATION.
WATER COMPANIES WITHDRAWING SCHUYLKILL RIVER WATER ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO REGULAR RADIATION TESTING OR FILTRATION.
NRC’S DRAFT EIS FOR LIMERICK FAILED TO ACCURATELY REFLECT LIMERICK’S UNPRECEDENTED THREATS AND HARMS TO VITAL DRINKING WATER RESOURCES FOR MILLIONS. LIMERICK’S TREATS TO WATER ARE CLEARLY ENORMOUS, NOT SMALL, AS FALSELY CLAIMED BY NRC.
10-26-11 ACE provided NRC with a vast body of evidence in written testimony for Limerick’s EIS, including detailed analyses of Limerick Nuclear Plant’s water pollution permits and Limerick’s water use docket.
• ACE’S Detailed Analyses Of Limerick’s Water Pollution Permits, Water Use Docket, AND Documents Obtained Through FOIA and PA Right-To-Know, As Well As Other Information Provided to NRC Should Have Led NRC To A Clear Understanding Of The Grave Threats and Harms To The Schuylkill River And The People Using The Water As A Result Of Limerick Nuclear Power Plant Operations.
FACTS SUGGEST THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER CANNOT SUSTAIN LIMERICK’S USE AND ABUSE UNTIL 2049.
LIMERICK SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO CLOSE NOW TO SUSTAIN A SAFE, USABLE WATER SUPPLY FOR MILLIONS OF RESIDENTS AND MANY OTHER BUSINESSES.
Historic evidence proves it was clear even before Limerick Nuclear Plant was constructed, that the Schuylkill River was unable to sustain Limerick’s insatiable water use and abuse. It is not clear the river can continue to sustain the wide range of damages caused by Limerick operations even until Limerick’s current licenses expire in 2029.
• There may not be enough safe usable water for the almost two million people and other businesses that need the Schuylkill River for their water supply until 2029.
• A meltdown requiring massive amounts of water could cause millions to lose access to safe water
Detailed evidence below in this video blog supports ACE’s concerns about Limerick’s indisputable threats and harms to vital drinking water resources and ACE’s conclusion that Limerick should close now to protect these vital water supplies.
LIMERICK’S RADIOACTIVE GROUNDWATER
• Decades of Limerick’s leaks and spills have contaminated the groundwater under the Limerick site.
• Radiation from Limerick’s leaks and spills was never cleaned up.
• Monitoring is completely controlled by Exelon, the company with a vested interest in the outcome that has shown here and elsewhere that it can’t be trusted to provide full and accurate disclosure related to radioactive water contamination.
• Even Exelon’s monitoring has confirmed radiation in 15 of 15 monitoring wells.
• Monitoring is woefully inadequate to determine the full extent of the spread of underground radioactive contamination in this fractured bedrock aquifer. Only 15 monitoring wells are placed by Exelon on Limerick’s 600 acres.
• Testing confirms many radionuclides in groundwater (at least 12), proving it is not just tritium as claimed by Exelon and NRC.
• There is no guarantee that Limerick’s radioactive contamination has not traveled into nearby residential and commercial wells.
WELLS WITHIN 1 MILE From The Center Of The Limerick Nuclear Plant Site
46 Domestic Withdrawal Wells
13 Residences LESS Than 1 Mile From Reactor Building
3 Homes 1 Mile From Reactor Building
2 Commercial Wells
175 Feet From Reactor – 1 Potable Water Supply Well
• Health threats associated with the kinds of radionuclides detected in groundwater include:
Cancer – Birth Defects – Mutations – Miscarriages – In 1st and/or Successive Generations
RADIOACTIVE GROUNDWATER AND DRINKING WATER THREATS WILL INCREASE AS LONG AS LIMERICK OPERATES. LIMERICK SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO CLOSE EARLY TO MINIMIZE RISKS FROM RADIOACTIVE WATER.
• There Are Countless Opportunities For Breakdowns and Leaks Under Limerick Nuclear Plant Which Will Increase Radioactive Groundwater Contamination.
Miles of hard to inspect aging buried pipes under Limerick transport highly corrosive and radioactive fluids.
Evidence shows pipes and fittings are already corroding and deteriorating.
Leaks can go long periods of time without being detected.
Earthquakes can cause leaks by shaking and breaking in Limerick’s miles of underground pipes
Detailed evidence in this video blog supports ACE’s conclusion that Limerick should close now to prevent increased radioactive groundwater contamination under Limerick that can spread into nearby wells.
NRC’s DRAFT of Limerick’s Environmental Impact statement must be rejected by residents and elected officials, and Limerick must close to protect the entire Philadelphia Region. Read all four parts in this video blog series to understand what is at stake, and then take action on the four things you can do to help.
ACE REPORT VIDEO BLOG SERIES ON LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
PART 1 – OVERVIEW
NRC’S DANGEROUS WHITEWASH OF LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
NRC PRODUCED A DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR LIMERICK, BUT FAILED TO ACCURATELY IDENTIFY LIMERICK’S ACTUAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.
MOST ALARMING IS THE FACT THAT NRC’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FAILS TO ACCURATELY ADDRESS LIMERICK’S ROUTINE RADIATION RELEASES INTO OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THE IMPACT OF THOSE RELEASES ON PUBLIC HEALTH.
NRC’s whitewash of threats and harms caused by Limerick will result in a continuing assault on the environment and the health, safety, and financial interests of millions of people in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
NRC’s DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement (EIS of April 2013 did not acknowledge Limerick’s documented threats and harms that were submitted for Limerick’s EIS public hearing record by ACE In October, 2011.
NRC’s mission is to protect public health and safety related to Limerick Nuclear Plant operations. but NRC is only protecting Exelon’s profits and NRC’s jobs.
NRC ignored documented evidence proving harms are enormous, not small, as claimed by NRC. ACE provided NRC with a vast body of evidence 11-26-11, proving Limerick presents unprecedented harms and threats to our region, but NRC requirements are written in such a way that they can avoid full disclosure of Limerick’s harms from radiation exposure to the public.
NRC inaccurately and illogically claims that Limerick’s environmental harms are small. NRC’s “standard of significance” for impacts is woefully deficient and unprotective of the public. However, NRC’s claim is baseless. NRC did no independent monitoring or testing for Limerick’s DRAFT EIS. Exelon, the company with a vested interest in the outcome that has shown it can’t be trusted, supplied all the monitoring, testing, estimating, calculating, and reporting for NRC’s DRAFT EIS conclusions. This is unacceptable!
NRC’s EIS absurdly claims that Limerick’s environmental harms are no greater than solar or wind energy. The fact is, Limerick poisons our entire life support system with invisible radiation releases and other toxic chemicals, when solar or wind do not. Wind and solar do not leave deadly wastes that can continue to threaten our environment and health for many generations to come.
Public citizens joined ACE in presenting testimony at NRC’s 5-24-13 public hearing in opposition to Limerick’s outrageous Environmental Impact Statement. Summary comments from ACE officers and others on the major issues can be found in previous ACE blogs on this website.
ACE’s 90-page written testimony was submitted 6-24-13, reiterating detailed documentation of Limerick’s enormous environmental harms. This evidence shows why NRC is guilty of regulatory malpractice related to Limerick Nuclear Plant. To review details call (610) 326-2387.
NRC’s reckless decisions are abandoning public interests, especially in light of the Fukushima catastrophe. Our Congressmen have the power of oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Limerick can’t operate without further jeopardizing public health, safety, and financial interests. NRC has shown little interest in protecting public health and safety. Therefore, ACE has requested a Congressional hearing.
Limerick’s DRAFT EIS must be rejected and Limerick must close.
Congress should demand that NRC require Exelon to immediately take actions to reduce and/or eliminate all Limerick’s enormous threats, regardless of costs to Exelon. The public’s ultimate costs for Exelon and NRC delay tactics and avoidance of risk reduction could be astronomical.
The 7-19-13 Pottstown Mercury article by Evan Brandt, “Limerick Nuke Plant Among Those At Risk For Early Closure” show that Limerick could close early due to economics. But, we believe Limerick should close early due to its enormous radioactive and other toxic threats and harms to our air, water, soil, and children.
The following video blogs in this series support our conclusion:
Video Blog – Part 2 Limerick’s Unprecedented Threats and Harms to Water
Video Blog – Part 3 Limerick’s Major Air Pollution Issues
Video Blog – Part 4 Limerick’s Radiation Links to the Region’s Skyrocketing Cancer Rates
WE URGE YOU TO REVIEW THE BODY OF EVIDENCE PROVIDED IN THIS VIDEO BLOG SERIES, THEN CONTACT ACE IN SUPPORT OF OUR EFFORTS TO CLOSE LIMERICK
4 THINGS YOU CAN DO
1. VISIT THE ACE WEBSITE
2. INFORM OTHERS
3. CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS
4. ADD YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION
NRC is further jeopardizing the entire Philadelphia Region for generations to come by its unsubstantiated, inaccurate conclusions in the May 2013 Limerick Nuclear Plant DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
To date, our elected officials continue to remain silent, failing to speak up to protect our health and safety related to Limerick Nuclear Plant’s serious radioactive threats to our health, environment, and future and from unprecedented threats to our drinking water supplies across six PA counties and massive cooling tower air pollution. There has already been a documented cancer crisis since Limerick started operating in 1985. Our elected officials can no longer afford to put on blinders and silently allow these harms to our environment and residents to continue. We must demand protective action now from our elected officials.
ACE and others are requesting a U.S. Congressional investigation into NRC’s regulatory negligence, failure to enforce its regulations, and unacceptable rush to facilitate relicensing of Limerick Nuclear Plant. NRC has violated its own mission in failing to protect the environment and public health for millions of Philadelphia region residents in their shocking and shameless Draft EIS for Limerick.
We urge you to review statements made on behalf of public interests below, then talk to your local, state, and federal officials to support a Congressional investigation. Your health, safety, and financial interests are at stake. It’s about your future and that of future generations.
May 23, 2013 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public hearing for the public to make on-the-record comments on NRC’s DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Limerick Nuclear Power Plant relicensing.
Due to the time constraints placed on public comment by NRC, Alliance For A Clean Environment (ACE) members presented different testimonies at the 2:00 and 7:00 P.M. sessions.
The testimonies provide a summary on major problems and issues related to what is clearly an NRC whitewash that will further jeopardize everyone in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Below are testimonies from Dr. Lewis Cuthbert, ACE President, followed by Donna Cuthbert, Betty Shank, Charlie Shank, and Lorraine Ruppe.
Following ACE members’ statements are summaries of testimonies from Paul Gunter, from Beyond Nuclear, and Scott Portzline, fromTMI.
May 23, 2013
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Dr. Lewis Cuthbert, President
Alliance For A Clean Environment
1189 Foxview Road
Pottstown, PA 19465
Re: 2:00 P.M. Session Testimony on Limerick Nuclear Plant’s
Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
Members of ACE have reviewed the 585 page NRC Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Limerick Nuclear Plant. You should be ashamed of this flawed and biased report. The document is incomplete, unreliable, and invalid.
Your EIS is riddled with faulty assumptions, unsupported conclusions, glaring omissions, exemptions, delays and deferrals of vitally important and necessary actions, and exclusions of numerous environmental factors that will have adverse implications for generations. NRC’s callous disregard for public health and safety is shocking. You are guilty of nothing less than regulatory malpractice.
This public meeting/hearing has been sprung like a trap on our community. ACE objects to NRC proceeding on this EIS at this time, with important questions and issues not yet addressed or answered. There is no need, when Limerick’s current licenses do not expire until 2024 and 2029. NRC has failed to acknowledge or respond in writing to substantial written testimony submitted by ACE in October 2011 on fourteen major categories. Attached to, and part of this testimony, are photos of ACE display boards about some of the issues unanswered by NRC.
NRC also failed to adequately respond to additional questions submitted by ACE at your March 2013 annual Limerick performance review meeting for 2012 operations. Many of the serious, and still unaddressed concerns will be articulated in testimony presented and submitted by ACE members today. Although we received a response from NRC, most of the vague responses failed to adequately answer our questions.
The NRC is recklessly placing “the cart before the horse” in this matter. NRC must stop and delay all activities and actions related to Limerick Nuclear Plant relicensing, including finalizing this EIS, until AFTER:
1. Limerick’s Emergency Evacuation Plan has been revised to include
-Immediate notification of radiation releases through independent monitoring and reporting
-Expanding the Evacuation Zone to 50 miles
-Expanding the Ingestion Pathway Zone to 100 miles
2. National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) legal action appeals on Limerick’s Severe
Accident Mitigation Analysis (SAMA) Requirements have been resolved. NRDC believes
that after Fukushima, involving reactors similar to Limerick’s, that we should not rely on
decades-out-of-date safety analysis.
3. Exelon has completed all needed inspections, maintenance and corrective actions at
Limerick Nuclear Plant, that have been deferred until between 2017 and within 6 months of
the expiration of the current license in 2024
4. NRC’s court-ordered high level radioactive waste study has been completed (2014 or later),
and all waste storage issues and rules are in effect, including for Limerick
5. Earthquake Mitigation Plans have been completed (2017), and all necessary changes have
been made at Limerick
6. NRC required vents have been installed to prevent radioactive hydrogen gas buildup and
7. Exelon installs filters for the vents to minimize radiation releases during meltdowns. NRC
staff concluded the consequences of not installing filters could be so bad that filters should
be required regardless of costs.
8. Exelon installs filtration for Limerick’s water intake, to reduce harmful air pollution from the
9. Exelon installs filtration for Limerick’s radioactive and toxic wastewater discharges, to reduce
contamination of a drinking water source for almost two million people
10. Exelon installs filtration for toxic mine water pumped into a drinking water source, to operate
Limerick Nuclear Plant
This premature and incomplete EIS is a pathetic example of the lack of courage and integrity at the NRC You have abandoned and violated your own mission to protect public health and safety. You have betrayed this entire region, once again. NRC’s failure to protect our environment and residents is irrefutable evidence that you no longer have a moral compass.
Your rush to rubber stamp Limerick’s EIS and license renewals is a cowardly betrayal of every man, woman, and child in this community, as well as future generations that will unquestionably be harmed by twenty additional years of operation at Limerick Nuclear Plant.
It is our conclusion and recommendation that the U. S. Senate should investigate the NRC for willful blindness and regulatory malpractice, and disallow or forbid all permitting decisions for Limerick Nuclear Plant, until all unresolved findings, legal issues, and recommendations from NRC’s own staff are finalized and implemented.
ACE is formally requesting that NRC hold a public hearing in Pottstown, to address all of the relicensing issues for Limerick Nuclear Plant not specifically or adequately addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement.
Our community deserves nothing less.
May 23, 2013
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Dr. Lewis Cuthbert, President
Alliance For A Clean Environment
1189 Foxview Road
Pottstown, PA 19465
Re: 7:00 P.M. Session Testimony on Limerick Nuclear Plant’s
Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
Throughout this ludicrous Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), NRC has persistently understated, minimized, or denied the documented evidence of harms from Limerick Nuclear Plant. Your pro-nuclear industry bias is both unmistakable and shameful.
In Section 9.3.1 of your EIS, you admit that, “During nuclear power plant operations, workers and members of the public would face unavoidable exposure to radiation and hazardous toxic chemicals.” Despite this fact, NRC has actually suggested in this repugnant EIS that all of the environmental harms from Limerick are small, and have no measurable impacts. Nuclear power plants are the only facilities with the capability of rendering entire regions uninhabitable for decades, if not centuries, in the event of a radiation disaster. For NRC to claim that all power generating facilities generate similar wastes is a lie. You stated, “The generation of spent fuel and waste material, including low-level radioactive waste, hazardous waste, and nonhazardous wastes would also be generated at non-nuclear power generating facilities.”
NRC staff also concluded that cumulative impacts from Limerick’s license renewal would be small for all areas except aquatic ecology and terrestrial ecology. That conclusion is patently absurd.
You arrogantly and irresponsibly dismiss the harms, risks, and threats from Limerick as callously as you consider the members of our community to be acceptable collateral damage. You should be ashamed.
Even more astonishing, NRC staff concluded that continued operation of Limerick Nuclear Plant would have less environmental impacts than either solar or wind alternatives on air quality, groundwater, surface water, human health, and aesthetics. Such conclusions are beyond untenable and unscientific. They bring new meaning to the term hubris. These ludicrous conclusions by NRC staff are laughable, and sufficient to reject the Limerick EIS as having zero credibility.
In Section 9.3.2 of your EIS, NRC states, “After decommissioning these facilities and restoring the area, the land could be available for other productive uses.” This is a delusional conclusion worthy of no less than four Pinocchios! This is the same land that Exelon claimed was worth zero when it fought to avoid paying its fair share of property taxes for years. Consider this alternative – the only acceptable use of this site after decommissioning to members of our community would be as a regional NRC office.
NRC has utilized a “checklist mentality” approach throughout this EIS. Limerick’s Evacuation Plan is a perfect example. Exelon was required to have an update to its plan on file with NRC by 2011. The document was finally submitted to NRC in December 2012.
Analysis of Exelon’s Evacuation Time Estimate (ETE) for Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Plume Exposure Pathway reveals the update is based on unrealistic, unworkable suppositions, assumptions, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and illogical conclusions. NRC refused repeated requests to meet to review our detailed analysis of Exelon’s fatally flawed report.
Even more shocking was the admission by NRC officials that they had no need or intention to review, evaluate, or approve Exelon’s ETE. The report was turned in – check, and good enough for NRC. Every elected official in the region should be alarmed. Exelon’s ETE should be rejected by elected officials and NRC.
This EIS for Limerick Nuclear Plant is an insult to our community. Unsupported conclusions appear to fit your predetermined decision to use your infamous rubber stamp and approve an EIS that will facilitate relicensing of Limerick. The narrative simply does not comport with reality and documented facts in many areas. This biased EIS is invalid, detached from reality, and unacceptable. NRC has now lost all credibility in our community.
