Entergy regularly releases radioactive materials into the air that poison our bodies, homes, farms, gardens, ponds, and drinking water supplies.
Although the government set limits on the amount of radiation Entergy can spew into our air, the limits are based on decades-old science about the health impacts of radiation.
We want new limits based on the latest National Academy of Sciences studies. This new science shows far greater impact from low levels of radiation than previously believed.
The public has the right to know how much radioactive material Entergy is releasing into the air. We want “real time” air monitors throughout the region. Right now, there are 12 in Plymouth (2 need to be replaced) but none on other towns.
Radioactive materials have been found in groundwater wells in the area.
Tritium has been found in monitoring wells at the Entergy site in Plymouth. Strotium has been found in Kingston drinking water wells.
We want to know what materials are coming from Pilgrim and whether our water is safe. Entergy should be required to fully fund an investigation, with public oversight and transparency.
The Union of Concerned Scientists recommends safety and security measures that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other government agencies can require to help prevent a nuclear disaster and reduce the damage if one does occur. Entergy should abide by these 23 specific recommendations:
“Nuclear power is an inherently hazardous technology; there’s no way to make it perfectly safe. But we can make it safer.”Union of Concerned Scientists
To protect our health and safety, these are among the fixes that need to be addressed as a condition of Pilgrim’s continued operation:
Require plant owners to install reliable, fail-safe containment vents, equipped with filters that would reduce the amount of radioactivity released to the atmosphere during a reactor accident.
Accelerate the transfer of spent fuel to dry cask storage; return the pool to its original, safer, low-density design.
Power cables must qualify to be in moisture; generators must store at least 14 days of fuel. Require reactors to be able to handle sustained loss of normal and backup power.
Modify emergency plans, including methods for radiation dose assessment and communications to cope with the sustained loss of normal and backup power supplies. Pursue emergency issues such as delivering equipment through off-site impediments (e.g. failed bridges, blocked roadways) and competing for emergency resources.
Expand Emergency Planning Zones around reactors in accordance with site-specific parameters (e.g. include all of Cape Cod) and make potassium iodide available beyond 10 miles. Require Entergy to provide sufficient funding for proper implementation in affected communities.
Improve security at Pilgrim to protect against potential attacks from the air, water, and land.
Develop procedures for severe accidents exceeding the level presently thought possible, integrating them with those for anticipated accidents and terrorist attacks.
Replace the once-through cooling system. Require plant owners to upgrade methods for adding water to a spent fuel pool during an accident and to install instruments to monitor pool temperature and water levels.
Implement real-time radiological and meteorological monitoring off-site.
Identify ways to prevent hydrogen explosions in the containment and building. Develop ways to improve protection against seismically induced fires and floods. Re-evaluate the seismic and flooding risks to reactors, upgrade protections against both, and upgrade seismic monitoring instrumentation.
Demonstrate full compliance with all NRC fire regulations. NRC Commissioner Jaczko stated in July 2008, “I don’t think there is one plant right now that is in compliance with those regulations.”
Meet current specifications for newly built reactors and provide sufficient funds for decommissioning.
What is it for?
In a nuclear reactor accident, radioactive iodine is released; it can cause thyroid cancer/disease, and mental retardation in children of exposed pregnant women. Children and infants, including the unborn, are most vulnerable. KI blocks the thyroid with a harmless form of iodine.
KI must be taken before or shortly after exposure – within six hours. It does not protect against other harmful radioactive releases or other potential health effects, just as polio vaccines do not protect against cancer – that’s no reason not to get it. One dose of KI protects for 24- hours.
KI is FDA approved and stockpiled around the world. Adverse reactions are possible for those who are allergic to iodine; if allergic to iodine (shellfish or table salt) check with your doctor.
What’s the shelf life?
FDA extended shelf life purchased in 2002 from 5 to 7 years.
Where do I get it?
KI is stockpiled for the public in Duxbury Public Schools; participating private schools and daycare centers; Duxbury’s emergency shelters; and, our Emergency Reception Center in Braintree. Check your community’s policy.
To protect your family, you should have your own supply at home.
Some local Boards of Health, such as Duxbury, have KI. Check your community, or order it over the internet/phone/mail – it is only $10.00 for a packet of 14.
The two FDA approved manufacturers that supply U.S. Government:
ANBEX, Inc. – IOSAT Tablets
ANBEX, Inc., PMB 284 35246
U.S. Highway, 19 N. Palm Harbor, FL 34684
ThyroidShield – Liquid KI
For more information contact:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Radiation Control Program
Despite the Fukushima catastrophe in Japan last March, nuclear power is experiencing a rebirth in the United States. Billions of dollars in federal funding has been allocated to develop nuclear capacity; applications are under consideration to build more than a dozen new reactors; and last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced approval for the construction of the first new nuclear reactors in more than three decades.
But what about the nation’s existing fleet of aging reactors? Licensed to operate for 40 years, many of these plants are steadily, if quietly, getting extensions from the NRC. Seventy-one of the nation’s 104 plants already have won approval for 20-year extensions. This video takes a closer look into surprising problems in the NRC’s oversight of aging nuclear plants.
The following (dated, but relevant) refers to a reactor accident. A spent fuel pool fire could be much worse.
Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences (CRAC-2) at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants
Sandia National Laboratory 1982 Report