Moral Outrage
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Japanese earthquake to impact operation of California nuclear reactors?

In the aftermath of the largest earthquake to occur in Japan in recorded history, residents living within five miles of six reactors at the Fukushima nuclear station have been advised to evacuate and people living within 15 miles of the plant are advised to remain indoors.

The outcome could generate a political tsunami here in the United States. For instance, it may become impossible for the owners of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon reactors to extend their operating.

These two California reactors are sitting in high seismic risk zones near earthquake faults. Each is designed to withstand a quake as great as 7.5 on the Richter scale. According to many seismologists, the probability of a major earthquake in the California coastal zone in the foreseeable future is a near certainty. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the largest registering 8.3 on the Richter scale devastated San Francisco in 1906.

“There have been tremblers felt at U.S. plants over the past several years, but nothing approaching the need for emergency action,” Scott Burnell, a spokesman at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Reuters.

As the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches next month, Japan’s earthquake serve as a reminder that the risks of nuclear power, when things go seriously wrong. The Chernobyl accident rendered an area equal to half of the State of New Jersey uninhabitable. We shouldn’t need yet another major nuclear power accident to wake up the public and decision-makers to the fact that there are better and much safer ways to make electricity.

Fortunately, U.S. and Japanese reactors have extra measures of protection that were lacking at Chernobyl, such as a secondary concrete containment structure over the reactor vessel to prevent escape of radioactivity.

[Excerpt of article by Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser to the Energy Department]

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One Response to “Japanese earthquake to impact operation of California nuclear reactors?”

  1. Type in fall out shelters and that will tell you about fallout o.k.


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