It is painfully evident that NRC has become a cowardly agency, unwilling to implement or enforce minimal protection of the public, despite readily available scientific evidence and well documented harms. Sadly, you choo se to be a subservient lapdog to the nuclear industry, rather than a vigilant watchdog protecting public interest. Only willful blindness could explain this EIS for Limerick Nuclear Plant, which is nothing less than a whitewash of epic proportions.
It is our conclusion and recommendation that the U. S. Senate should investigate the NRC for willful blindness and regulatory malpractice, and disallow or forbid all permitting decisions for Limerick Nuclear Plant, until all unresolved findings, legal issues, and recommendations from NRC’s own staff are finalized and implemented.
ACE is formally requesting that NRC hold a public hearing in Pottstown, to address all of the relicensing issues for Limerick Nuclear Plant not specifically or adequately addressed in the Environmental Impact.
Our community deserves nothing less.
To: NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
From: Donna Cuthbert, Pottstown, PA 19465 email@example.com
Re: May 23, 3013 2:00 P.M. Testimony
Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
NRC’s Environmental Impact Statement makes illogical, inaccurate, absurd, and indefensible claims. Calling Limerick’s environmental impacts “small” is an offensive lie.
NRC failed to honestly assess Limerick’s past, current, and additive harms since 1985. NRC did no testing. ACE repeatedly requested comprehensive independent monitoring and testing for this EIS. Instead, we got a despicable whitewash.
ACE documented how and why Limerick Nuclear Plant presents unprecedented environmental threats and health harms to our region in written testimony presented to NRC in October, 2011. Based on that, we reject NRC’s invalid unsubstantiated prediction of ‘small’ future harms from Limerick.
NRC failed to respond to our massive documentation. Would acknowledging facts require NRC to close Limerick? NRC wouldn’t give ACE one hour for a meeting with NRC’s Environmental Review Team. NRC clearly doesn’t want to face the facts. ACE display boards at this meeting are intended to identify significant harms NRC chose to ignore for Limerick’s DRAFT EIS.
ACE analyzed Limerick’s air and water pollution permits, and Exelon’s Radiological Monitoring reports which document enormous harms. NRC’s PR people are embarrassingly uninformed about Limerick’s air and water pollution. Instead of giving ACE an hour, NRC met with agencies that just issued 5-year pollution permits with exemptions for high levels of dangerous pollution in violation of protective laws.
Radiation reports for Limerick confirm many radionuclides are in our air, water, milk, soil, sediment, and fish. Yet, NRC keeps claiming Limerick’s radioactive releases are just tritium. Over 100 radionuclides are associated with Limerick operations. NRC looks foolish. One Limerick radionuclide is confirmed in the baby of our children at some of the highest levels in the nation.
Additive, cumulative, and synergistic harmful impacts since 1985 are unknown, but clearly enormous. NRC never did independent testing for each radionuclide or toxic chemical in each route of exposure.
• NRCs EIS conclusions rely on self-serving biased calculations, estimates, monitoring, and reports totally controlled by Exelon, the company
with a vested interest in the outcome, that has shown it can’t be trusted.
• Exelon’s deceptive radiation monitoring tactics were identified by ACE. Included:
(1) Radwaste monitoring declared inoperable for over a year (June 08 to July 09)
(2) Exemptions from reporting using lame excuses like misplaced monitors.
• To base EIS conclusions on visual site inspections is ridiculous! You can’t see, smell, taste, feel, or measure radiation or other toxics
Facts confirm Limerick’s environmental harms are enormous, not small.
1. Limerick is a major air polluter under health based standards of the Clean Air Act, releasing so much air pollution from the cooling towers, a
six-fold increase was granted in 2009 for the kind of air pollution that’s more deadly than ozone
2. Limerick’s PM-10 air pollution transports cooling tower toxics, pathogens, and radionuclides into our air every day with 44 million gallons of
steam. NRC must be aware that Exelon refused to install cooling towers at Oyster Creek, citing too much air pollution as the excuse.
3. Limerick is slowly but surely destroying the drinking water source for almost two million people from Pottstown to Philadelphia.
– Limerick discharges 14.2 million gallons of radioactive, heated wastewater every day.
– Limerick drastically exceeds Safe Drinking Water Standards.
– Without filtration Limerick can’t meet limits and Exelon won’t pay to filter.
4. The river water, sediment, and fish are contaminated with many radionuclides. That includes radioactive iodine-131 like that in Philadelphia’s
drinking water plus many others. It’s not just tritium as falsely claimed.
5. Limerick discharges are overheating the Schuylkill River, threatening the ecosystem. Limerick discharges up to 110 degrees into a river with an
87 degree limit every day.
6. Cooling tower water use threatens drinking water supplies across six counties.
7. Cooling towers depleted the Schuylkill River since 1985. By 1999, there were record low flows.
8. Since 2003, Exelon pumped billions of gallons of toxic unfiltered mine water into the river for Limerick operations.
9. Decades of radioactive leaks and spills contaminated groundwater.
- Only 15 monitoring wells on 600 acres are inadequate to know how many residential wells might already be radioactive.
- Radioactive leaks and spills were never cleaned up.
- 2009 radiation monitoring reports show;
- 15 of 15 wells detect beta radiation
- 9 detected alpha radiation
- 3 detected gamma radiation
- 4 detected uranium 233/234
NRC’s offensive EIS whitewash must be rejected.
May 23, 2012
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Donna Cuthbert, Pottstown, PA 19465
Re: 7:00 P.M. Testimony
Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
For an agency mandated to protect public health from Limerick Nuclear Plant operations, NRC’s mindset and insistence on repeatedly denying reality is intolerable.
NRC’s denials protect Exelon’s profits and NRC jobs, but allow more people to become tragic victims of Limerick Nuclear Plant’s radiation and other toxic releases. Sadly, NRC is infested with conflict of interests which are leading to lies that will further jeopardize everyone in our region.
NRC obviously ignored documented evidence of environmental and health harms compiled and submitted to NRC for this EIS in 2011 from ACE. This evidence of harm should have been alarming, even to NRC.
NRC did NO radiation monitoring or testing for this EIS. In reality, NRC has no idea how much radiation is released from Limerick.
Based on flawed and outdated theoretical models for radiation exposure, which only measure external doses, and ignore internal doses, NRC shamefully continues to absurdly claim Limerick’s radiation releases are safe.
“Permissible” does not mean safe. In 2005, the National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report said there is no safe. Dr. John Gofman, once head of AEC’s Lab, raised dire warnings about permitted releases from nuclear plants. He published research showing an estimated 32,000 Americans would die each year from fatal cancers induced by “allowable” radiation releases. Gofman said, “the entire nuclear power program is based on a fraud, that there is a permissible dose that wouldn’t hurt anyone.
We provided NRC with evidence showing communities around Limerick already exacted a high public health toll since Limerick started operating. A cancer crisis has been documented by PA Cancer Registry Statistics and CDC data.
Cancer rates skyrocketed far above the national average after 1985, when Limerick started releasing radiation into our air, water, soil, and people. Links to Limerick are clear. Limerick routinely releases radiation. Radiation causes cancer. We have a cancer crisis and one of the largest relays for life anywhere.
The upward trend in childhood cancer rates provides the most tragic link. By the late 1980s childhood cancer rates climbed to 30% higher than the national average, 60% higher in the early 1990s, and a shocking 92.5% higher in the late 1990s.
Infant and neonatal mortality rates are far higher than the state average, and even higher than Philadelphia and Reading (reported by EPA in 2003).
Studies provide a link. When nuclear plants open infant mortality rates go up. When they close rates go down.
Autism rose a whopping 310% (1990 to 2000).
Learning disabilities increased by 94%, a rate double the state increase. (1990 to 2000)
Strontium-90 Radiation Is An Undeniable Link.
Limerick releases Strontium-90. It’s in our air, water, and soil.
Strontium-90 is documented in the baby teeth of children at some of the highest levels in the nation.
NRC shamefully tried to blame decades old bomb testing far from our region.
Many Cancers Rose Dramatically by the Late 1990s. Examples include:
128% increase in Thyroid cancer
91% increase in Multiple Myeloma
61% increase in Breast cancer with rates far higher than the national average in every age group – 51% higher in women 30 to 44..
48% increase in Leukemia and almost double the state average
Limerick Nuclear Plant is clearly a major factor in the tragic and costly health crisis around it, with children the most profoundly impacted victims.
Exposure to Limerick’s radiation is an unavoidable and intolerable injustice.
We can’t see, smell, taste, or feel it, but it’s everywhere. We can’t avoid it.
As long as Limerick Nuclear Plant continues to operate, radiation and other dangerous toxics will be released into our air and water and more people will suffer needlessly.
We have lost patience with NRC’s lies, cover-ups, and negligence.
NRC should close Limerick now to protect public health. It’s time to stop unnecessary exposures and associated suffering and health care costs due to Limerick operations.
May 23, 3013
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Betty Shank, Pottstown, PA 19464
Re: Comments: Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
NRC’s job is to protect the public, but it has never acknowledged the astronomical costs and the lack of benefits for the public that result from Limerick nuclear operations.
As taxpayers and ratepayers, the public does not benefit from Limerick nuclear energy because Exelon makes its enormous profits while the public pays the lion’s share of its business costs in one of the biggest corporate welfare schemes ever. Public costs include:
1. Construction costs: The enormous costs were attached to electric rates that climbed to 55% above the national average.
2. Property and school taxes: Exelon refused to pay its fair share for years. Eventually a settlement was reached and Exelon now pays around $3
million a year, but that’s a pittance compared to the $17 million it should have been paying each year all along.
3. Avoidable Diseases: Cancers and other illnesses in this region are much higher than the national average and are linked to Limerick’s
radiation. The cost for one six-month-old child diagnosed with cancer and treated for just two years is over $2 million.
4. Water Contamination: Limerick’s toxic and radioactive wastewater discharges cost water companies and their customers more. Exelon should filter to
protect public health.
5. High-level Radioactive Waste Storage: Tons are produced at Limerick every year, remaining deadly virtually forever. The public cost is in higher
taxes to store it at Limerick.
6. Decommissioning: is funded through hidden charges in our electric bills. Through miscalculation on Exelon’s part, $100 million more will be
needed for Limerick, which Exelon wants ratepayers to fund. Exelon makes mistakes, and we pay for them.
Exelon hands out donations like candy with one hand, and picks our pockets to do it with the other. Its contributions to this community are paid for by us. It’s pennies on the dollar for Exelon. And the costs to the public are incalculable. I do not support NRC’s decision to re-license Limerick or understand its reasoning.
I support the recommendations of ACE.
May 23, 3013
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Betty Shank, Pottstown, PA 19464
Re: Comments: Limerick Nuclear Plant Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
NRC regulations have become as deteriorated and unprotective as Limerick’s aging equipment. That equipment is plagued by thinning, pitting, fatigue, erosion, leaching, embrittlement, and GE Mark II Boiling Water Reactor stress corrosion cracking. The list of opportunities for disaster is endless.
Limerick monitoring equipment has been out of service, unnoticed sometimes for more than a year and automated systems have failed, discovered only after accidents occur.
Public statements by NRC and Exelon following such events are generic and deceptive. The public receives no more respect than the river that Limerick is destroying and the air that it is polluting, all for Exelon’s profits.
NRC and Exelon have gone through all the motions required for re-licensing but, it’s all for show.
Hollow evacuation plans, lack of meaningful regulation, perfunctory public inclusion, and NRC’s willful blindness to the consequences of our routine radiation exposure increase public risk. It’s a nightmare, affecting the health of our families and the environmental legacy we leave our children and grandchildren.
Back in the ’80’s before Limerick construction was complete, a suit was filed when the public understood that Limerick operations would violate clean air standards and that design alternatives should have been considered. The suit was won in court, but successfully stalled until Limerick construction was complete. Back then, too many officials fell into the trap of weighing economic factors more heavily than public protection. Elsewhere, more enlightened thinking led to cancelled construction plans and closed plants.
Exelon makes no secret of the fact that its first concerns are profits and investors. Exelon executives believe nuclear plants create the profits. But, that’s because the public has been forced to support nuclear energy in an egregious example of corporate welfare. WE get sick, OUR drinking water supply is reduced and contaminated, OUR air is polluted, and still, we not only pay for many of Exelon’s nuclear business costs, but for its mistakes as well.
It is the height of injustice for NRC to allow this corporate abuse to continue, when safer electric power is available.
When NRC and Exelon claim that Limerick operations comply with NRC regulations, don’t be fooled. There’s hardly anything left of them for Exelon to comply with. It’s hard to imagine the risks that lie ahead in the decade that’s left of Limerick’s current license, let alone twenty years beyond that.
NRC may be approving Limerick license renewal simply because it can, not because it is its only option or the right thing to do. So this extraordinary breach of public trust will allow Exelon to continue its premeditated assault of humanity and the environment purely for profit. What a travesty!
I support ACE recommendations.
May 23, 3013
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Charlie Shank, Pottstown, PA
Re: Comments: Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
An issue that is finally getting some attention at U.S. nuclear plants is the leakage of radioactive water into the ground beneath and around these plants. ALL plants leak. These leaks come from pipes, tanks, and many of the plant’s systems. The NRC states that “events happen at all plants that are often unknown of, unseen, uncontrolled, and unmonitored releases of radioactive liquids into the ground”.
Exelon spokesmen will tell you that they monitor everything and that they have control of everything – don’t believe it! The NRC statement contradicts that propaganda. These radioactive releases are in addition to the known surface spills that frequently occur.
In 2006, nuclear plants started a program to check into this mounting leakage problem. Fifteen wells were drilled on Limerick property outside of the power block area where the reactors and other equipment sits.
One well, P-12, south and down gradient of the power block area showed 4,400 p/ci/L of tritium, well over the reasonable European safe drinking water level for Tritium which is 2700p/ci/L. Not liking the results, that well was closed and almost immediately a new well was drilled, well MW-LR9. This well, west and down gradient of the power block showed 1700 p/ci/L. Over the next few years, as all 15 wells were tested, they all showed Tritium and all 15 showed gross beta emitters. Three wells contained gamma emitters, 9 had alpha emitters, and 4 out of 5 wells tested positive for uranium.
All the ground around Limerick’s plant is radioactively contaminated. Most water flow at Limerick, both surface and subsurface, is to the south and west toward Possum Hollow Creek, the Schuylkill River, and East Coventry Township. Many wells on the East Coventry side of the river are in the same Brunswick fractured bedrock formation.
Recently Exelon re-gifted East Coventry with 154 acres it had taken by eminent domain from private citizens and the township some 30 years ago. This land could have been subjected to possible radiation contamination above and below the surface for many years before it was returned.
This story reminds me of the Trojan horse story. With Limerick’s renewed license, and at least 30 more years of contamination to come, imagine what this land could turn into. No independent radiological study was ever done before this land was transferred. The people of East Coventry should insist on radiological studies now and in the future. I’m very grateful to Mr. Michael Moyer, East Coventry Supervisor, for his ability to see the possible serious problems with this situation and question this decision.
I say, “Beware of utilities bearing gifts”!
I support Ace’s recommendations.
May 23, 3013
To: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Charlie Shank, Pottstown, PA
Re: Comments: Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
Recently, the Limerick Nuclear Plant refueled reactor #1. It also uprated the plant to produce more energy. To do this, they have mixed in a more powerful fuel, GNF2, and changed the shape of the fuel bundles. These changes make more power, more radiation, more heat, and put more stress on the aging equipment. Exelon is now close to the maximum output for the Limerick reactors. To add more power, expensive changes would be necessary to handle the even greater stresses and increased radiation.
Everyday, 14.2 million gallons of very hot water leave the cooling towers loaded with dissolved solids and radiation. This hot brew goes down pipe 001 to the diffuser and into the Schuylkill River. It enters the river at 110 F, a much higher temperature than the Schuylkill River limit of 87 F.
When water is hotter than 95 F, it fosters the growth of thermophilic microbic organisms. These organisms include Legionella and Samonella, among others. These pathogens thrive in warm water. They can also cause fatal infections and pneumonia in compromised individuals and the elderly. This hot water needs to be cooled down more than it can be at the present time.
Exelon asked the Pa. DEP to provide comments about these pathogenic organisms in the river. Exelon wanted the Pa. DEP to confirm Exelon’s conclusions that no harm would come from the pathogens during an extended period of operation with these higher temperatures.
The Pa. DEP, to its credit, said it had no data on these organisms in the river to support Exelon’s claims. The Pa. DEP was unable to reach any conclusions as to the possible health effects, thus not supporting Exelon’s contentions.
I think it would be better to have more independent study done now and solve any unknowns before racing to re-license Limerick. We have 11 years remaining in the present licensed period to properly work out these problems. We should no just skip over them, or wait until a serious accident happens.
The job of the NRC is to protect public safety, not the nuclear industry! The way the NRC has been acting lately makes the IRS look good!
I support ACE’s recommendations.
May 23, 2013
From: Lorraine Ruppe, Pottstown, PA
Subject: Testimony On Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
I’m concerned about an earthquake triggering one or more meltdowns at Limerick Nuclear Plant. What worries me are the miles of hard to inspect pipes and cables buried under Limerick that can be disrupted and then incapable of delivering vital electric and cooling water to prevent meltdowns.
NRC should be worried too, but instead gave Exelon until 2017 to come up with a new seismic risk “study” or plan. It’s beyond negligent for NRC to allow Exelon to wait years to take action. Limerick is considered a high-risk nuclear plant and earthquake risks are increasing.
My search for earthquake fault lines closest to Limerick Nuclear Plant is one big reason I have no confidence in any of NRC’s conclusions in Limerick’s Environmental Impact Statement.
May 2011, I asked NRC how close the nearest fault lines were to Limerick Nuclear Plant. September, 201I at the first EIS hearing, I repeated my request. When NRC finally responded, I received a letter and map showing earthquake fault lines 9 and 17 miles from Limerick.
Later, I learned NRC failed to disclose an earthquake fault right under the Limerick site and two others within 2 miles. Local residents discovered a 1974 seismic study for Limerick in the Pottstown Library, clearly identifying these faults.
