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TODAY IS THE DEADLINE TO COMMENT ON NIRS EMERGENCY PLANNING PETITION.
MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR COMMENTS IN BY MIDNIGHT!
July 16, 2012
The end’s not near, it’s here! The public comment period for the Emergency Planning Zone Petition for Rulemaking expires on July 16, 2012. That’s today! Nearly 2,000 of you already have commented in support of the petition, but we could use more! Please send in your comments in support of the petition today if you have not already done so.
In the wake of the disasters at Fukushima and Chernobyl we need to expand these inadequate and outdated emergency planning zones and strengthen emergency exercises now more than ever!
According to a report issued in July 2012 by The National Diet of Japan (Japan’s version of Congress), the Fukushima disaster was man-made and caused largely as a result of collusive efforts by the government, regulators and TEPCO to avoid developing and implementing basic safety requirements. Additionally, the report found several issues with the evacuation, specifically that confusion over evacuation was the direct result of failure to implement adequate measures to protect against nuclear accidents and poor planning by previous governments on crisis management.
The situation hasn't been much different in the U.S., where the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry have long colluded to resist necessary safety measures. But the NRC now has the opportunity to show that it has learned at least some of the lessons of Fukushima by adopting this petition.
Improving emergency planning rules is obviously not a substitute for closing nuclear reactors. We all would prefer that such rules not be needed at all--nuclear power should be ended and that's our goal. But that's not the world we live in right now: with 104 operating reactors in the U.S., it is essential that emergency evacuation rules reflect the real dangers each of these reactors presents.
Our petition calls for a three-tiered Emergency Planning Zone: the current 10-mile zone would expand to 25 miles, with all current requirements intact. A new zone from 25-50 miles would be established; utilities would be required to identify evacuation routes and annually notify residents of them. The Ingestion Pathway Zone, designed for interdiction of contaminated food, milk, and water, would be expanded from the current 50 miles to 100 miles. And a new rule would be established that would require emergency exercises to include scenarios of initiating or concurrent regionally-appropriate natural disasters.
We have prepared some sample comments for you to submit--you can do so here. However, we encourage you to edit these comments to reflect your own concerns, and to discuss emergency evacuation issues in your own communities. What happens if there is an earthquake in your area, or a hurricane? Has population growth in your area outstripped road networks? What about public transportation--how would people without cars be evacuated?
The original petition, along with sample resolutions for local officials and other background information, can be found on our Nuclear 911 website here.
Thanks for your support, thanks for all you do,
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
P.S. your activism and financial support are what keeps us going. Seriously. Please make a tax-deductible contribution here or after you send in your comments and help us keep doing this essential work.
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