Nuclear Disaster in U.S. Possible
Congressman Markey Warns that Japan Nuclear Accident Could Happen in the U.S.
Date: 3/14/2011 2:17:34 AM ( 27 mon ) ... viewed 747 times
March 13, 2011: Markey Warns that Japan Nuclear Accident Could Happen Here
Congressman Recommends Actions to Prevent Similar Event in America
WASHINGTON (March 12, 2011) -- Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee and a senior Democratic member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today warned that a nuclear accident such as the one currently unfolding in Japan could easily take place in the United States.
“I am shocked by the devastation that has already been caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It is heart-breaking to see the destruction that has already taken place, and to hear of so many people being killed or injured,” said Rep. Markey. “As a result of this disaster, the world is now facing the looming threat of a possible nuclear meltdown at one of the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors. I hope and pray that Japanese experts can successfully bring these reactors under control and avert a Chernobyl-style disaster that could release large amounts of radioactive materials into the environment.”
“I am also struck by the fact that the tragic events now unfolding in Japan could very easily occur in the United States. What is happening in Japan right now shows that a severe accident at a nuclear power plant can happen here," said Rep. Markey.
Rep. Markey, who has served for 36 years on the House committees that have oversight over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the nuclear power industry, today called for several specific policies that the Obama administration and the NRC need to consider putting in place in light of the current Japanese nuclear reactor crisis:
--Imposing a moratorium on siting new nuclear reactors in seismically active areas until the completion of a top-to-bottom review of seismic and tsunami reactor design resiliency, emergency response and evacuation plans.
--Requiring operating reactors located in seismically active zones to be retrofitted with stronger containment and more resilient safety systems.
--Requiring more realistic emergency response and evacuation procedures in the event of a nuclear disaster., such as the one in Japan, in which the nuclear disaster is not the sole crisis unfolding and emergency responders are needed in many other places.
--Requiring a top-to-bottom review of whether design flaws in impacted Japanese reactors -- at least one design is utilized in 23 reactors in the United States -- contributed to problems preventing the safe shut-in of the reactors in the aftermath of the earthquake. The Fukushima Daiichi is a General Electric Boiling Water Reactor with Mark containment, the same type as 23 reactors in the United States.
--Requiring a comprehensive review of whether backup power and reactor coolant systems are adequate to deal with long power outages associated with earthquakes, acts of terrorism or other major disasters.
--Requiring a review of the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee to program evaluate whether the current "risk premium" assessed for pending loan guarantees for nuclear power plants needs to be adjusted to more fully account for the financial risks of a nuclear accident in the aftermath of the Japanese nuclear reactor crisis and the likely financial market response to that crisis, and ensuring that DOE does not award even conditional loan guarantees for construction of nuclear reactors whose designs have been determined to be seismically safe.
--Reversing a decision made by the Bush administration decision to ignore a 2002 law, authored by Rep. Markey, requiring the distribution of potassium iodide to residents living within 20 miles of nuclear power plants. Potassium iodide is a safe, effective and inexpensive means of protecting against the cancer-causing effects of radioactive iodine, which has already been detected around one of the impacted Japanese reactors.
--Suspending the NRC’s pending approval of the design for the AP 1000, a new nuclear reactor design. One of NRC's most senior staff warned that the containment structure for this reactor design would not be able to withstand a strong earthquake and it was so brittle it could “shatter like a glass cup” under sufficient stress. That revelation led Rep. Markey to send a letter to the NRC urging the resolution of the safety concerns just days before the Japanese earthquake.
“The unfolding disaster in Japan must produce a seismic shift in how we address nuclear safety here in America,” said Rep. Markey.
Japan Nuclear Crisis http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1783349 UPDATE: Nuclear Crisis in Japan takes turn for the worse/Implications (and actions) for U.S. nuclear power
Alternative Energy by 2050 Researchers state that by 2030, all new energy generation could come from wind, water and solar, and by 2050, all pre-existing energy production could be converted as well. "It is a question of whether we have the societal and political will."
"NO! to Nuclear Energy! http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1759210 President Obama calls for 80% of America's electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035. I wholeheartedly agree with this goal, but NUCLEAR ENERGY should NOT be part of this mix!!
Open Letter to Obama http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1302170
In 2008, I wrote a letter regarding my views on alternative energy, climate change, and oil dependence, summarized from Co-Op America's article "Ten Strikes Against Nuclear Power". In light of the current admininstration's push for more nuclear energy, I'm going to send this same letter again.
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