So why did NRC fail to disclose these faults when I asked about the closest earthquake faults to Limerick.? Was this a cover up or incompetence? Neither is good. April 18, 2012 NRC’s Andrew Rosebrook, who sent me the map and letter, claimed to be unaware of the fault under Limerick when shown the seismic map from the library.
The August 2011 earthquake in Virginia shook Limerick Nuclear Plant and caused a Limerick notice of violation. This should have caused NRC to require Exelon to reduce seismic risks immediately
Rosebrook did admit that the Ramapo Fault, just 17 miles away from Limerick is active. He also validated my concern about blasting at the quarry bordering Limerick.
Fracking could trigger an earthquake disrupting underground pipes and cables. Over 3,000 gas well were approved in PA. 2,000 more are to be approved this year.
Structural problems and flaws associated with Limerick construction are a concern. For example, Limerick’s packed deadly fuel pools were constructed with substandard cement.
All this, yet NRC isn’t requiring Limerick to do important seismic upgrades until after 2017, even though Limerick is considered by some to be 3rd on the nation’s earthquake risk list. By then, we could have an earthquake and meltdown.
Limerick should never have been built here in the first place. NRC falsely claims earthquake risks were considered prior to Limerick approval. That’s not true. The first reactor was delivered to Limerick’s construction site in 1972, two years before the 1974 Limerick seismic study was completed.
With earthquakes becoming stronger and more frequent, NRC owes it to us to shut Limerick down before it melts down.
May 23, 2013
Testimony To: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
From: Lorraine Ruppe, Pottstown, Pa 19464
Subject: Testimony On Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Environmental Impact Statement
NUREG-1457, Supplement 49, Docket ID NRC-2011-0166
How can NRC believe Exelon’s outlandish claims that they are stewards of the environment when in fact, evidence shows Exelon is damaging the environment every day that Limerick operates? Common sense tells us nothing in the world threatens our environment and our health more than Limerick Nuclear Plant operations.
We shouldn’t have to live with radiation and other toxics poisoning our water and bombarding our children because of Limerick Nuclear Plant operations.
We shouldn’t be faced with a depleting water supply because of Limerick’s cooling towers or risk having no water if Limerick has an accident or meltdown. Our drinking water could dry up or become so radioactive we can’t use it.
Exelon pumps toxic mine water into the river up to 80 times Safe Drinking Water standards. Toxics don’t magically disappear. They end up in our drinking water. Manganese, one of the toxics, can lead to permanent brain damage from showering.
NRC dismissed serious threats to public drinking water from Limerick Nuclear Plant. NRC met with DEP and DRBC, but they just gave Limerick 5-year permits to use and pollute our drinking water, with dangerous loopholes and exemptions because Limerick can’t meet Safe Drinking Water Standards or other protective limits. That didn’t reduce our risks. Exelon should have been required to filter Limerick discharges and those from the mine water to protect drinking water and public health.
Limerick causes irreparable and irreversible damage to the river, then donates to a fund to deceptively claiming they protect the river. Not one dime of that fund was ever spent to reduce Limerick’s radioactive or other toxic discharges.
Exelon’s donations are a drop in the bucket compared to their profits and tax avoidances. Sadly, organizations hoping to get funded from Exelon, then ignore Limerick’s poisoning of our water and children.
How can we take care of our health when we are forced to drink, bathe in and breathe in toxic chemicals from Limerick operations?
Too many people are really sick, having thyroid problems, and dying of dreaded diseases like cancer. Look at the huge cancer rallies in our community.
Why should we risk our lives and fear meltdowns, more sickness and cancer for Limerick’s electricity, when safer energy is available? The problem is, NRC appears to be more of a salesman, than a policeman.
Nuclear Power already destroyed parts of the world. This dangerous dinosaur technology must make way for safe clean energy alternatives that won’t destroy our water supplies and health.
Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear 5-23-13 Summary of Comments On Limerick Nuclear Plant’s EIS
• Limerick regulations are not accounting for risk and threat
• I OPPOSE Limerick Relicensing.
• Limerick is a regional and national issue
• NRC should suspend all reviews or relicensing after Fukushima.
• Limerick is similar to reactors at Fukushima that exploded.
• NRC has a conveyer belt process.
• Failing to consider environmental impacts at Fukushima
• NRC has no will or ability to challenge license extensions . 75 are done. No rejections in spite of all the questions
• Limerick application is in violation of license agreements. NRC knows design will fail. NRC’s own staff – 2012 – 0157 – GE BWR at Limerick
- #16 – 2 Limerick Units Violation of General Design Criteria #16
- Must have a leak-tight barrier for as long as required
- Limerick 1 and 2 very likely to fail in an accident
- NRC’s own staff —– for core damage 50-50 chance of recovery
- 50-50 chance vessel will fail
- 75% chance will not recover – Will be significant radiation release into environment
- 90% chance meltdown of core will by-pass system and burn through seals with catastrophic unfiltered radiation released downwind – THAT’S US.
- NRC estimated necessary design, structure, systems, and components ….in violation of system for safety.
- Limerick can’t be run without undo risk to public health and safety, but;
- Mark II – 100% guaranteed failure under severe accident conditions Leading to massive land contamination and groundwater contamination.
- Fukushima demonstrates 100% guaranteed failure – Units 1,2,3 – Multiple explosions with massive land contamination and groundwater
• NRC weakened regulations
• Public is not provided a process that fairly evaluates risk.
• We don’t need Limerick to be operating at this risk
• Limerick should be put in phase out, not relicensed.
Scott Portzline, TMI – Comments On Limerick EIS 5-23-13
• Generation growth not occurring in PA – Downturn – 1/3 of what it used to be
• Limerick could close and it wouldn’t affect the grid
• Limerick has safety deficits
• Undue risks – NRC is not charged with protecting your property
• NRC assumptions are not on the side of safety
• NRC conclusions should not be accepted by anyone.
• He agrees with ACE – Data does not support conclusions in report
• 100% vents failed in reactors similar to Limerick
• Hydrogen buildup – Paul Gunter predicted explosion on CNN day before it happened at Fukushima
• Should heed the warnings of TMI
- TMI failed to follow guidelines – Evacuation was delayed
- Higher degrees of radiation – waited too long
• Relicensing process should not be happening
• NRC relies on state for radiation monitoring – Investigation
• Section 5.2 – Denying outside threat of sabotage causing severe accidents
- NRC considers NO more than internal initiated event
- Study flawed
- What if hole in containment from saboteur
- NRC confines analysis to the building staying in tact.
TELL NRC AND ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS, UNTIL LIMERICK CLOSES, CHANGES MUST BE MADE TO LIMERICK’S
1. IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION OF ACCIDENTAL RADIATION RELEASES.
• Establish INDEPENDENT radiation monitoring so the public can be informed immediately when Limerick has a higher than usual radiation release.
• Independent Regional Radiation Monitoring and Reporting Program For Limerick Nuclear Plant Radiation Releases, With Continuous Radiation Data Posted In Real Time On County Emergency Management Websites.
• Immediate Notification to the public of radiation levels exceeding background levels for more than one hour. Public notification should be made through the emergency broadcast system plus recorded notification message to telephones.
• Provide an immediate electronic public alert system for higher than usual radiation releases.
2. EXPAND LIMERICK’S EVACUTION ZONE TO 50 MILES
• Demand that Limerick’s evacuation zone be expanded to 50 miles, to better protect the health and financial interests of millions of people.
• Fukushima made it clear that high levels of radiation travel far more than 10 miles.
• U.S. citizens in Japan were advised to evacuate 50 miles from Fukushima.
3. EXPAND LIMERICK’S INGESTION PATHWAY ZONE TO 100 MILES
• Demand that Limerick’s ingestion pathway zone be expanded to 100 miles, to reduce radiation exposure to millions from radioactive food, water, and soil.
• Dangerous levels of radiation have been detected over 160 miles from Fukushima in water, soil, and food.
• Radioactive water and food cannot safely be consumed. Limiting use of radioactive food and water can minimize unnecessary risk of cancer and other diseases and disabilities .
YOUR VOICE IS URGENTLY NEEDED!
CONTACT LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS IN THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA REGION.
WITHOUT YOUR VOICE, THERE WILL BE NO CHANGES.
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE!
LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT CAN HAVE CATACLYSMIC MULTIPLE MELTDOWNS LIKE FUKUSHIMA.
• Fukushima revealed that multiple meltdowns could occur at Limerick Nuclear Plant too. With reactors and fuel pools like those that exploded at Fukushima, Limerick could release large amounts of radiation.
• It only takes loss of power and cooling water. Loss of power and water could be triggered by earthquakes, other natural disasters, cyber attacks, human error, terrorist attacks with planes or missiles, a host of safety and age-related structure and parts problems, mechanical breakdown, corrosion and aging of miles of buried pipes carrying highly radioactive, corrosive, and heated fluids.
MILLIONS IN THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA REGION COULD BECOME NUCLEAR REFUGEES, POTENTIALLY LOSING THEIR HEALTH, HOMES, BUSINESSES, JOBS, AND ALL THEIR POSSESSIONS.
Evidence from Fukushima and Chernobyl show the Radioactive Plume from Limerick Meltdowns would travel far beyond the arbitrary 10-Mile Evacuation Zone. Hundreds of thousands of our children would be transported to radioactive locations just outside the 10 miles.
• Radiation can start escaping off-site within 1/2 hour of a Limerick accident. Yet, Exelon is not required to immediately notify the public. History shows NRC waited days or weeks to notify the public. History shows the truth about the amount and kinds of radiation released will not be fully disclosed to the public until days or weeks later, if ever.
• In a severe Limerick radiation release, moving away from the plume as quickly as possible is imperative to limit radiation exposure and threats to health. Remaining in traffic far too long while exposed to Limerick’s radioactive plume can result in radiation sickness short term. Long-term it can result in increased cancers and many other diseases and disabilities.
• Massive populations on crowded roads, with bottlenecks and accidents, would create widespread chaos, anxiety, and fear. Normal Route 422 Traffic Jams Speak Volumes.
• NRC and elected officials knew In 1980, before Limerick construction was completed, that we had double the population density that could evacuate safely. Since then, population increased over 100%. Just as today, NO agency or elected official spoke out to protect public health, safety, and financial interests.
• FINANCIAL INJUSTICE. Millions of people in the Greater Philadelphia Region could become nuclear refugees losing their health, homes, businesses, and all their possessions. Over 8 million people live within 50 miles of Limerick Nuclear Plant.
• People cannot expect to be compensated for loss of personal property, including homes that would become permanently uninhabitable and businesses that would be unusable. In fact, industry and government could be expected to minimize all compensation costs for evacuated victims and would resist evacuating other victims outside the 10-mile zone to avoid costs. Victims outside the 10-mile evacuation zone wouldn’t even be compensated for temporary housing, even though they would still be in the dangerous radioactive plume.
• It is unclear which agencies are responsible for every aspect of a Limerick radiation accident / meltdown. NRC is already trying to claim no responsibility for off-site radiation. In Japan, the nuclear company claimed they had no responsibility for off-site clean-up.
The ACE Video-Blog Series Should Serve As A Wake-Up Call To Millions In The Greater Philadelphia Region, Related To Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Negligent Emergency and Evacuation Planning.
• This series identifies problems and flaws with Limerick’s Emergency and Evacuation plans.
• It provides evidence of NRC’s historical and current failures and corruption in policies and decision making that compromise and further jeopardize millions of people whose lives could be harmed or ruined permanently as the result of a Limerick Nuclear Plant Radioactive Accident and/or Meltdown.
• It reveals how NRC is refusing to make changes to evacuation planning that could actually reduce radiation exposures to millions in a radiation accident and/or meltdown.
• It reveals why our elected officials must demand a system for immediate independent public notification of a Limerick accidental radioactive release, and demand expanded evacuation and ingestion pathway zones.
The Alliance For A Clean Environment www.acereport.org
January to April, 2013
Part 1 – Reveals NRC’s Pared Down Emergency and Evacuation Plans Even After Lessons From Fukushima
Part 2 – Supports the Need for Immediate Notification And Expanded Evacuation and Ingestion Pathway
Part 3 – Reveals The Truth and Consequences of Radiation Exposure From Nuclear Plant Accidents or
Part 4 – Reveals What Really Happened After Fukushima, Chernobyl, and TMI Meltdowns
Part 5 – Reveals The Financial Injustice To The Public From A Radiation Accident / Meltdown
Parts 6 and 7 – Reveal Fatal Flaws In Emergency – Evacuation Plans for Limerick Nuclear Power Plant
Part 8 – Identifies What Must Be Done to Minimize Radiation Risks From A Limerick Radiation Accident
The Purpose Of This Series Is Minimizing Chaos And Reducing Radiation Exposure By Improving Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Fatally Flawed And Inadequate Emergency and Evacuation Plans.
1) IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION OF ACCIDENTAL RADIATION RELEASES.
2) EXPAND LIMERICK’S EVACUTION ZONE TO 50 MILES
3) EXPAND LIMERICK’S INGESTION PATHWAY ZONE TO 100 MILES
YOUR VOICE IS URGENTLY NEEDED!
CONTACT LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS IN THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA REGION. WITHOUT YOUR VOICE, THERE WILL BE NO CHANGES.
ACE ANALYSIS OF:
Exelon’s Evacuation Time Estimate (ETE) For Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Plume Exposure Pathway Emergency Planning
ACE requested a copy of Exelon’s most recent 12/12 “Evacuation Time Estimate” (ETE), hoping to find ways to improve on unprotective evacuation plans for Limerick Nuclear Plant. Unfortunately, after careful review of Exelon’s ETE, we are more concerned than ever. This report confirms that safe and timely evacuation is an illusion.
This plan will result in extended radiation exposures, further jeopardizing health and safety for millions in the Greater Philadelphia Region, in the event of a Limerick Nuclear Plant radiation accident / meltdown.
Exelon’s ETE is self-serving fiction based on unrealistic, unworkable suppositions, assumptions, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies, with fact-free spin and illogical conclusions. Exelon’s letter accompanying its ETE concludes with: “There are no commitments in this letter”. That disclaimer speaks volumes.
Exelon’s ETE is a logistic fantasy that is clearly not either realistic or feasible. NRC officials for Limerick had not even evaluated Exelon’s ETE as of the NRC meeting 3-21-13. Any elected official in the region who reviews Exelon’s ETE objectively, should be alarmed. Exelon’s 12/12 ETE should be rejected by elected officials and NRC.
Elected and agency officials knew in 1980 that the population density around Limerick made safe evacuation impossible. They should have stopped Limerick construction. Since 1980, the region’s population soared, making an impossible situation far worse. It’s long past time for elected officials and NRC to protect the public’s health and financial interests, instead of Exelon’s profits.
Based on the impossibility of safe evacuation, NRC can and must shut Limerick down before it melts down.
OF GREATEST CONCERN: CHILDREN
More Than 65,000 Children In Limerick’s 10-Mile Evacuation Zone (Attending Over 230 Schools and Day-Cares) Could Be Transported To Reception Centers Just Outside Limerick’s 10-Mile Evacuation Zone.
Reception Centers Would Likely Still Be In Limerick’s Radioactive Plume.
MOST CHILDREN COULD BE TRANSPORTED TO RECEPTION CENTERS STILL IN LIMERICK’S RADIOACTIVE PLUME .
TO HAVE ANY HOPEOF MINIMIZING RADIATION EXPOSURE FOR OUR CHILDREN, RECEPTION CENTERS FOR EVACUEES SHOULD BE PLANNED AT LEAST 50 MILES AWAY BASED ON EVIDENCE FROM CHERNOBYL AND FUKUSHIMA.
• Based on evidence from Fukushima and Chernobyl meltdowns, Limerick Nuclear Plant’s 10-mile evacuation zone must be increased to at least 50 miles to keep vast numbers of children from unnecessary radiation exposure and the many health harms, including cancers, that would result from a Limerick Nuclear Plant radioactive accident / meltdown.
• Exelon’s ETE for Limerick, Unnecessarily Exposes Far Too Many Children To Limerick’s Radioactive Plume For Far Too Long. Reception centers are not far enough outside the 10 mile EPA. Most would still be in Limerick’s radioactive plume. Many mass care centers planned for Limerick evacuees could also still be impacted by Limerick’s radiation.
Evidence from Chernobyl and Fukushima meltdowns prove evacuating children just beyond 10 miles is negligent. NRC evacuated U.S. citizens that were within 50 miles of the Fukushima meltdowns.
Children far outside Fukushima’s 12-mile evacuation zone experienced radiation sickness symptoms.
Children over 40 miles away have radiation in their bodies at doses 20 times above recommended safety limits. Vast numbers of Chernobyl children, far distances from the meltdown, experienced devastating diseases and disabilities, especially leukemia, other cancers, and heart problems. See ACE Blog #4 about what really happened at Fukushima and Chernobyl www.acereport.org
• Exelon’s ETE plus ACE’s school mapping of Limerick’s 10-mile evacuation zone show there are over 230 schools, pre-schools, and day-care centers. It is difficult to account for all public and private pre-schools, day-cares, and schools. Most day-cares and pre-schools have no emergency plans.
• Some school districts straddle the 10-mile EPZ radius. That creates a different set of problems.
For example, parents of Methacton School District students believe that all of the school district is in the evacuation plan because all schools in the district are included on Exelon’s mailed evacuation brochure. However, Exelon’s ETE, which most parents won’t see, places Methacton High School outside Limerick’s evacuation zone. This causes confusion for school district officials, parents, teachers, and students.
IT APPEARS EXELON’S ETE GROSSLY OVERESTIMATES SCHOOL BUSES AND CERTIFIED DRIVERS AVAILABLE FOR EVACUATION.
• Over 65,000 children would need to be evacuated.
• All children are assumed to be evacuated from all schools simultaneously. However, in reality, there are not enough school buses or certified drivers to evacuate all children from all schools simultaneously.
