Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

04 September 2011

Vulnerability of United States Nuclear Reactors to Major Natural Disasters

Is Nature sending us a message?  Can we really continue to say that in the United States there will never be a nuclear disaster such as the one occurring in Fukushima?  Nature may be sending a message regarding the vulnerability of nuclear reactors to major natural disasters, through the recent earthquake and hurricane which struck the East Coast of the United States.  Many of us have seen the photos of the Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska surrounded by the sea of water of the flooded Missouri River.  Due to global warming, disasters such as hurricanes and flooding could increase both in frequency and intensity.  The pro-nuclear government in the United States refuses to learn the lessons of Fukushima.  It reassures us concerning the safety measures in place or being reinforced for nuclear power plants, while it continues with its plans to build more nuclear reactors.  The U.S. Government quasi-denies the existence of global warming. 

What are we to do?  We should become better informed about the issues related to nuclear power, reduce our energy needs, and work towards developing more sustainable sources of energy.

Here is one thing we can do:  If you are a resident of the United States, sign the petition launched by Greenpeace USA to  phase out nuclear power and invest in safe, clean, renewable energy.  "One in three Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear plant and is threatened by a nuclear disaster. These dangerous old nuclear plants are vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as deliberate attack. Fukushima showed how catastrophic a nuclear meltdown can be for people living nearby when a disaster knocks out power to a nuclear plant ... "

Three Mile Island nuclear power station, Pennsylvania, USA

First built in 1974. Licensed to operate until 2014. In 2009, license was extended to 2034.
Population living within 50 miles of nuclear plant in 2010 was 2.8 million.
Seismic risk estimated at 1 in 25,000.