It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Evacuation zones have remained frozen at a 10-mile radius from each plant since they were set in 1978 despite all that has happened since, including the accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima Dai-ichi in Japan. Meanwhile, the danger of an accident requiring evacuation has increased. More than 90 of the nation's 104 operating reactors have been allowed to run at higher power levels for many years, raising the radiation risk in a major accident. In an ongoing investigative series, AP has reported that aging plants, their lives extended by industry and regulators, are prone to breakdowns that could lead to accidents.
And because the federal government has failed to find a location for permanent storage of spent fuel, thousands of tons of highly radioactive used reactor rods are kept in pools onsite, and more is stored there all the time.
Disaster planners from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have made dubious assumptions about the public response to a major accident. They insist, for example, that people who are not called upon to evacuate will stay put; they're now saying that they might under some circumstances tell people to hunker down at home even in the 10-mile evacuation zone, and they believe people will do it.
That advice flies in the face of decades of science and policy, millions of dollars in planning and preparations — and common sense.
The advice also conflicts with what U.S. officials told Americans in Japan in March, when an earthquake and tsunami knocked out power to Fukushima and melted fuel in three of its six nuclear reactors. Japanese officials ordered those living within 12 miles of the site to leave. The U.S. government's advice to its citizens? If you're within 50 miles, you should evacuate
If a 50-mile order were ever issued for Indian Point, it would include about 17.3 million people — 6 percent of all Americans, according to an AP population analysis.
Simi Valley California was the site of the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history in 1959, and the amounts of radiation leaked to the environment and atomosphere were more than 240 times that of the accident at 3-Mile Island. The area is beautiful today, but what still remains from many decades ago?