• We can only conclude that thousands of children would be left behind. Currently, many school busses make two separate trips every day – 1 trip for Elementary and 1 trip for Secondary Schools Within Districts. This fact is not addressed in Exelon’s ETE. Currently, public school districts are also responsible for bussing private school students. This factor is also not addressed. Complicating the problem, many bus drivers admit they wouldn’t return for a second trip.
1,224 ESTIMATED BUSES NEEDED (Page 1-9)
1,388 CHARTED BY SPECIFIC SCHOOLS (Pages 6-18 to 6-22)
PROBLEMS BEYOND THE 164 – BUS SHORTFALL:
• NO buses or drivers are planned for the schools and day-cares missed by Exelon’s ETE.
• Availability of certified licensed school bus drivers assumed in Exelon’s ETE is questionable at best.
• Assumed vehicle availability along with perfectly modeled traffic patterns make this ETE unworkable to protect children in a Limerick radiation accident / meltdown.
• Residential students from the Hill School and Ursinus College (possibly well over 1,000) are not even included in Exelon’s Time Estimate.
WHY SUCH A HUGE DISPCREPANCY WITHIN EXELON’S ETE?
Page 6-17 Itemized Total 1,706 Vehicles Needed For Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Retirement Communities and Other Special Facilities
Page 1-9 Their narrative total for the current study shows 442 vehicles needed
EXELON’S ETE ESTIMATES FOR AMBULANCES AND VANS:
1,706 AMBULANCES and VANS NEEDED
(To Assume That Such A Large Number Would Be Available Simultaneously Defies Logic.)
EXELON’S ETE CONVERSELY CLAIMS:
ONLY 442 AMBULANCES AND VANS ARE NEEDED (PAGE 1-9),
EXAMPLES FROM THE ITEMIZED LIST OF 1706
Pottstown Hospital – ETE Lists 332 Ambulances / Vans Needed
Phoenixville Hospital – 82 Ambulances and Vans
Pottstown Hospital Is Within 1 Mile Of Limerick. Phoenixville Hospital Is Also Within The 10-Mile Zone. Both Would Need To Be Evacuated Immediately.
Exelon’s ETE says 332 Ambulances / Vans would be available for Pottstown Hospital, and 82 would be available for Phoenixville Hospital.
Where would all these Ambulances / Vans, and Drivers come from to evacuate simultaneously?
There is no medical reception center specified in Exelon’s ETE to accommodate large numbers of patients requiring specialized care. Where would so many patients from several hospitals and nursing homes be evacuated to?
Some patients could become highly radioactive during an extended evacuation and be rejected by hospitals or other facilities, as the radioactive people were in Japan.
EXAMPLES FROM THE ITEMIZED LIST OF 1706 ALSO INCLUDE:
Montgomery County Rehabilitation Center – 330 Ambulances and Vans
Veterans Center – 146 Ambulances and Vans
INCONSISTENCY WITH PRISONS
Montgomery County Prison – 100 Vans and Buses (1,200 Inmates)
Where will all these prisoners go? There is no destination designated for these prisoners.
Graterford Prison Would NOT Be Evacuated. Instead Graterford Prisoners And Guards Are Supposed To Shelter In Place.
There is no mention of what will happen with guards and other prison employees.
How will prisoners sustain themselves if all employees evacuate?
Exelon’s ETE States 1,706 Ambulances and Vans Would Be Available Simultaneously To Evacuate In A Timely Manner.
To assert that 1,706 ambulances and vans would be available simultaneously is beyond irresponsible.
Exelon’s ETE drastically underestimated people without cars in places like Pottstown, Royersford, and Collegeville.
• Exelon’s ETE Listed Only 4500 People (.015% of 292,061 Population) As Transit Dependent Population Determined To Be Within Limerick’s 10 Mile Evacuation Zone By Exelon’s Report (Section 5.3 on Page 5-3)
4,500 is .015% of the estimated 292,061 population, a gross understatement of what could be a significant need.
Exelon’s report unbelievably suggests that 99.985% of people in Limerick’s 10-mile evacuation zone would have access to vehicles to evacuate.
Exelon’s ETE requires 150 Bus Trips To Evacuate People With No Transportation (Page 1-9).
ACE CONCLUSION: This defies logic!
EXELON’S ETE MUNICIPAL PICK-UP POINTS ARE UNREALISTIC
• The ETE required residents to call township, borough, or local officials to find out schedule of pick up points.
People who work for boroughs and townships are likely to want to evacuate immediately with their families, not man phones.
PROBLEM: The list of municipal pick-up points that are in Exelon’s mailed brochure for Montgomery County are all in Pottstown. What happens to people in Royersford and Collegeville? If they have no transportation, how do they get to Pottstown?
If the radiation accident / meltdown occurs from a natural disaster like an earthquake, contacting officials could become impossible because of loss of power.
EXELON’S ETE TELEPHONE SURVEY THAT WAS THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING RESIDENTIAL VEHICLE AVAILABILITY WAS NOT REPRESENTATIVE.
• Telephone Survey On Residential Vehicles Available For Evacuation (Appendix B – Pages 1-7)
The sample was too small to make valid conclusions.
Only .001 % of residents responded.
Only 317 responses were analyzed out of 292,000 total households.
Approximately 64% of the 317 were 55 years old or older.
- Survey Questions Failed To Accurately Identify Residential Vehicle Needs
Survey questions were centered on who in the family is working, how many vehicles they have, how long it would take to get to work and home, and what shift people worked.
ETE surveyors should have asked if that resident would have another vehicle available if other family members didn’t come home.
Questions were omitted concerning household vehicles used by workers who were teachers or healthcare workers required to stay with students or patients by Exelon’s ETE.
Teachers would go to host center with students. Health care workers are expected to stay with patients or shelter in place.
Prison workers would be required to evacuate with prisoners or shelter in place with them.
ETE’S BLINKING LIGHTS AT INTERSECTIONS COULD CONTRIBUTE TO CONFUSION, CONGESTION,AND ACCIDENTS.
• Blinking Lights – (Page 4-2)
Exelon’s ETE Requires Manual Override of Traffic Lights by Undesignated Officials, supposedly to alleviate bottleneck points. In reality, under emergency conditions, a blinking signal would not alleviate congestion, but instead contribute to confusion, increased congestion, and accidents.
CONFUSION CREATED BY EXELON’S ETE HINDERS SAFE LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT EVACUATION
• Traffic Congestion – (Page E-3)
The ETE fails to assume worst case scenarios where traffic is stopped all together by adverse weather conditions or traffic accidents. At the most it assumes that the worst case scenario would add only 160 minutes due to adverse winter weather.
• Traffic Estimates for Employees of Many Businesses Were Excluded From Total Vehicle Estimates (Appendix A, Page 6 of 13)
For example: Under the list of major employers, many businesses which contribute to traffic congestion are excluded, including diners, restaurants, convenience stores.
Examples: Costco, Wawa and Turkey Hill Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, Banks, Car Dealers, Movie Theaters, Restaurants, Library
Numbers of vehicles from these businesses would clearly affect roadway congestion and traffic patterns during evacuation.
• Recreation and Shopping (Appendix A Page 8 of 13)
Estimates for numbers of people at shopping centers appear to be substantially underestimated.
Some parks have been overlooked. For example, Manatawny Park, Riverfront Park in Pottstown, Manderach Park in Limerick, and other local parks.
• Train Traffic – Possible Complications Not Addressed
There seem to be NO specific plans addressing train traffic for some of which carries hazardous materials, that goes through the Limerick site.
Would train traffic be stopped to facilitate evacuation?
Problems Created By Exelon’s ETE Faulty Assumptions:
• The worst problem of all is that this report places little priority on limiting radiation exposure to evacuees.
• Exelon’s ETE covers a 16-hour evacuation period (Appendix D – Maps of Average Speed by Hour for Road Network Pages 1-16.
• Each hour of exposure to Limerick’s radiation during an accident / meltdown critically impacts the health of residents, especially fetuses and children.
• Exelon’s ETE is a shameless sham that satisfies a regulatory requirement with little regard for reality. Exelon’s ETE includes 100 pages of filler devoted to the unrealistic expectation that its assigned speed limits will be maintained during evacuation on the roads listed and that volumes of traffic will not be exceeded. (Appendix C – Roadway Network Data Table – Pages 1 to 100)
• Exelon’s ETE allows too much time to elapse between public notification and actual evacuation.
This is about radiation exposure. Yet, initial notification could bypass residents until a response work force is brought in. People living near Limerick would be exposed to radiation the whole time, as long as that takes. (Section 5.2 – Page 5-3) The ETE time lapse warning process means the last 10% to 20% of the population learns too late that an evacuation order has been given.
• Time estimates are based on Exelon’s self-serving proposition that there will be no deviations from the plan. Survival instincts will compel people to flee in ways not anticipated in this ETE.
• Exelon assumes school, hospital, and other employees are going to abandon their loved ones to get on buses and ambulances and follow this plan to the letter. Exelon requires people to abandon their natural instincts to care for their families.
Exelon’s Self-Serving ETE Is Unworkable, Unprotective, and Irresponsible.
Exelon’s ETE confirms that Exelon still has no plan to safely evacuate the millions of people surrounding Limerick Nuclear Plant.
Exelon hasn’t produced an evacuation plan that ensures safe, timely evacuation from within 10 miles of Limerick Nuclear Plant.
Therefore, it is impossible to produce a plan for a 50-mile evacuation zone, which Fukushima has proven is minimally necessary to protect public health and safety..
To prevent unnecessary environmental devastation and health harm for millions, Limerick Nuclear Plant should close as soon as possible to prevent such a catastrophe from happening in the first place.
To Better Understand What We Could Face After A Limerick Radiation Accident / Meltdown, See ACE Video Blog At www.acereport.org – Part 4, For The Truth About Consequences Of Chernobyl and Fukushima Meltdowns.
Major Problems With Limerick’s Current Evacuation Plan:
1. A broad range of extremely dangerous radionuclides would be released in the radiation plume from a Limerick accident/meltdown. Yet, Exelon’s ETE is not based on radiation exposure risk. Emergency workers are not required to practice for a radiological event. This ETE shows why vast numbers of people would be harmed, why Limerick must close to prevent this unnecessary risk, and why even after Limerick is closed we must have truly effective evacuation plans.
2. NRC Should Require Exelon To Notify The Public Immediately In The Event Of A Limerick Nuclear Accident / Meltdown. Radiation Releases Could Start Within The First 1/2 Hour.
• PROBLEM: Radiation is invisible. You can’t smell it, taste it , feel it, or see it.
• NRC should not allow Exelon to wait hours or days. It took 3 days before officials told people to evacuate after TMI.
• Radiation sickness symptoms that would occur within 1 to 24 hours would mimic flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever). People wouldn’t realize it was from radiation exposure.
• Exelon’s track record suggests the public won’t be notified until Exelon can no longer hide the accident and can manipulate the messaging. For example, Exelon waited 23 days to notify the public about the 3-19-12 radioactive spill into the drinking water for almost 2 million people from Limerick to Philadelphia.
• Likely, there wouldn’t be an explosion. Increasing radiation could be pouring into our air and water, poisoning us and our life support systems, and go undetected by us. Radiation is invisible and odorless. We can’t see, smell, taste, or feel radiation.
• Radiation exposure symptoms within 1 to 4 weeks could also mistaken for other problems (dizziness, disorientation, weakness, fatigue, bloody vomit and stools, infections, poor wound healing, low blood pressure, and hair loss).
• Long-term radiation damage, such as tumors and cancer, could take years to develop.
• To minimize disaster, immediate evacuation is imperative and the public must heed the first warnings. This statement was made after Fukushima by Michael Chertoff, previous Homeland Security director.
3. Evidence proves Limerick Nuclear Plant’s radiation plume would travel far beyond our current 10-mile evacuation zone, yet:
• NRC is inexplicable and negligently refusing to expand Limerick’s evacuation zone to 50 miles as they did for U.S. citizens in Japan after Fukushima meltdowns.
• NRC is also refusing to expand our ingestion pathway zone from 50 to 100 miles, even though soil, food, water, buildings, animals, and people have documented to be radioactive far beyond 50 miles in Japan.
4. Evidence from actual meltdowns shows most people would be evacuating to centers inside highly radioactive areas, even though they go outside the 10 mile evacuation zone from Limerick.
• Children are the most impacted victims, far more vulnerable to impacts of radiation than adults.
• Children should be moved as far as possible, at least 50 miles away from Limerick in a radiation accident / meltdown.
5. A massive population would be trying to move on over-crowded roads where there would likely be bottlenecks and accidents that would extend the time people are forced to be exposed to Limerick’s radioactive plume,
• There would be widespread chaos, fear, and anxiety.
• Bus Drivers, first responders, and police would face enormous challenges as they attempt to manage and control certain chaos and gridlock on virtually every road in the region.
ACE talked to vast numbers of people in the community. Below are concerns expressed by some of them.
Many people do not realize what would be expected of them.
For example, ACE found most people would expect to evacuate with their families. However, workers at many institutions will be expected to remain behind to care for children, the elderly, prisoners, or patients.
• Health care staff would be expected to remain at their facilities to assist in the care and supervision of patients.
• Teachers would be expected to travel with their children to the locations just outside the 10-mile zone – likely still in the radioactive plume.
• Some prison workers would be expected to shelter in place with the prisoners.
• Municipal office workers in the heavily populated towns (where many people have no cars, like Pottstown, Royersford, Phoenixville, etc.) would be expected to remain in the building for hours, taking calls directing people to locations to wait for buses to evacuate them. Buses likely won’t even come for many.
• Pre-school workers would be expected to remain with the children until parents get there to pick up their children. That could take hours or may be impossible due to chaos.
Assumptions that just won’t work in reality:
• By the time people are notified, they will already have been exposed to radiation releases. Radiation can start escaping in the first 1/2 hour after an accident, but Exelon is not required, and likely won’t, immediately notify the public. People remained unnecessarily exposed far too long before being told to evacuate from Chernobyl and Fukushima.
• Hospitals would be unprepared and unable to treat so many victims of radiation sickness. Some victims could become so radioactive they would be turned away from hospitals and emergency care facilities outside the evacuation zone, as happened in Japan.
• Evacuation plans for schools assume parents will not rush to pick up their children. That just isn’t realistic. Most parents say that is just what they will do.
• Some school plans are contradictory. One school sent home a letter stating parents couldn’t pick up their children, but also told parents where to wait when picking them up.
• Most school bus drivers say that even if they could transport their first load of children to reception centers, they wouldn’t and couldn’t come back for the second.
• Emergency responders may be out in radioactive plumes for hours.
• There are not enough qualified drivers for school buses, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles, even if there were enough vehicles (which there are not).
• There are conflicts of roles for police officers, bus drivers, and first responders. They face challenges of whether to save themselves and their families or stay and save others. This becomes most difficult with a nuclear accident spewing radiation into the air.
CONTACT ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS
URGE ALL OFFICIALS TO:
1. DEMAND THAT LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT CLOSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO PREVENT A MELTDOWN
UNTIL LIMERICK CLOSES DEMAND:
2. IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION OF LIMERICK RADIATION ACCIDENT
HISTORIC FATAL FLAWS IN LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S EMERGENCY / EVACUATION PLANS
Safe Evacuation Was IMPOSSIBLE In 1980, Before Limerick Construction Was Completed!
In 1980, Population Density Around Limerick Was Already DOUBLE The Number NRC Deemed Safe For Evacuation.
• After the 1979 partial TMI meltdown, NRC’s population criteria were determined for safe evacuation from a meltdown: 500 Persons Per Square Mile In A 30-Mile Radius of a Nuclear Plant Site.
• In 1980, Population Around Limerick Was Double That Density.
Since 1980, Population Around Limerick INCREASED Over 100%.
• Clearly, Safe Evacuation Is Merely An Illusion. We Can’t Evacuate Safely Now With 100% Population Increase From 1980. Limerick Nuclear Plant Should Have Been Scrapped In 1980,Like Shoram Nuclear Plant In New York
Neither Shoram Nor Limerick Nuclear Plant Could Be Evacuated Safety In 1980, Prior To Completion Of Construction. Shoram Was Scrapped, Limerick Was Completed. Why?
New York Elected Officials Valued Public Health And Safety Enough To Take Action.
Elected Officials In PA Did Not!
SHORAM NUCLEAR PLANT WAS SCRAPPED DUE TO IMPOSSIBILITY OF SAFE EVACUATION.
• 1983 (FEBRUARY): Resolution Passed Declaring Shoram Evacuation Plan Deficient: Suffolk County Legislature Passed A Resolution By A 15-1 Vote That Asserted That The County Could Not Be Safely Evacuated.
• 1989: Shoram Nuclear Plant: SCRAPPED BECAUSE Of EVACUATION PLANS. Governor Cuomo Ordered State Officials Not To Approve Any LILCO(owner)-Sponsored Evacuation Plan. State and local officials knew there was NO WAY to SAFELY EVAUCATE In Case Of An Emergency.
• 1992: Shoram Nuclear Plant was DISMANTLED DUE TO IMPOSSIBILITY OF SAFE EVACUATION.
With 100% Population Increase And Growing Risk Of Meltdowns At Limerick
Elected Officials In PA Should Get Limerick Shut Down Due To Impossibility Of Safe Evacuation, Before It Melts Down
CONTACT ALL YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS NOW:
TELL THEM WE CAN’T EVACUATE SAFELY. THEY NEED TO HELP US GET LIMERICK SHUT DOWN BEFORE IT MELTS DOWN!
1980 Pottstown Mercury News Provides Insight Into Limerick Nuclear Plant’s Evacuation Plan
Pottstown Mercury, May 28,1980
1980: HEARING ON THE NEED FOR EVACUATION PLAN FOR LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT
Held By The House Subcommittee On Energy And The Environment
Quotes Followed By ACE Comments Show PECO DECEIVED US FROM THE BEGINNING:
• 1980 – PECO Vice President Vincent S. Boyer Said, “Emergencies That Require Evacuation Will Not Occur.”
