Letter: Is someone you know in danger from a nuclear plant nearby?


Greenpeace, an organization devoted to the environment, land air and sea, informs us that 108 million Americans live within 50 miles from a nuclear plant.

Every day one in three Americans go to work, school, and church with the threat of a nuclear catastrophe looming in their own backyard.

These dangerous old nuclear plants are vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes as well as deliberate terrorist attack, and Fukushima in Japan showed how catastrophic a nuclear meltdown can be for people living nearby when a disaster knocks out power to a nuclear plant. Months after the earthquake, Japan is still dealing with the effects of dangerous radiation, possibly leaving generations of Japanese to face life in a nuclear disaster zone. Well, that's Japan you say, not us?

The earthquake this week on the East coast is a reminder that millions of Americans are at risk of a nuclear disaster. Less than 10 miles from the epicenter in Virginia the "North Anna" nuclear plant lost power, and a dozen other nuclear plants experienced unusual events. Luckily there wasn't any release of radiation, but it was uncomfortably close: "North Anna" was designed to withstand a 5.9 to 6.2 earthquake and this one was 5.8.

Then there's Indian Point in New York which according to a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the plant most at risk of earthquake damage in the US and threatens more than 17 million people living within its 50 mile radius.

These risks exist at every nuclear plant, not just in places like California and Japan.

Add this to the risks that violent extremists have considered nuclear plants "good targets" and it's clear that nuclear power is just too risky. The fact that this risk still exists ten years after Sept. 11 is simply indefensible. It's time to shut them down. Or at the very least the oldest which are the most vulnerable to natural disaster.

Congress needs to hear from us regarding this issue. You can call our Rep. Gosar 202-225-2315 or go to his website gosar.house.gov to leave a comment to phase out old nuclear reactors and support safe, clean energy. You can also go to greenpeaceusa.org to sign a petition and enter a zip code to see which cities in the US have nuclear plants within a 50 mile radius. Check out where your loved ones live. That ought to make it up front and personal.

Lee Cali



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