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 Japanâ€™s 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in which 3 reactors melted down and spread airborne radioactive contaminates throughout the region. Each day for the past for the past 4 years and counting, this crippled facility leaks more than 70,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. 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 â€“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 Japanâ€™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.
H.R.1700 – Nuclear Disaster Preparedness Act
I oppose reforming current nuclear accident preparedness policy and wish to defeat H.R.1700
I support directing the President to issue guidance on the federal response to any nuclear disaster that may be caused by a natural catastrophe, an accident, or a terrorist or other attack; occurs initially at a nuclear power plant; and disperses radiation off the reactor site and into the surrounding area. Requires such guidance to designate the single federal agency responsible for coordinating the government’s efforts in response to a nuclear disaster, including making a formal declaration that a nuclear disaster exists; designate the single agency responsible for recommending the evacuation of the area within a 10-mile to 50-mile radius from the nuclear power plant; designate the single agency responsible for developing plans for, educating the public regarding, and conducting, such evacuation; designate the single agency responsible for recommending that evacuees may return following a nuclear disaster; designate the single agency responsible for conducting cleanup of a nuclear disaster; identify what cleanup standards will apply, and wish to pass H.R.1700