ACE Comment: He ignored the 1979 TMI partial meltdown with a dangerously delayed evacuation, that just happened in PA, not far from Limerick. Since then there was Chernobyl and Fukushima.
• 1980 – Boyer drew hisses and boos from the audience during a heated debate with the panel of four Congressmen.
ACE Comment: Our region’s residents recognized PECO deception in 1980.
• 1980 – Boyer claimed safety features at the Limerick Plant would not allow the escape of deadly radiation even if an accident did occur.
ACE Comment: Facts suggest even more deadly radiation would be released from a Limerick accident / meltdown due to Limerick’s substandard containment.
• 1980 – NRC Director Harold Denton said that prior to the mid-1970s, the NRC had no population criteria for nuclear plants. “Before Three Mile Island (1979 – 1 year earlier) if a plant met certain specifications, it was approved.” Denton said the NRC wanted only 500 persons per square mile in a 30-mile radius of the site. He said, “Limerick has about double that density today” (1980)
NRC expected that people within 30 miles would be harmed, yet today we have only an unprotective 10-mile evacuation radius.
In 1980 Limerick was surrounded by double the population density that NRC found acceptable for evacuation within 30 miles. With the drastic population increases around Limerick in the past 32 years, the population is far too dense for safe evacuation today.
• 1980 – Denton admitted that under the (population) standards in place …being applied to nuclear plants being planned (1980), the Limerick site would never be approved (in 1980).
ACE Comment: NRC knew in 1980 that it was not possible to evacuate safely around Limerick, yet NRC allowed Limerick’s construction to go forward.
• 1980 – Denton said special evacuation preparations must be made for … Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and the State Correctional Institution at Graterford.
More than 30 years later there still isn’t a realistic viable evacuation plan for either.
2013 Evacuation Plans for Pottstown Hospital list an extraordinary number of ambulances that do not appear to exist. Even if vehicles could be found, it is unlikely there would enough qualified drivers.
The Phoenixville Hospital, not far from the Pottstown Hospital, also lists large numbers of ambulances and other vehicles. Unrealistic!
2013 Evacuation Preparations for the prison do not exist – the plan is now to simply shelter in place, regardless of the radioactive threats. What about radioactive threats to all of the employees needed to operate the prison?
• 1980 – Congressional Subcommittee Chairman, Peter Kostmayer (D-Bucks County), said Evacuation plans should be required before the Limerick plant is licensed for operation.
ACE Comment: Now, over 30 years later, evacuation plans have been pared down, even though NRC is planning to relicense Limerick, a dangerous aging plant with increasing risks of meltdowns.
• 1980 – Congressional Subcommittee Member, Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said “Economic pressures have limited PE’s concern for safety.”
ACE Comment: Today, over 30 years later, pressures from the industry and regulators have further decreased concerns for safety related to emergency planning and evacuation.
• 1980 – Congressional Subcommittee Member, John Cavanaugh (D-NEB) accused Boyer (PECO) of having “A lack of concern for public fears and concerns”
ACE Comment: Today, Exelon and NRC not only have a lack of concern, they deny actual evidence from meltdowns that occurred both at Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011).
• 1980 – Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud, Coalition on Nuclear Power, said, “Evacuating the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area would be impossible. The area’s dense population is one reason the nuclear plant should be scrapped.”
ACE Comment: Evacuating the Greater Philadelphia Region safely today is clearly impossible, given the drastic increases in population over the past 32 years. NRC knew Limerick should not have been licensed due to impossibility of safe evacuation. Now the impossibility of safe evacuation should stop Limerick relicensing in its tracks.
• 1980 – Federal, state and county officials said there is no detailed evacuation plan for the Limerick Plant, which is within 10 miles of 195,000 people and within 30 miles of 4 million people.
Today, over 30 years later, there is still no detailed evacuation plan that could avoid chaos and minimize radiation risk.
293,000 people are now within 10 miles (2010 Population Data – www.nrdc.org)
Nearly 100,000 more people since 1980
Over 8 Million people are now within 50 miles (2010 Population Data – www.nrdc.org)
Since 1980, Millions more people live within 50 miles.
• 1980 – Not even one witness could explain how an evacuation could be carried out.
ACE Comment: In 2013, no one can still explain how the evacuation plan could be carried out.
• 1980 – Boyer from PECO offered advice to any Pottstown Area Resident who hears of a Limerick Nuclear accident: “Stay home, your house is a good shield. Cellars are the best place to go.”
Moving as far away from Limerick’s radiation, as fast as possible is the most protective choice.
While staying home is preferable to sitting in traffic under Limerick’s radioactive plume in the short-term, it is imperative to evacuate as soon as safely possible.
Staying home is not a safe long-term solution. Everything becomes radioactive, drastically increasing short and long-term health impacts..
IT WAS SHAMEFUL TO LIE ABOUT LIMERICK EVACUATION AND IGNORE THE TMI MELTDOWN
In 1980, PECO Vice President Vincent S. Boyer Testified During Limerick’s Hearing, Stating,
“Emergencies That Require Evacuation Will NOT Occur.”
Shame On PECO’s VP! One Already Had Happened 1 Year Earlier! The Three Mile Island Partial Meltdown March 28, 1979, Required Evacuation Right Here In Pa, Not Far From Limerick.
The PA Governor waited 3 days, leaving people unnecessarily exposed to TMI’s radiation releases. Delayed notification is likely to still happen today if Limerick has a radiation accident / meltdown.
TMI may be responsible for 50,000 to 100,000 Deaths. Details about consequences of TMI’s partial meltdown are available:
“Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-up” By Jay Gould and Ben Goldman, 1990
Gould Suggested: Infant Deaths Soared In Counties Surrounding TMI – 53% 1st Month, and 27% 1st Year
Birth Defect Deaths Higher : 10 Counties Closest to TMI – 15% to 35%
1983 – South Coventry Refused to Approve PE Evacuation Plans
(Pottstown Mercury, August 4, 1983)
• All municipalities within a 20-mile range of the Limerick site had been asked to research their communities and forward the information to their respective county governments. The state was ultimately responsible for a master evacuation plan.
• Richard Whitlock, South Coventry Chairman of Supervisors, said “There are too many gaps in the forms and alot of unanswered questions. We’re not going to approve something for the energy consultants to send to the NRC.”
• The Mercury reported that it was undetermined if an individual plan could be forced onto South Coventry without the approval of local officials.
ACE Comment: If only elected officials in other local municipalities and our Pa Governor had refused to approve PE Evacuation Plans, Limerick construction could have been stopped. We wouldn’t face the risk of disaster today from Limerick meltdowns and the injustice of losing our health, homes, and all our possession.
1983 – GAO REPORT FOUND NUCLEAR EVACUATION PLANS DEFICIENT
(Pottstown Mercury, August 3, 1983) GAO (General Accounting Office – Investigative Arm of Congress) SAYS NUCLEAR EVACUATION PLANS ARE DEFICIENT.
GAO Official Ralph Carlone said,
• “The Federal Emergency Management Agency” has not established minimum standards that (TEST) exercises must meet and has approved exercises that did not provide ample opportunity to demonstrate response capabilities.”
• “Plans for training federal, state, and local government officials have not been implemented.”
• “FEMA does not always require that all plan elements are tested, or verify that they are complying with federal criteria.”
• There is no evidence that deficiencies from earlier exercises have been corrected.
• “Local communities that want to prevent or delay the start-up of a reactor, could use their refusal to participate in the emergency planning process to achieve their objectives.”
In 2011 – PEMA deputy press secretary told The Mercury, while the evacuation plan for Limerick was last updated in 2008, “There have been no serious changes to evacuation routes since they were first devised.”
In 2012 – NRC Pared Down Emergency and Evacuation Planning – NRC’s New Rules Make No Sense. Despite Devastating Lessons After Chernobyl and Fukushima:
1. NRC Requires FEWER Exercises for Major Radiation Accidents
2. NRC Recommends FEWER People Evacuate Right Away
3. NRC Allows Emergency Drills To Be Run Without Practicing for Radiation Releases
Many responders view NRC’s new rules as downright bizarre.
In 2012 – 2013 – GAO is currently examining Limerick Nuclear Plant’s evacuation plans, but is avoiding critical questions regarding radiation exposure, the major threat to millions associated with a Limerick Nuclear Plant meltdown.
GAO’s three primary areas of inquiry include:
1. “What are the roles and responsibilities of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state and local entities in evacuation planning for U.S. nuclear power plants?”
2. “How do NRC and FEMA perform their evacuation planning roles and responsibilities?
3. “How do NRC and FEMA help communicate evacuation plans and the risks associated with a potential nuclear power plant accident to the public?”
GAO’s New Report Doesn’t Appear To Address NRC’s Pared Down Planning, Eliminating Practicing For Radiation Releases or NO REQUIREMENT for IMMEDIATE Notification To Reduce Harmful Short and Long Health Consequences From Radiation Releases in A Limerick Accident / Meltdown.
Multiple Meltdowns Can Happen At Limerick Nuclear Power Plant.
1.It Only Takes Loss of Power and Cooling Water – This Can Be Triggered by Earthquakes, Other Natural Disasters, Fires, Terrorist Attacks, Human Error, or Mechanical Breakdown of Aging Equipment.
2.NRC Is Not Requiring Important Seismic Upgrades At Limerick Until After March 2017, 5 Years After Fukushima. By Then We Could Face Meltdowns. Limerick Is Now Ranked 3rd On The Nation’s Earthquake Risk List, With An Earthquake Fault Right Under The Site And Four Others Within 17 Miles. Earthquake Threats Are Increasing In PA, Including As A Result Of Thousands of Wells Drilled For Natural Gas Fracking In PA.
3.Limerick’s Reactors Are Similar to Nuclear Reactors That Exploded at Fukushima, Yet NRC Is Disregarding and Delaying Its Own Staff’s Most Important Safety Recommendations After Fukushima, Increasing Threats For Radiation Accidents / Meltdowns At Limerick.
4.Limerick Has Design Flaws That Can’t Be Corrected. Cement in Limerick’s Reactor Containment and Fuel Pools Is Substandard.
5.NRC Is Weakening Many Safeguards and Oversight For Limerick’s Aging Problems. Limerick’s Safety Evaluation Reports Verify Corrosion At Far Greater Rates Than Estimated, Plus Cracking, Pitting, Fatigue, Fouling, Thinning Through Loss of Material, Embrittlement, and Leaching of Steel and Other Metals Making Up Bolts, Piping, Welds, Ducts, Liners, Cladding, External Surfaces, and Walls. It’s Only A Matter of Time.
6.Even Though There Is Potential For Devastation Across Hundreds of Miles From A Limerick Radiation Accident/Meltdown, Limerick’s Emergency Plans Are Negligent, Reckless, and Fatally Flawed, Increasing Long-Term Devastating Health and Financial Risks For Millions.
Limerick Meltdowns Could Result In Catastrophic Consequences
For Millions In The Greater Philadelphia Region.
We Could Lose Our Homes, Possessions, Livelihoods, and Health.
1980 ACCIDENT ESTIMATES FOR LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT
74,000 Early Fatalities
610,000 Early Injuries (most any U.S. reactor)
34,000 Cancer Deaths
Population Increased Over 100% Since 1980
Numbers Above Would Be Drastically Higher Toady
Philadelphia Is Just 21 Miles Downwind, Downstream.
In 1980, NRC expected that people within 30 miles would be harmed. In 1983, all municipalities within 20 miles of Limerick were asked to send information to the county for emergency planning. Yet, we ended up with only a 10 mile evacuation zone.
After Fukushima Meltdowns, NRC Told U.S. Citizens Within 50 Miles To Evacuate.
Over 8 Million People Live Within 50 Miles Of Limerick Nuclear Plant
1974 MELTDOWN CONSEQUENCES – From NRC’s Rasmussen Report
45,000 Radiation Sickness Cses (Requiring Hospitalization)
3,300 Deaths (From Acute Radiation Sickness)
45,000 Fatal Cancers (over 50 years)
250,000 Non-Fatal Cancers (over 50 years)
190 Defective Children Born PER YEAR
$14 BILLION Property Damage – NOT Insurable
Limerick’s Evacuation Plans Cannot and Will Not Minimize Radiation Sickness, Cancer, and Other Health Harms For Millions Of People.
POPULATION DENSITY AROUND LIMERICK MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO EVACUATE SAFELY.
CONTACT ALL OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TODAY:
TELLTHEM TO SPEAK UP TO GET LIMERICK SHUT DOWN BEFORE IT MELTS DOWN.
ACE Cancer Mapping Reveals A Cancer Crisis That Occurred After Limerick Nuclear Plant Started Operating In 1985. Mapping Represents Documented Cancer Victims Up To 2004.
PA Cancer Registry data from 1985 to the late 1900s proves there were shocking cancer increases in communities near Limerick Nuclear Plant after Limerick started operating in 1985. See Download #2 on ACE Website (Cancer- Skyrocketing Increases: Links to Limerick), for statistics on increased cancers in communities near Limerick Nuclear Plant.
The link is clear. Since 1985, Limerick Nuclear Plant routinely released radiation into our air and water. Our soil, food, and bodies are impacted. We are continuously exposed to a broad range of radionuclides released from Limerick through many routes of exposure, including our air, water, soil, and food. The National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report proves radiation exposure can cause cancer at any level, especially in children. Childhood cancers skyrocketed in communities near Limerick, from 30% higher than the national average in the late 1980s, to 92.5% higher than the national average.
Rather than working to minimize cancer risks, government agencies and some elected officials were more interested in covering up alarming cancer statistics documented in four cancer studies using the PA Cancer Registry data. As a result, in 2002, ACE officers hand delivered health surveys to over 4,000 residents in Pottstown (mailing address of Limerick Nuclear Plant) and the bordering Pottsgroves. In 2004, ACE mapped the cancers reported through ACE health surveys and other sources.
Cancer mapping from ACE health surveys provided visible evidence of the cancer crisis in communities near Limerick Nuclear Plant.
ACE cancer mapping does not represent all cancers in these communities. There was not enough room to map all victims. Some streets were riddled with so many cancer victims, that mapping them all would have made streets unreadable. Well over 500 cancers not mapped were identified before 1994. Hundreds more identified from 1995 to 2004 were also not mapped.
Cancer victims from other neighboring communities also completed and sent health surveys to ACE through our website. They learned of the ACE survey project through letters to the editor in the Pottstown Mercury and our Pottstown Cable TV shows.
Financial Injustice To The Public
Related To A Nuclear Plant Radiation Accident / Meltdown
Taxpayers Unfairly Saddled With Staggering Financial Burden by Congressional Act
• The Price Anderson Act Guarantees The Nuclear Industry That It Won’t Have To Pay More Than $12 Billion for a U.S. Nuclear Plant Accident / Meltdown.
NRC documents suggest that Exelon is only required to set aside $375 MILLION in preparation for a meltdown.
As of 2012, Exelon has only set aside $223.8 MILLION of the $375 MILLION.
• NRC and Independent Experts Agree That A Nuclear Plant Meltdown Would Cost At Least $1 Trillion.
The Evacuation Zone Becomes A Key Factor In Which Victims Even Have An Opportunity To Apply For Temporary Housing, Reimbursement Costs For Lost Property and Possessions, or Relocation Costs.
Evacuation costs are calculated on the number of people living in the evacuation area.
Cost is an obvious reason NRC is refusing to require Exelon to expand Limerick Nuclear Plant’s evacuation zone, even after Fukushima proved expanded evacuation and ingestion pathway zones are needed to protect public health and safety.
• Taxpayers Are Unfairly Burdened With The Lion’s Share (Almost $900 Billion) Of The $1 Trillion Cost.
With a shrinking federal budget and high national debt, it is doubtful that hundreds of billions of dollars would be provided for compensation claims from nuclear refugees.
Note the difficulty of getting $60 billion from Congress for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Some in the Gulf still haven’t been fully compensated for loss of property and businesses for the BP oil spill.
These disasters were highly visible and still victims are not being fully compensated.
With a nuclear meltdown, radiation is invisible.
Radiation from a meltdown would cause unprecedented long-term harmful health impacts and decades of environment devastation.
Just as in Japan, nuclear refugees would be lose everything.
Survivors would have a difficult time even getting temporary housing, let alone compensation for relocation and long-term medical care.
Other Costs and Consequences to the Public
Once a large amount of radiation enters an ecosystem, it quickly becomes widespread, contaminating water, soil, plants and animals making a large area around the nuclear plant an uninhabitable dead zone for generations. Nuclear refugees can lose everything they own. Homes inside the exclusion zone would be uninhabitable but owners may be forced to continue to make mortgage payments. Those outside the declared evacuation zone where radiation levels are still dangerously high, would not even get modest compensation to cover costs of living as evacuees. Only the wealthy could afford to escape radiation exposure.
No Agency Wants Responsibility for Attempting Clean Up After a Nuclear Disaster. Agencies Ignore or Miss the Fact That Nuclear “Accidents” NEVER End.
• No agency admits the obvious – that a nuclear plant radiation accident / meltdown is likely to be impossible to clean up.
• Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) struggle to determine which agency, and with what money and legal authority, would oversee cleanup in the event of a large-scale accident at a nuclear power plant that disperses radiation over vast areas impacted by meltdowns.
• NRC informed the other agencies that it does not plan to take the lead in overseeing such a cleanup and that money in an industry-funded insurance account for nuclear accidents would likely not be available – According to documents obtained by Inside EPA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). (Request Part 1, Request Part 2)
• Refusal to even address the issues – Questions regarding whether or how EPA or others would attempt a clean-up after a nuclear power plant incident were “based on hypothetical situations / scenarios” and that EPA could not “give an assessment on something that [was] hypothetical.”
Source: “Agencies Struggle To Craft Offsite Cleanup Plan For Nuclear Power Accidents” November 10, 2010 http://insideepa.com/Inside-EPA-General/Inside-EPA-Public-Content/agencies-struggle-to-craft-offsite-cleanup-plan-for-nuclear-power-accidents/menu-id-565.html (Published 09/11/11)
Evacuees Escaping Radiation Become Nuclear Refugees.
