Nuclear power is the only technology that requires an emergency evacuation plan. And for unfortunate communities, like those situated near the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan,
evacuation has meant more than fleeing one’s home. It has meant the death of livestock, contamination of produce and fish, and the realization that returning home won’t be an option for a very long time.
During the initial hours of the crisis, the Japanese government advised residents within a 12-mile radius of the reactor site to evacuate the area. The U.S. government recommended that U.S. citizens evacuate if they were within 50 miles of the plant.
Remember that: 50 miles. Now try to reconcile that with the fact that U.S. nuclear regulations require emergency planning only within a 10-mile radius. Can’t do it? Exactly.
That’s why today, Public Citizen, along with 37 other organizations, filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), calling on it to expand the radius for emergency planning from 10 miles to 25 miles, establish a new 50-mile emergency response zone and take other measures to address the inadequacies in regulations governing emergency planning.