Nuclear accident preparedness
The federal government requires our energy companies to report accidents that result in loss of life or $50,000 in property damage. Between 1952 and 2009, at least 66 of these accidents occurred at nuclear power plants. Another 57 nuclear accidents have occurred in other countries since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster which killed 30 people, forever contaminated miles of Ukrainian real estate, and caused at least $7 billion in damages. These accident totals do not include Japan’s 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in which 3 reactors melted down and spread airborne radioactive contaminates throughout the region. For more than four years after the disaster, this crippled facility leaked about 80,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean each day. Radioactive contaminates have also been found in groundwater under the plant. Fukushima was caused by a large earthquake and ensuing Tsunami which killed more than 18,000 people. However, none of these deaths have been attributed to radiation exposure. Although there are relatively few immediate fatalities from nuclear power plant accidents, health advocates warn that many people exposed to radiation during and after these events are likely to get sick later in life. When promoting future prospects for nuclear power, supporters like to say that modern nuclear power plants are much safer than ones like Fukushima which were constructed 30 years ago. However, with no nuclear power plants having been built in the last 30 years, our plants are also older designs like those at Fukushima –and presumably just as dangerous. Advocates claim the Fukushima disaster shows how little time there is for citizens to react to an escalating nuclear emergency and how important it is for local communities to be prepared for such an event. They claim Japan’s chaotic attempts to use untried and untested methods to bring these reactors under control shows how important it is for industry and government entities to be prepared as well. They say that, unlike Japan, we must prepare for nuclear plant emergencies before one may occur.

Pending Legislation: None

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Poll Opening Date
February 13, 2020
Poll Closing Date
February 19, 2020

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