• A Radioactive Accident / Meltdown creates a dead zone, where homes and properties are uninhabitable for generations.
• People whose homes and businesses are in the “Dead Zone” lose their homes, businesses, and possessions.
• Evidence shows that “Dead Zones” go far beyond 10-miles, Limerick’s current evacuation zone.
• People outside the 10-Mile evacuation zone who suffer the same damages inside the designated evacuation zone would get NO compensation.
• Tragically, many people could NOT move because they could NOT afford to rent or buy another home.
• Homeowners insurance is NOT available to residents and small business owners to cover sustained losses from a Limerick Nuclear Plant radiological accident.
• Currently, even in the 10-Mile Evacuation Zone, there seems to be NO specific plan for temporary housing for the hundreds of thousands of people for as long as needed, much less full reimbursement for displacement.
FINANCIAL QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE ANSWERED BEFORE A LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT RADIOACTIVE ACCIDENT / MELTDOWN:
• Which agency is in charge of providing funding for temporary housing for the hundreds of thousands of evacuated residents within the 10-mile evacuation zone?
Which federal agency would be responsible to oversee claims? NRC, EPA, or FEMA?
Is there reimbursement compensation guaranteed to victims from the evacuation / dead zone?
What proof would home and business owners need to produce to validate the legitimacy of claims for loss of radioactive property and possessions?
The gulf disaster shows why Exelon, Limerick’s owner, can’t be left to control the process.
• Victims of a nuclear disaster should anticipate lengthy delays in receiving compensation, compared to victims of Hurricane Sandy, where even when a clear plan was established prior to the disaster, and people were forced to wait months for reimbursement.
• Inside the Limerick Nuclear Plant 10-Mile Evacuation Zone, hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars would be needed to compensate victims for losses due to radioactive contamination of:
Homes – Personal property – Furniture – Vehicles
Private insurers do not cover radioactive contaminated property or possessions due to a Limerick Nuclear Plant radiation accident / meltdown.
Will home owners and business owners be obligated to continue to pay mortgages for radioactive properties that can’t be safely occupied? Homeowners are obligated to continue paying mortgages on radiation uninhabitable properties in Japan.
• Anyone with a job once held in the evacuation zone would lose their livelihood.
How would they pay for new living expenses following a meltdown?
In this highly populated Philadelphia Region, especially during a recession, how would the millions of evacuated victims find new jobs?
• How could business owners from evacuation zones be fully compensated for:
Loss of Income from Operations?
Loss of A Building or Plant For Safe Operations?
Loss of Business Equipment and Vehicles?
• Who would pay the astronomical medical expenses for hundreds of thousands or even millions of people who may need:
Treatment For Radiation Sickness?
Long -Term Medical Treatment for the broad range of human health impacts, in addition to cancer, resulting from radiation exposure after a meltdown, such as those suffered after Chernobyl?
• Who would pay for:
Final expenses and burial costs?
• Local governments, police and fire departments whose facilities are also radioactive will need to move their operations
Will Exelon or taxpayers bear the costs?
• Who will pay to evacuate hospitals that are in the evacuation zone like Pottstown and Phoenixville?
Who pays for emergency responders and the radiation-protective gear that would be needed for such a massive rescue effort?
• Would the industrial rail line which runs directly through the Limerick Nuclear Plant site have to be closed down?
How would that impact other businesses?
Fukushima’s Financial Meltdown
Costs and Consequences of Fukushima Provide Evidence of What Could Happen Here
The precise value of the abandoned cities, towns, agricultural lands, businesses, homes and property located within the roughly 310 square miles of the exclusion (“dead”) zone has not even been established. Independent experts say industry estimates of economic loss are grossly underestimated, to date, ranging from $250-$500 billion U.S.
September 2012, Fukushima officials stated that 159,128 people had been evicted from the exclusion (“dead”) zones, losing their homes and virtually all their possessions. (That was a sparsely populated area compared to our Philadelphia Region.)
• Most have received only a small compensation to cover their costs of living as evacuees.
• Many are forced to make mortgage payments on the homes they left inside the exclusion zones.
• In the beginning, they were not told that their homes will never again be habitable.
• TEPCO, Fukushima’s owner, refuses to take responsibility to compensate people for the radioactive fallout destroying their homes, businesses, food, and water.
• The company actually claimed in court that radiation is no longer their responsibility once it spreads off-site.
• People outside the zone were not told to evacuate, even though radiation levels were extremely dangerous. Outside Japan’s official evacuation zone, people got NO compensation even for costs of living as evacuees.
• Only the wealthy could afford to evacuate and leave everything behind.
Efforts to clean up highly contaminated areas are failing.
• Melting snow and rainwater run off the contaminated hills and return to recontaminate homes and land.
• Diversion ditches have failed to stop the process.
• Areas significantly contaminated with radioactive cesium and other long-lived radionuclides can no longer sell and export agricultural crops.
News Articles Listed Below Show Government and TEPCO Exhibited Absolute Disregard For Victims.
Japanese Officials Exposed Their Own People To Dangerous Radiation And Financial Threats, Rather Than Expose TEPCO, Fukushima’s Owner, to Financial Risk.
• Over 13,000 File Second Criminal Complaint Against TEPCO. Reported 11-16-12
TEPCO, owner of Fukushima reactors, faces prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters.
The criminal complaint was filed against Japanese government officials, 33 TEPCO executives, and experts for their role in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
TEPCO executives are accused of inadequate safety measures.
People are demanding answers for the evacuation procedures and accountability for deaths due to the nuclear disaster.
The complaint outlines professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries and violation of Japan’s environmental laws.
• Fukushima Nuclear Plant Owner Added Insult to Injury – Claiming Radioactive Fallout Isn’t Theirs (Reported January 16, 2012)
A Golf Club Demanding Decontamination of the Golf Course Hauled TEPCO into Tokyo District Court, Reported October 31, 2011
TEPCO lawyers claimed the company isn’t liable because it no longer “owned” the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors.
TEPCO attorneys assert radiation from the meltdowns is now the property of each property owner.
• The Entire Fukushima City (50 Kilometers From Meltdowns) Needs To Be Decontaminated All Fukushima City Residents Outside the Evacuation Zone Are Expected To Decontaminate Their Own Radioactive Homes and Property Using Government Distributed Manuals.
Why? To avoid clean-up costs for TEPCO, Fukushima’s owner
These Japanese residents should have been evacuated. Instead they are being victimized to save money for the nuclear plant owner.
• The Japan Times Reported “Economic Meltdowns Begin” (6-14-11)
• Fallout from Fukushima Continues to Blight Japan’s Agricultural Heartlands, Authorities Revealed
• Tokyo Soil Samples From Public Parks, Playgrounds, and Rooftop Gardens (140 miles from Fukushima Meltdowns) Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The U.S. (Reported 4/30/12) http://www.fairewinds.com/content/tokyo-soil-samples-would-be-considered-nuclear-waste-us
• Farmers Lost Their Livelihoods – Crops Were Radioactive and Couldn’t Be Sold
Dairy Farmer Commits Suicide (Reported – June 13, 2011)
He lost everything, thanks to the nuke plant. He already killed his cows and gave up on dairy farming.
He left a note, which said “If only there was no nuke plant…”
There would be no compensation [from the government]. He was not in the evacuation zone.
• Over 2,500 Fukushima Farmers and Fisherman Suffered Heavy Losses Due to Fukushima Meltdowns
Fukushima Farmers and Fisherman Protested Over the Nuclear Crisis. They called for prompt compensation from TEPCO and Japan government. (Reported 8-13-11)
• Japanese Beef – Cattle Shipments Banned (Reported 8-2-11)
• Radiation Bankrupts Japanese Cattle Ranch with $5.6 Billion in Liabilities (Reported 8-23-11)
• Japan says it is ok for residents to return at 2,000 millirem / yr – 12-16-11
Some wonder what the eventual health costs will be.
• A Reporter Revealed The Financial Incentive For Japan To Deny Deaths Caused By Fukushima Meltdowns. (Reported 2-5-12) – http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120204003191.htm
Japanese government has to approve deaths claimed to be related to Fukushima. 634 deaths in one prefecture were cleared to undergo screening for being related to the nuclear disaster. Japan admits at least 573 deaths ‘related to nuclear crisis’.
If a municipality certifies the cause of death is directly associated to a disaster, a condolence grant is paid to the victim’s family. Associated costs would include final burial.
If the person was a breadwinner, 5 million yen is paid.
• Fukushima’s Owner, TEPCO, is seeking 2 Trillion Yen in Government Loans to Remain Solvent (Reported 1-12)
TEPCO, owner of Fukushima power plant, has drastically underestimated costs for compensation and clean-up.
TEPCO claims only $350 Billion in compensation and cleanup costs (Reported 1-12)
• (Reported 1-16-12) TEPCO Faces Prosecution:
For Withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures
For operating Fukushima Nuclear Plant after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters
• Japan’s Environmental Ministry began a decontamination program with a budget of $4.8 billion for 2012 alone.
A small army of workers were employed to scrape away top soil, denude trees and scrub down buildings in Okuma and other evacuated communities.
The ministry admitted an experimental effort to decontaminate a 42-acre area in Okuma had failed to reduce radiation dosages by as much as had been hoped, leading officials to declare most of the town uninhabitable for at least another five years. Okuma’s officials target date for repopulating the town changed to 2022, instead of 2014.
Eight U.S. Sailors Sue Japan Over Fukushima
Courthouse News Service By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM 12-26-12
The Fukushima nuclear disaster exposed Navy rescue workers on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan to dangerous levels of radiation, which the government-owned power plant covered up.
Sailors say they “face additional and irreparable harm to their life expectancy, which has been shortened and cannot be restored to its prior condition.”
They seek $10 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages for fraud, negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, public and private nuisance, and defective design.
They also want TEPCO ordered to establish a fund of $100 million to pay for their medical expenses.
The complaint says:
1) The Japanese government and TEPCO conspired to intentionally conceal dangerous levels of radiation in the environment of US Navy rescue crews working off the coast of Japan, to lull the U.S. Navy “into a false sense of security”. They lied through their teeth about the threat to human life from the meltdowns at Fukushima.
2) Radiation data shows radiation levels exceeded the levels of exposure to which those living the same distance from Chernobyl experienced who subsequently developed cancer.
A Few Of Chernobyl’s Large Economic Impacts Include:
• The disruption of large areas downwind of the radiation source due to evacuations
• Shutdown of plants and facilities
• Decontamination activities
• Impact of radiation on agriculture, especially the dairy industry
• Pollution of water supplies, especially downstream
Limerick Nuclear Plant Owners Financially Victimized Ratepayers and Taxpayers From The Beginning.
Limerick’s Past Financial Injustice To Ratepayers and Taxpayers Show Why We Should Be Concerned That Nuclear Refugees Would Be Financially Victimized After A Limerick Nuclear Plant Radioactive Accident / Meltdown.
A Few Examples:
1) Remember claims of having electric too cheap to meter? Our regions’ residents ended up paying 55% higher rates than the national average within ten years after Limerick started operating.
2) PECO originally estimated Limerick Nuclear Plant construction cost would be $326 million. Yet, PECO Ratepayers ended up paying $6.8 BILLION (between 1985 and 2010), which is why PECO electric bills were so high.
3) PECO / Exelon failed to pay any property taxes (1985 to 2002) on Limerick’s 600 acre property. In 1999, when finally urged to pay taxes, PECO ludicrously claimed the nuclear plant property was worth ZERO.
4) A judge in 2002 finally decided Exelon had to pay $3 million, but that was instead of the $17 million PECO should have been paying each year. Taxpayers were burdened with higher taxes because PECO / Exelon avoided paying their fair share.
5) Each month in electric bills ratepayers of our region pay Limerick Nuclear Plant’s projected astronomical decommissioning costs. Those costs to go higher. During the relicensing process NRC discovered that Exelon doesn’t have the total amount money it was required to set aside for decommissioning.
It appears Exelon’s fund may be a small fraction of the estimated billions of dollars decommissioning would cost.
Exelon significantly underestimated decommissioning costs. Sites elsewhere cost many billions more than Exelon is estimating.
Exelon only guarantees $115 Million of what would be Billions.
(NRC’s 2-23-12 letter) Taxpayers would be forced to pay the rest.
We obviously can’t trust or depend on Exelon to pay for the astronomical financial consequences that would be inevitable if Limerick Nuclear Plant has a radioactive accident / meltdown.
Our Region Needs Up-Front Planning and Assurances
Multiple Meltdowns Can Happen At Limerick Nuclear Plant
Nuclear Refugees Would Lose Everything
And Need To Be Permanently Relocated
Millions In The Greater Philadelphia Region
Need Up-Front Planning and Financial Assurances For:
• Payments For Temporary Housing
• Full Compensation For Homes, Furniture, and Other Personal Possessions
• Forgiveness Of Payments On Mortgages For Radioactive Homes and Businesses
• Full Reimbursement For Radioactive Cars, Business Vehicles and Equipment, and Other Possessions Left Behind
• Full Compensation For Loss Of Employment For Jobs That Were Located In The Radioactive Dead Zone
Related To Meltdowns At Fukushima and Chernobyl, and the partial Meltdown at TMI
Information in this report is taken from reports, books, and news releases by reliable independent scientists, physicians, experts, and reporters. We hope after review of this information that residents in the Greater Philadelphia Region will urge local, state, and federal officials to speak out for far more protective measures on behalf of public health and safety related to the growing potential for a Limerick Nuclear Plant radiation accident / meltdown and the urgent need for more protective emergency and evacuation planning.
What Really Happened After Meltdowns
At Fukushima, Chernobyl, and TMI?
Industry Hid Data and Lied About Radiation Releases. Governments Made Fatal Mistakes Leaving Millions Exposed To Major Radiation Releases. Government and Industry Are Still Lying About Harmful Consequences
We Must Challenge Nuclear Lies, Cover-Ups, and Secrecy
Cover-Ups and Lies will result in more people in the Greater Philadelphia Region unnecessarily exposed longer and harmed worse by large radiation releases from a Limerick Nuclear Plant Radiation Accident / Meltdown. Unless the truth is told and elected officials speak up, NRC will NOT require more protective emergency and evacuation planning for a Limerick Nuclear Plant meltdown. Expanding the evacuation zone and avoiding Limerick’s radiation plume will be imperative to limit radiation exposure, reduce radiation sickness, and minimize long-term health harms, including cancers.
FUKUSHIMA MELTDOWNS – 2011
· Japan’s apocalyptic nightmare, the worst nuclear catastrophe in history, sent the nuclear industry spin machine into overdrive.
With 3 meltdowns releasing major radiation with widespread health and environmental impacts, they foolishly claimed no health harm.
They underreported radiation levels and tried to hide the reality to avoid liability and the costs of broader evacuation and clean-up efforts.
· Two years after the March 11, 2011 triple meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, new research and new information continues to come to light about its continuing bio-medical and ecological consequences, and what they indicate about the impact of nuclear power on public health, safety, and the environment.
“The Fukushima crisis is actually an issue of global public health,” said Dr. Helen Caldicott.. “As a physician, I’ve been distressed about the lack of general understanding of the medical science that should be part of any discussion of nuclear power, but isn’t. For example, cancers in humans take from five to seventy years to develop after radiation exposure, so it takes time to actually see the effects in populations,” she said.
“But we are already observing a demonstrable increased incidence of thyroid abnormalities in children in the Fukushima Prefecture. This may be an early indicator of an eventual increased incidence of thyroid cancers. Further, plumes of radioactivity from Fukushima are currently migrating in the Pacific Ocean towards the West Coast of the U.S.”
“This crisis is far from over. Large radioactive releases into the ocean continue, and thousands of tons of radioactive waste are set to be incinerated in cities throughout Japan. And worst of all, Fukushima Daiichi’s building #4, which holds 100 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel, was seriously damaged and could collapse causing the fuel pool to burn, releasing even more massive amounts of radiation. All of these have profound medical and public health implications.”
· Fukushima Radioactive Fallout Was Detected Over 11,500 Square Miles
4,500 Square Miles Had Radiation Exceeding Japan’s Highly Inflated “Allowable Radiation Limits”
The Exclusion Zone is 310 Square Miles
But the evacuation zone remained at 12 miles
· Fukushima’s owner, TEPCO, two months after meltdowns started, finally admitted to multiple meltdowns with impacts estimated to be 20 times worse than Chernobyl.
At the same time, government illogically claimed Fukushima’s radiation would not be harmful to health.
· Government officials limited and eliminated radiation monitoring and reporting to cover-up the truth to protect the nuclear industry.
They hid data, played numbers games, and refused to expand the evacuation zone. That unnecessarily jeopardized the health of millions.
· Large Numbers Of Japanese People Are Accumulating Significant Levels of Internal Radioactive Contamination.
Radiation sickness symptoms have been identified in people as far as 140 miles from Fukushima.
· Fukushima Doctors Are Forbidden To Tell Patients Illnesses Are Related To Radiation Exposure. If They Refuse Their License Can Be Revoked.
· Early on independent experts estimated 1 million additional cancers would occur, based on the amount of radiation released.
CHERNOBYL MELTDOWN – 1986
· Chernobyl caused over 1.5 million additional cancer deaths and a broad range of other serious diseases and disabilities
· Chernobyl’s children suffered massive increased cancers, infant mortality, birth defects, heart problems, and more
· Doctors in Cuba treated over 25,000 children from the Ukraine and Russia for leukemia
· Damage to the environment over vast dead zones is proven devastating decades later. 80 Square Miles Has Become A Permanent “Exclusion (Dead) Zone”. Radioactive Fallout Was Found Over 200 Miles From The Reactor – Radiation actually traveled to the U.S. About 350,000 People Were Evacuated.
