Higher Radiation Spikes Detected In Air near Limerick Nuclear Plant


Video Blog 1-14 


The Alliance for a Clean Environment (ACE) documented radiation spikes in the air for several weeks, after being contacted by concerned residents November 22. 

  • Because radiation is routinely released into the air from Limerick Nuclear Plant, ACE believes Limerick is the obvious source, but the precise cause is unknown.

Average levels of airborne radiation near Limerick Nuclear Power Plant were found to be 20 to 30% higher than normal for several weeks in late November and early December. 

  • Measurement of airborne radiation levels January 6 showed elevated levels have continued.
  • All readings evaluated were taken at a site just four miles from Limerick.

ACE uses RadAlert 50 handheld devices made by International Medcom, to monitor airborne radiation levels on a per-minute basis.

  • This device is used by citizens near other U.S. nuclear plants.
  • A court ruling after the Three Mile Island meltdown ordered placement of 50 of the same devices at sites around Harrisburg to enable citizens to detect further meltdowns.  

Joseph Mangano, MPH MBA, a radiation health expert, examined the data collected by citizens and determined:

  • 11-22 to 12-4, 2569 minutes (nearly 43 hours) were recorded four miles west of Limerick. 
  • Average radiation count per minute (CPM) was about 20 to 30% greater than 15, the typical average.
  • December 2-4, 90 of 300 minutes (30%) were over 20.  Typically, only 2 to 3% reach 20 or more.
  • 31 CPM, the highest count, was more than double the normal level.
  • Unusually high patterns continue; 60 minutes were recorded January 6, 2014.  28.3% showed a level of 20 CPM or greater.

ACE contacted NRC 11-22-13 about higher radiation readings.  

  • After four days NRC finally responded, but failed to explain unusually high measurements.
  • NRC conducted NO MONITORING to attempt to examine citizen findings and to locate the source at Limerick.
  • Instead, NRC “reviewed” Exelon’s data and “looked” for a source of higher radiation levels.
  • The problem: NRC can’t see radiation and shouldn’t trust Exelon’s data.  See: www.acereport.org, # 20 “Why We Can’t Trust Exelon”.

NRC’s negligent oversight on our radiation risks from Limerick!

  • 36% margins of error allowed in Exelon’s reporting for Limerick’s radiation releases to air
  • Radiation monitoring equipment left inoperable for over one year
  • Radiation dose factors were omitted for the last five weeks of 2010.

NRC illogically attributed citizen radiation spikes in multiple locations to 1) natural radiation, and 2) electrical surges.

  • Naturally occurring radiation cannot account for weeks of radiation spikes, since natural radiation changes little over time. 
  • Electrical surges were not to blame, since citizen Rad-Alerts use batteries.

ACE believes radiation spikes are from Limerick starting to use high burnup fuel, which can release 2 to 3 times more radioactive fission gas. 

  • NRC has no credible evidence otherwise.    

Limerick’s aging, corroding, and deteriorating reactors, (already operating 24 and 29 years), could be leaking.

  • Radioactive leaks have become more common as reactors age.

Limerick’s radioactive releases can have harmful health impacts. 

  • Limerick produces over 100 radioactive chemicals.
  • Each is harmful to humans when ingested by breathing or via the food chain, raising the risk of cancer, infant mortality, birth defects, and other serious health disorders.
  • Since Limerick started operating in 1985, cancer rates skyrocketed around Limerick. 
  • Childhood Cancer was 92.5% Higher Than The National Average by the late 1990s
  • Strontium-90 was found in our children’s baby teeth, at some of the highest levels around nuclear plants
  • Thyroid Cancer Increased by a shocking128%.by the mid 90s
  • For Detailed Information:  www.acereport.org    ACE Website Downloads

#1 – Radiation  - Limerick’s Routine Releases

#2 – Cancer – Skyrocketing Increases: Links to Limerick

$3 – Radiation – No Safe Dose

Public Health Risks Could Be Reduced Through Awareness, With Minimal Costs.

  • The public has a right to know about higher radiation in their air. Residents could protect themselves with a radiation alert system, similar to the one for ozone: 
  • Citizen radiation monitoring networks should be funded by state or independent grants.
  • Citizen data could be reliably analyzed by the Radiation and Public Health Project, which currently analyzes electronic data from citizen networks around other nuclear plants. 
  • Montgomery and Chester Counties should establish county-wide alert systems to inform      residents when radiation levels are higher.Ask All Elected Officials To Support Funding For Citizen Radiation Monitoring And County Reporting (Similar to Ozone Alerts).
  • We need and deserve reliable radiation warnings, including for Limerick meltdowns.
  • Radiation risks can be reduced – For details on water filtration and more:              ACE Website Download – #4 Radiation – Reduce Risks


Appendix – Radiation Counts Four Miles West of Limerick Plant Since 11/22/13

Total                Minutes            % Mins.           Highest

Date     Minutes            >19 CPM        >19 CPM        Reading

11/22     420                       43                         10.2%                  30

11/23     —                         –                           —                        

11/24     681                       68                         10.0%                  31

11/25     —                          –                           —