There are many crucial lessons on the perils of nuclear energy to be learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred one year ago. The widespread radioactive contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster (and Chernobyl before it) makes clear that the current ten-mile Emergency Planning Zones around nuclear reactors in the US are woefully inadequate to protect the American people. Green America opposes nuclear power and urges the NRC to significantly strengthen the safety provisions around nuclear plants.
In Japan, 150,000 people were evacuated from more than 25 miles away from Fukushima Daiichi, and hundreds of thousands more remain in contaminated areas. Yet 80 percent of the airborne radiation released by Fukushima blew over the Pacific Ocean rather than over populated areas. We can't count on a favorable wind to protect the American people from a nuclear accident!
In the United States, there are 25 nuclear reactors located within 25 miles of cities with populations of at least 100,000 people. Another 98 cities of that size are 50 miles or closer to a nuclear power plant. There are millions of Americans at risk in the event of a nuclear catastrophe.
We're asking all Green Americans to join the Nuclear Information and Research Service and allied organizations nationwide in calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to make four major changes to existing emergency planning regulations:
- Expand the current Emergency Planning Zone from 10 to 25 miles
- Create a new Emergency Response Zone in a 25 to 50 mile radius from nuclear reactors, and require utilities to identify and publicize emergency evacuation routes
- Expand the existing Ingestion Pathway Zone for interdiction of contaminated food, milk, and water from 50 miles to 100 miles
- Require utilities to hold emergency exercises that address natural disasters that could occur in their region.
The full text of the Petition for Rulemaking, as well as a press release, a briefing paper, and a fact sheet on emergency planning issues is available from this page. More materials will be posted in coming days and weeks.
Note: If you are co-petitioning as an organization or business, please complete the Business/Institution box.