· The truth can no longer be hidden. Russian Scientists compiled over 5,000 studies in a booktitled:“Chernobyl: Consequences To People And The Environment” – New York Academy of Science nyas.org/annals.
Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence ISIS Report 24/05/12
The Soviet government initially tried to hush-up the explosion and resisted immediately evacuating nearby residents. It also failed to tell the public what happened or instruct people and cleanup workers how to protect against radiation, which significantly increased the health damage from the disaster.
Medical records from contaminated areas speak for themselves; doctors, scientists and citizens bear witness to the devastating health impacts of radioactive fallout from nuclear accidents – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
The Russian publication, Chernobyl, by scientists Alexey V. Yablokov,Vassily B Nesterenko, and Alexey V.
Nesterenko, translated and published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009, concludes that among the billions of people worldwide who were exposed to radioactive contamination from the disaster, nearly a million deaths had already occurred between 1986 and 2004. Most of the deaths were in Russia, Belarus and
Ukraine  (see Truth about Chernobyl, SiS 47). The report drew on thousands of published papers and internet and printed publications.
Devastating health impacts did not escape the notice of the hundreds of doctors, scientists and other citizens who had to bear witness to the deformities, sicknesses and deaths of exposed babies, children and adults in their care.
There is a clear difference in mortality rates between highly contaminated provinces and less contaminated provinces of Russia (see Figure 1).
The Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986 led to a fire that burned for 10 days, forcing some 300,000 people from their homes.
· Some 19 Russian Regions also received high doses of radiation over some 60,000 square kilometers and impacted some 2.6 million people.
· Radiation released into the air contaminated 50,000 square kilometers of Ukraine.
· Some 46,500 square kilometers of neighboring Belarus were also contaminated, constituting 23 percent of the country.
· Meanwhile, radioactive material spread across much of northern Europe and reached as far as the east coast of the United States
THREE MILE ISLAND (TMI) PARTIAL MELTDOWN – 1979
· Independent researchers reported that TMI’s partial meltdown may have caused
between 50,000 to 100,000 excess deaths in a 1990 book Titled;
“Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation – High Level Cover-up“by Jay Gould and Ben Goldman
· It reveals that after TMI infant deaths soared and birth defect deaths were far higher.
Official Responses To Meltdowns At Fukushima, Chernobyl, and TMI Show A Pattern Of Unethical Deception.
With every radiation accident / meltdown government and nuclear industry officials routinely deceive the public to reduce opposition to nuclear power and to prevent collapse of the nuclear industry. Information in this report provides insight into how public opinion is manipulated.
When independent radiation experts compile verifiable data on meltdowns that contradicts the nuclear industry’s deceptive and misleading propaganda, the nuclear industry responds by falsely claiming “little” or “no” health harm occurred, even though the evidence and common sense suggest otherwise. They never acknowledge the realities.
Health Impacts and Deaths From Meltdowns are Deliberately Underestimated by the Following Methods:
· Using dilution to underestimate the level of radiation by averaging exposure over a large region, (such as an entire country), so high exposure doses and health statistics of the most contaminated areas are lumped together with the least exposed.
· Discounting internal sources of radiation due to inhalation and ingestion of radioactive material from fallout
· Using obsolete and erroneous models for external sources of ionizing radiation
· Not counting diseases and conditions other than cancers
· Misrepresenting natural background radiation
· Suppressing and withholding information from the public
Health Impacts From Radiation Are Censored Worldwide.
· The Excuse: not alarming the public.
· The Reality: deceptive tactics using media to avoid negative public opinion.
· The Consequences: exposure to dangerous accidental radioactive releases without the incentive or opportunity to take precautionary actions.
Fukushima and The Battle for Truth
Fukushima’s Meltdowns, beginning in March 2011, Unleashed Dangerous Radiation on the World.
Radiation Spread in Air, Groundwater, the Food Chain, and the Sea.
· Radiation has contaminated Japan’s water, soil, food, sewage sludge, building materials, seawater, fish, and people. Evidence already shows the suffering of the children, who have been most impacted.
· Plumes of radioactive gases crossed the Pacific Ocean and reached the US. within days. Independent scientists detected xenon-133 and “high concentrations” of cesium-137 in the United States and Canada.
· Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen estimates that, within four days of Fukushima’s explosions, Seattle was exposed to xenon and krypton levels 40,000 times above normal, followed by slower-moving clouds of iodine, cesium, and strontium isotopes.
· Monitoring March 15 to 19, 2011 showed radiation swept over Hawaii and the West Coast, covering all of western North America. While the Rocky Mountains blocked much of the fallout, rainwater was contaminated even as far away as New England.
· Two of three East Coast monitoring stations (including one in Boston) detected the presence of dangerous “hot particles”. Air sampling traced fallout all the way to Stockholm.
· Although the Norwegian Institute for Air Research was reporting that fallout had blanketed most of the United States and Canada, little official alarm was demonstrated in either country.
· Three weeks after Fukushima’s reactors began to overheat and explode, the US government still refused to publish any official data on radiation levels in the United States.
· A citizen’s brigade of radiation trackers started with hundreds of people measuring radiation with Geiger counters after rainstorms, detecting radiation all across the U.S.
· Joseph Mangano, Radiation and Public Health Project Director, and Dr. Janette D. Sherman, reviewed weekly mortality records collected by the Centers for Disease and Control in 122 cities and reported that the greatest mortalities in excess of what would be expected were seen among children under the age of one. The findings echoed the 16,500 “excess deaths” recorded in the 17 weeks following the Chernobyl explosion. On February 23, 2012, Mangano updated the report, showing excess death count to be nearly 22,000. Twelve industry pundits and pro-nuclear bloggers immediately dismissed the findings as “bogus.”
· Three months after Fukushima melted down, TEPCO finally admitted Fukushima radiation releases surpassed Chernobyl’s, and that it is the worst nuclear accident on record, yet falsely claim health risks are small or non-existent, despite shocking numbers of victims from Chernobyl.
Evidence shows radiation sickness symptoms in Japanese people far outside the evacuation zone.
Evidence Also Shows That Large Numbers Of Japanese People Are Accumulating Significant Levels of Internal Radioactive Contamination.
· The average person in Tokyo (more than 140 miles from Fukushima), is thought to have inhaled “hot particles” (10 per day throughout April, 2011 – Gunderson & Busby)
· 15 of 15 children are internally contaminated with Iodine-131 and Cesium 135 and 137 as far as 40 km (about 25 miles) from Fukushima (Reported 6-26-11)
· Fukushima radiation was also confirmed in U.S. water, soil, and milk.
· A study shows infant deaths soared in the U.S. after Fukushima.
Japanese Government and the Nuclear Industry Are Compounding Harms To Japanese Citizens.
· Health experts said, “A culture of cover-up” and inadequate cleanup efforts have combined to leave Japanese people exposed to “unconscionable” health risks long after Fukushima (Canadian Medical Association – Reported 12-27-11)
· Japanese government and industry officials withheld and deleted radiation data, hiding the amount of radiation released. Japan failed to report that 95% of radiation monitors were not working after the meltdown until two months later (5-29-11)
· They failed to admit any meltdown occurred at Fukushima until 2 months after it started.
· Japanese officials left evacuees in peril, refusing to expand the evacuation zone, even after high levels of radiation were found outside the zone.
· July 2011 cesium levels stopped declining, but remained stuck at 10,000 times above pre-accident levels.
· Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility said it’s completely untrue to say this level of radiation is safe or harmless. Reassurances have been completely irresponsible.
To say there are no health concerns flies in the face of all scientific evidence.
· An investigative reporter in Japan visiting from New York City said, “During my November (2011) visit I was the only one on the streets of Tokyo who wore a mask to avoid inhaling cesium.” While radiation levels continued to rise in Japan months after the meltdowns, people were not wearing masks to protect themselves from internal radiation exposure because government and industry officials irrationally continued to claim there was no risk.
Officials Have Forbidden Doctors in Fukushima To Tell Patients That Their Illnesses Are Related To Radiation Exposure.
· The Fukushima Medical Society Forced Doctors to Sign A Secrecy Agreement; If They Refuse, Their License Is Revoked.
Evidence Shows Japanese Hypocrisy
· Records Dispute Their Own False Claims Of No Harm From Fukushima.
· 573 Deaths from 13 Prefectures Have Officially Been Certified As Related to the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis by Japanese Officials. (Reported 2-5-12) However, the number must be far higher because 634,573 Deaths were Submitted to Undergo Screening by the date of the report.
· In Japan, there is a FINANCIAL INCENTIVE to deny that a death was caused by Fukushima because 5 Million Yen must be paid if the dead person is a breadwinner.
NEWS ON CHILDREN’S
RISKS AND HARMS FROM FUKUSHIMA
Ø Radiation Was Documented In Children’s Bodies Up To 60 Kilometers From Fukushima (Reported by June 2011)
Ø Ethical, Legal, and Medical Implications Turned Into A Human Rights Mess, Documented By A New White Paper On What Is Going On With Denial of Medical Care to Children in the Fukushima Region (Reported 11/08/12) http://www.simplyinfo.org/?p=8220
· Some children were denied treatment by doctors after the central government ordered them to stop examining patients for thyroid disorders. It may not be legal. According to Japan’s medical law the refusal of care by doctors around Japan appears to be in violation of those laws.
· The children of Fukushima have been an involuntary irradiated Fukushima “test” group monitored since March 2011. They display disturbing health abnormalities. Scientists do have a well defined test group – the population of Fukushima Prefecture surrounding the stricken NPP. The sixth report of the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey was released in April, 2012.
ü The survey examined 38,114 local children.
ü 36 % of Fukushima children have abnormal thyroid growths.
ü 13,460 of Fukushima children, or 35.3 percent, had thyroid cysts or nodules up to 0.197 inches long growing on their thyroids
ü 0.5 percent of the children had growths larger than 0.197 inches.
· So, why might this be significant? According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), thyroid problems from nuclear events occur when radioactive iodine is leaked into the atmosphere and thyroid cells that absorb too much of this radioactive iodine may become cancerous, with children being particularly susceptible.
· Australian pediatrician Dr. Helen Caldicott, said: “It is extremely rare to find cysts and thyroid nodules in children.” “You would not expect abnormalities to appear so early- within the first year or so – therefore one can assume that they must have received a high dose of (radiation)”.
Cancer Risk To Young Children Near Fukushima Daiichi Underestimated
Video by Ian Goddard – Introduced by Arnie Gunderson from Fairewinds. 01/18/12
· Cesium-134 and 137 isotopes were detected in urine tests conducted on 10 children in Fukushima City, located about 60 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. More than 1,080 children were screened from March 26-30, 2011 (newborn to 15 years old)
· Soil samples taken by citizens at four locations in Fukushima City (June 26, 2011) all tested positive for radioactive cesium contamination. Measurements were between 16,000 to 46,000 becquerels per kilogram — far exceeding the legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per kg.
Radiation Detected in Fukushima Children’s Urine (NKK)…10 out of 10 Children Had Cesium 134 in Their Urine (June 30, 2011)
· Urine samples from 10 elementary to high school students in the prefecture’s capital Fukushima City were analyzed by a French research organization.
· Tests show clearly that children living as far as 60 kilometers from the plant are suffering internal exposure. It urged the state and prefectural governments to immediately check children in Fukushima for such exposure.
· Children located 50 KM away from ground zero are suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds.
CESIUM FOUND IN URINE OF FUKUSHIMA CHILDREN
07/02/12 The Japan Times Online – Kyodo
Radioactive cesium was found in urine samples from 141 infants and young children in Fukushima Prefecture.
Fukushima Children at Risk of Heart Disease (by Chris Busby) 9/27/11
· Chris Busby, a chemical physicist, is the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) and a visiting professor at the University of Ulster.
· Busby documents the heavy impact of radiation on the hearts of Chernobyl children while noting other immediate effects such as brain damage and birth defects.
· Cesium impacts the heart, especially dangerous in children. Busby is warning officials to start looking at heart disease and heart attacks now and to get children out of cesium contaminated areas quickly.
Greenpeace Condemns Move to Raise Radiation Exposure Levels for Japanese Children 4/22/11
· Children’s Allowable Levels were set at 10 Times Higher than the Average Dose Shown to Increase Cancer Risk in Nuclear Workers.
· After March 2011 Fukushima Meltdowns, the Japanese government protected the nuclear power industry instead of Japan’s children. They set allowable radiation exposure limits so high that renowned scientists suggested the levels would eventually kill children.
Japanese Government Still Refusing to Evacuate Children
In October 27 2011, Fukushima women met government officials in Tokyo to demand that the government evacuate Fukushima children immediately. But, the government official only repeated the government’s policy of cleaning up the contaminated areas in Fukushima. (Reported 1/3/12)
· One Mother said this is insane. Children should be our first priority: Evacuation is something you DO folks-it’s NOT something you sit around and debate. But, the government official only repeated the government’s policy of cleaning up the contaminated areas outside the evacuation zone around Fukushima.
· Six months after the meltdowns started, the Japanese government was still refusing to evacuate Fukushima children outside the evacuation zone in spite of evidence of high radiation contamination of area.
· 360,000 children lived in the Fukushima region .Only about 5% (20,000) whose parents could afford to move and live in safer areas evacuated. (Reported Oct 30, 2011)
High Radioactive Cesium Levels Found at Tokyo School
4. Fatal radiation levels found at Fukushima Plant 8-2-11
Japan Citizens Were Victimized.
Evidence From Japan News Reports Reveals The Negligence Of Japanese Government Officials Whose Evacuation Orders Left Victims
Much Too Close To Radiation Releases Far Too Long
· Fukushima Evacuees Turned Away From Medical Facilities and Shelters 3-30-11
· Japan plans to extend evacuation zone around Fukushima 4-11-11
· Japan Plant Exclusion Zone Ban Takes Effect – 4-22-11
· People were unnecessarily exposed for over a month
· French urge 70,000 more Fukushima Evacuations
· Greenpeace: Radiation measurements call for further evacuation around Fukushima 4-11-11
· Radiation Including “Low-Level Radiation” is already sickening Japanese People 6-8-11
· 15 out of 15 Internally Contaminated @ 40 km from Fukushima 6-26-11
· Right to Relocate Based On Radiation Exposure In Japan DENIED 8-3-11
· Public Denied Access To Devices That Check Internal Radiation Levels 9-11-11
· Fukushima Safety Level – NOT SAFE 12-19-11
· Petition Was Started Against Japan’s Higher 20mSv Radiation Exposure Level 4-23-11
· By fall of 2011, stories were reported about a farmer’s suicide, dosimeters for children instead of evacuation, scraping playgrounds, and mutant animals.
· Unsafe Radiation Found Near Tokyo, Vast Area of Japan Contaminated June 18, 2011
ü Radioactive contamination of grass exceeded safety standards at a distance of 90 to 125 miles from Fukushima nuclear power plants.
ü Japanese scientists have become so concerned about the health of their children that they initiated their own radiation monitoring program and made their own maps. The results are shocking.
ü A very disturbing report about parents concerned about possible radiation sickness in children appeared in a local Japanese paper. Symptoms include: Nosebleed, diarrhea, lack of energy 2-year-old boy had nosebleeds from the end of April to May. 6-year-old girl had nosebleed everyday for 3 weeks in April. For 1 week, she bled copiously from both nostrils.
Evidence Shows Fukushima’s Fallout From Meltdowns
Caused Widespread Radioactive Contamination.
Evidence Shows Entire Food Chain Became Radioactive in Japan
· Green Tea - Radioactive 250 miles from Fukushima
· Retailers were told to stay mum about radiation levels in tea.
· 6-17-11 was the 1st time high levels in tea were admitted.
· Rice - Fall 2011 – 154 farms poisoned with cesium 25% above allowable limits
· Rice shipments were finally banned after many tons were sold.
· Infant Milk Powder – Japan babies may face a life of debilitation and disease from cesium.
· Spinach, Leafy Greens
34 miles from Fukushima – Up to 6,200 Becquerels Cesium Per Kilogram – Legal Limit 500
· Animal Feed
· Beef – Cattle shipments were banned 8-2-11
· Worms – High cesium levels were detected – 2-6-12 (Ecological Society of Japan)
· Radiation Levels Found 20,000 Becquerels per kilogram – 14 miles away
1,000 Becquerels per kilogram – 40 miles away
290 Becquerels per kilogram – 100 miles away
RADIOACTIVE FOOD FALLOUT – Responses
· Japan Grocery Stores Started Listing Radiation Levels Of Foods
· Japan Prime minister said: “Produce is safe, I want you to eat it.“
· A leading French radiological laboratory formed after Chernobyl disagrees with Japanese assessment that radioactive contamination of food presents, “no risk”.
· The European Union authorized an emergency order allowing large increases of radiation in food.
· World Health Organization said: “Radioactive Food Contamination Causes Real Risk”
· Canadian Food Inspection Discontinues Testing of Japan Products (6-17-11)
· U.S. Radioactive Food Testing Is Abysmal, Yet Legislators Keep Lowering The Budget for Testing
· The Japan Times: Jan. 3, 2012 “Mothers first to shed food-safety complacency” – I feel a sense of crisis over food safety,” a Japanese Mother said. “And I can’t trust the government. I have to set my own standards and make my own choices.” “So (we) should realize (food) contamination will continue for a long time in Japan”
Radiation Levels Soar Far From Fukushima
Elevated radiation levels were widespread in eastern Japan (Reported June 18, 2011)
· Radioactive rain causes 130 schools in Korea to close (April 4, 2011)
· Rain in California had 10 TIMES more radioactivity than Korea (April 4, 2011)
· Unsafe levels of radioactive contamination have been reported from multiple sources throughout vast areas of eastern Japan in locations far away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
· Independent radiation testing found cesium 134 and 137 in air filters of cars more than 100 kilometers beyond Japan’s evacuation zone and even in northwest U.S.
· Levels are exceeding acceptable safety limits in many locations.
· Radioactive cesium has traveled over 100 miles away from Fukushima
· Pastoral grasses are contaminated beyond safety standards
· If grass is contaminated, cows eat the grass, and children drink the cows’ milk.
· Crops also absorb radiation; in fact, growing crops is a strategy used to clean up soil that’s contaminated with radiation.
· The “Dead Zone” Around Fukushima Could Be Even Larger Than The Dead Zone Around Chernobyl
· All soil samples near Fukushima tested positive for Cesium (Far Exceeding Legal Limits)
· Radioactive soil levels were comparable to Chernobyl (Reported 5-25-11 Japan Times)
· 40 miles from Fukushima, radiation levels were as high as those that triggered resettlement near Chernobyl. (Reported 7-5-11)
· Radiation may have sunk 30 cm into the ground near Tokyo, over 140 miles from Fukushima meltdowns
ü 5 centimeters beneath the ground – 3 months after meltdowns
ü 10 to 30 centimeters beneath the ground – as of 3-14-12 – one year later
ü Further delay of decontamination will make radioactive materials sink even deeper
· Soil samples taken by citizens at four locations in Fukushima City (about 60 kilometers from Fukushima meltdowns) all tested positive for radioactive cesium contamination. Measurements were between 16,000 to 46,000 becquerels per kilogram — far exceeding the legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per kg. June 26, 2011
Citizens’ Testing Finds 20 Hot Spots Around Tokyo, 160 Miles From The Fukushima Disaster Zone
Takeo Hayashida signed on with a citizens’ group to test for radiation near his son’s baseball field in Tokyo after government officials told him they had no plans to check for fallout from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Local officials said there was nothing to fear.
The level of radioactive cesium in a patch of dirt just yards from where his 11-year-old son, Koshiro, played baseball was equal to those in some contaminated areas around Chernobyl.
The Fukushima Disaster Produced The World’s Worst Nuclear Sea Pollution (Reported 10-28-11)
· Enough Highly Radioactive Water Spilled Into The Sea to Fill 40 Olympic Sized Swimming Pools
· Radioactive Leak Into The Sea Was 20,000 Times Above Limit. 4-21-11
· Radioactive Iodine-131 Was Detected 4,385 Times Higher Than Legal Limit. 4-1-11
· Radioactive Debris Plume Is Likely to reach U.S. in 3 years. 4-22-11
· Greenpeace Marine Radiation Monitoring Was Blocked by Japan Government. 4-28-11
· SR-90 found in gutter 250 Kilometers (160 miles) from Fukushima 10-15-11
RADIOACTIVE SEWAGE SLUDGE
Sewage plant perplexed over how to dispose of highly radioactive sludge 5-14-11
· Radioactive sewage sludge worries Japanese
· It Seeped Into Sewage in Dozens of Treatment Plants
· No one expected such high levels
· Piles of radioactive sludge are growing around the country. NO ONE WILL TAKE IT
· Over 1,550 TONS of Highly Radioactive Sludge From 5 Prefectures Cannot Be Buried – 7-29-11
RADIOACTIVE CONCRETE – BUILDING MATERIALS
· Radioactive Cement Was Made From 3 Sewage Sludge Plants Reported 5-6-11
· New Apartment Building had high levels of radiation found 7-11
· High levels of Radioactivity found in concrete in a new condominium building. Reported 1-16-12
· Concrete mixed with radioactive materials taken from an evacuation zone was used.
1,000 tons of radioactive rubble was taken to Tokyo by train, then burned and dumped into Tokyo Bay. (Reported by NIRS – October 2011)
RADIOACTIVE INCINERATION – JAPAN IS BURNING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS
Incineration of radioactive materials is spreading radiation further all over Japan and drastically increasing health risks – inhaling radioactive particles is the worst route of exposure.
· Japan is venting radiation high into the atmosphere by burning radioactive wastes. Reported 9-5-11
· High cesium levels were found in dust at 42 incineration plants in 7 prefectures – Cesium levels were documented from 30,000 Becquerels to 95,300 Becquerels
· Cesium incinerator dust was found above limits in 7 prefectures across east Japan.
· Radioactive rain-outs will continue as long as Japan continues to burn its wastes, even in the U.S. and Canada, according to experts
· Mutant Rabbit Was First Reported 6-14-11 – An earless bunny was conceived after Fukushima outside the evacuation zone – discovered by a woman raising rabbits for over 10 years who said this is the 1st time this happened. Rabbits gestation period is about 4 weeks.
RADIOACTIVE MALE CEDAR FLOWERS
· These flowers were found with high radiation levels (Reported 12-27-11
· Radiation will keep spreading as these flowers open.
Radiation Levels Kept Rising, Not Going Down (4-28-11 Bloomberg News)
Since Fukushima’s 3 meltdowns started radiation was released at the approximate average rate of one billion becquerels per hour.
· Japan deceptively claimed citizen monitors were not working.
· The Fukushima operational record wasn’t released until November 2011
Japanese Radiation Data Is NOT Independent (Reported 6/25/11)
· Full disclosure is not in the interests of the Japanese nuclear industry, yet they control the data.
· TEPCO, Fukushima’s owner, withheld information and lied from the start
· They claimed they didn’t want to release data to avoid panic with high readings. Reported 5-28-11
When citizens and Greenpeace started monitoring, extraordinary levels of radiation were found, even 100 miles from Fukushima, including Tokeo.
· Government and industry tried to stop citizen monitoring – saying leave the monitoring to us.
Radiation was dispersed and spread over the general population in many regions of Japan. The public minimally should have full disclosure on data for:
· noble gases
Many radionuclides were detected with independent testing.
· PLUTONIUM, one of the most hazardous radionuclides, was released since March 2011, yet NOT reported until May, 2011 when a Fukushima worker informed an investigative reporter
ü If ingested, Plutonium, a very potent carcinogen, can cause genetic damage.
ü Plutonium, an alpha emitter, should not be found far from Fukushima, yet it was spotted far from Fukushima/ (Journal Scientific Reports March 8, 2012 )
· Airborne Radioactive Xenon-133 was measured up to 40,000 times greater than normal in the weeks following the fallout, by Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington State – July 2011 journal article.
· Xenon-133 is a gas that travels rapidly and signals other radioactive chemicals will follow.
· Radioactive Iodine-131 was found hundreds of times above normal
- Places like Portland OR, Fresno CA, and Denver CO, after entering soil from rainfall.
(February 2012 journal article by the U.S. Geological Survey)
· Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 in the U.S. had the highest levels in the same places.
Map Showed Massive Radiation Plume Heading toward U.S. and Canada (Reported 5-14-11)
· US and Canada response: “Quick FUDGE the numbers before anyone notices”
· Canada turned off its fallout detectors (4-9-11)
What did the U.S. government do?
· NRC Raised Allowable Radiation Dose Limits from 360 after Chernobyl to 620 after Fukushima
· EPA Raised Radiation Limits
U.S. Halted Radiation Monitoring While Radiation Levels Were Going Up Everywhere. (Reported 5-6-11)
The U.S. radiation monitoring system was mostly turned off a month after the disaster in Japan. Why?
By 4-9-11, Fukushima radiation was detected across the U.S. in air, precipitation, drinking water, and milk.
· Elevated Radiation Levels were found in all parts of the country.
· West Coast and Rocky Mountain states received greatest amount of Fukushima Fallout.
· Philadelphia had highest level in drinking water of 13 cities tested.
· Radiation was detected in California fruit and vegetables by 6-4-11
· Bay area milk – iodine and others – levels comparable to Tokyo.
· Testing was limited but: Iodine 131 reported everywhere
· Cesium & Iodine were detected in milk even in Ireland – by March 23, 2011
· Cesium-137 was confirmed in the Nevada air, snow, rain
· Vermont’s milk from cows contained Strontium-90
U.S. Radiation Monitoring After Fukushima Was Confirmed Unreliable (Reported 11-4-11)
· NRC handed radiation monitoring over to nuclear industry lobbyists at Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) who forward data to EPA.
· A no bid contract for radiation monitoring for EPA was awarded to a former Bush Appointee. This radiation monitoring network proved to be unreliable.
Jeff McMahon, Forbes, pointed out …strategies used to minimize public perceptions of the real risks of the Fukushima radiation: “Covering the story, I watched the government pursue what appeared to be two strategies to minimize public alarm.It framed the data with reassurances like this often repeated sentence from the EPA: ‘The level detected is far below a level of public health concern.’ The question, of course, is whose concern.The EPA seemed to be timing its data releases to avoid media coverage. It released its most alarming data set late on a Friday – data that showed radioactive fallout in the drinking water of more than a dozen U.S. cities.”
Nuclear Industry and Governments’ Lies, Falsely Claiming No Risk From Fukushima, Must Be Debunked For Precaution and Prevention In Emergency and Evacuation Planning In Communities Around Nuclear Plants Like Limerick.
News and Investigative Reports
Saturday, 27 October 2012 – On the News With Thom Hartmann:
Fukushima Is Having Trouble Disposing of Hundreds of Thousands of Tons of Contaminated Nuclear Waste Water, and More
It’s been a year and a half of crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan – and that crisis continues to this day. This week, Fukushima’s water-treatment manager admitted that they are having trouble disposing of hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated nuclear waste water.
· Since the plant began melting down in March of 2011 – TEPCO operators have been desperately dumping water on the exposed reactors to keep them cool.
· Now, all that water has accumulated within the reactors and TEPCO is running out of space to put it all.
· Over the next three years, the amount of wastewater is expected to triple at the plant – worsening an already massive health concern.
· Fukushima is teaching the world that despite decades of nuclear energy proliferation, we still don’t fully understand the dangers of nuclear power.
· Nor do we know how to deal with nuclear catastrophes like Fukushima. It’s time to build movements around the planet and ditch nuclear power for good. No nukes!
Review: Silence Deafening, Fukushima Fallout… A Mother’s Response
Posted: 09/06/2012 5:45 pm
· “Knowing what I knew, and then seeing those facts to be so thoroughly disregarded by the media and elected officials has begun to take on a sort of nightmare quality.”
· “It may take decades for the true magnitude of Fukushima Daiichi to be comprehended, just as the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986 are still being realized.”
· “This is the story of my attempt to learn the truth, and then to do something about it in my own small way.”
· The author quotes Gandhi: “First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Initial Deaths Verified To Be Related To Fukushima
A total of 573 deaths have been certified as “disaster-related” by 13 municipalities affected by the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. This number could rise because certification for people remains pending while further checks are conducted. The screening process was difficult in cases when people had stayed in evacuation facilities for an extended time and when there was little evidence of where they had been taking shelter.”
If a municipality certifies the cause of death is directly associated to a disaster, a condolence grant is paid to the victim’s family. If the person was a breadwinner, 5 million yen is paid.
Dr. Mercola on Fukushima Radiation Radiation from FukushimaSeptember 04, 2012
On March 11, 2011, TEPCO’s Fukushima nuclear power plant was fatally crippled. Exactly how much radiation has poured out, contaminating not only cleanup crews but also residents in surrounding areas, remains unclear, as does the risk posed to the rest of the world from nuclear fallout.
One thing is clear: this disaster is far from over… and emerging evidence suggests the impacts may be far worse than we are being led to believe.
Radiation Levels at Fukushima at Record Highs
It’s been over 1 year since the damage occurred, but it’s just now being reported that samples from the basement of reactor number 1 revealed:
· Radiation levels reached up to 10,300 millisievert (mSv) an hour – enough to make a person sick within minutes, and kill them shortly thereafter.
· In perspective, workers at this site reach their annual allowed radiation dose in 20 seconds.
· Workers cannot go anywhere near the site, so robots must be used.
· It’s estimated that complete demolition of the plant will take four decades and require new cleanup technologies to be completed.
Adding to the already precarious situation, another of the reactor buildings – which houses 1,331 spent and 204 unused nuclear fuel assemblies, each of which contains approximately 50-70 nuclear rods – is now tilting and the walls are bulging outward. …Large amounts of radiation could add to the radiation already released into the environment.
Obviously, the situation is still incredibly volatile.
Ø It’s a mystery why U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only conducted accelerated sampling from March to June 2011.
A report from the Congressional Research Service, suggests radiation-contaminated debris from Japan may take up to three years before it reaches the U.S. West Coast: The debris plume likely will reach the U.S. West Coast, dumping debris on California beaches and the beaches of British Columbia, Alaska, and Baja California.
Ø Although the ocean currents have a slow flow, there’s still a threat posed because radioactive contaminants are incredibly persistent in the environment Radioactive contaminants with long half-lives (e.g., cesium-137, with a half-life of about 30 years) could still pose concerns if transported over long distances by ocean currents.”
Ø Case in point, 15 bluefin tuna caught near San Diego, California in August 2011 were found to contain Fukushima-derived radiation, including caesium-137 and caesium-134, at levels 10 times higher than those detected in previous years. The researchers noted:
Is Fukushima Worse Than Chernobyl?
When the Chernobyl reactor melted down in 1986, approximately 134 plant workers and firefighters were exposed to high doses of radiation – 800 to 16,000 mSv – and developed acute radiation sickness. Of those 134 workers, 28 died within 3 months of exposure.
In total, more than 160,000 children and 146,000 cleanup workers became victims of radiation poisoning as a result of living and working in that radiotoxic environment, raising the incidence of birth defects, leukemia, anemia, cancers, thyroid disease, liver and bone marrow degeneration, and overall severely compromised immune systems.
These, however, are only estimates, and according to some data, Chernobyl deaths may actually top 1 million.6 Fukushima is the largest nuclear disaster since, but there are many similarities popping up. For one, as the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) points out:7
“From the beginning, the official nuclear safety experts were at pains to minimize the projected health impacts, as they are doing now for the Fukushima accident.”
According to ISIS, with Chernobyl, they underestimated related deaths by:
· Underestimating the level of radiation by averaging exposure over a large region, such as an entire country, so high exposure doses and health statistics of the most contaminated areas are lumped together with the less and least exposed
· Ignoring internal sources of radiation due to inhalation and ingestion of radioactive material from fallout
· Using an obsolete and erroneous model of linear energy transfer due to external sources of ionizing radiation
· Not counting diseases and conditions other than cancers
· Overestimating the natural background radiation; today’s “background” has been greatly increased by discharges from nuclear activities including tests of nuclear weapons, use of depleted uranium, and uranium mining
· Suppressing and withholding information from the public
While downplaying the risks of contaminated U.S. seafood, the Congressional Research Service goes into great detail on the magnitude of radiation that entered the ocean water following the disaster:
· “Seawater was monitored with a dose rate of greater than 1,000 millisievert per hour was confirmed by TEPCO on April 2, 2011, in a pit located next to Fukushima’s Unit 2 seawater inlet point. …Experts cite this incident as the largest recorded accidental release of radiation to the ocean.
Did 14,000 Americans Already Die from Fukushima Radiation?
· A report published in the International Journal of Health Services suggests that up to 14,000 deaths related to Fukushima may have already occurred in the United States:
· “Deaths rose 4.46 percent from 2010 to 2011 in the 14 weeks after the arrival of Japanese fallout, compared with a 2.34 percent increase in the prior 14 weeks.
· The number of infant deaths after Fukushima rose 1.80 percent, compared with a previous 8.37 percent decrease.
· Projecting these figures for the entire United States yields 13,983 total deaths and 822 infant deaths in excess of the expected.
· …Recent assessments have suggested that the amount of radioactivity released from Fukushima equals or exceeds that released from Chernobyl.
· Given the continuing emission of radioisotopes from the melted reactors, the high density of population around the plant, and the close proximity to food sources, we can expect that morbidity and mortality will be high in Japan.
· …Adverse health effects may also be expected in the United States, even though exposures have been far below those in Japan.
· Low-dose radiation exposure, previously assumed to be harmless, has been linked with elevated disease rates in children born to women who underwent pelvic X-rays while pregnant, Americans exposed to atomic bomb fallout, nuclear plant workers, and, for leukemia, children exposed to very low doses after Chernobyl.
· In addition to physical diseases is loss of cognitive ability in adolescents following low-dose ionizing radiation in utero.”
The Potential Dangers of Low-Dose Radiation
If the levels of radiation that reach the U.S. are, in fact, low, this may still pose a formidable threat to human health and the environment.
· In 2010, the United National Scientific Committee released a report on the effects of low-dose radiation, noting the following (the report uses the term ‘low dose’ to mean doses of radiation below 200 mGy – a computed tomography (CT) scan delivers about 10 mGy):
· There is strong evidence of “statistically significant” elevations of risk of solid tumors and leukemia above doses of 100 – 200 milligray (mGy)
· Findings of elevated incidence of circulatory disease in populations irradiated at high doses are raising some concern
· There is “increasing evidence” of radiation exposure leading to increased incidence of cataracts
· Radiation exposure of the developing embryo or fetus during pregnancy can also contribute to the appearance of non-cancer diseases in children. In addition to the induction of congenital mal-formations, the central nervous system is particularly affected … Mainly on the basis of animal studies and some observations following high-dose exposures of pregnant women, the Committee considers that there is a threshold for these effects at about 100 mGy.
· There is emerging evidence from recent epidemiological studies indicating elevated risks of non- cancer diseases below doses of 1 to 2 Gy, and in some cases much lower.
· Although this report was released in 2010, scientists are just now going to review it to help assess the true effects of Fukushima.
· There is also a phenomenon known as the “bystander effect,” which multiplies the dose and harm from radiation exposures. According to Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, cells that have not been exposed to radiation can be harmed by nearby cells that have. Writing for ISIS, Dr. Ho explains:
ü “…low dose radiation is all the more dangerous because it does not kill the targeted cell, but allows its influence to spread widely to adjacent cells, thus multiplying the radiation effect (about 100 fold)
ü …a wide range of bystander effects in cells not directly exposed to ionizing radiation have been found, which are the same as or similar to those in the cells that were exposed, including cell death and chromosomal instability.”
· Currently, there is a considerable push to understand bystander effects, genomic instability, and adaptive response after radiation exposure in low doses… but it is now clear that bystander effects do occur and are a general phenomenon induced by all types of radiation.