THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING LICENSE AMENDMENT REQUEST PROPOSING CHANGES TO THE NUMBER OF REQUIRED OPERABLE MAIN STEAM SAFETY VALVES (TAC NO. ME4808)
Urges Governors to Distribute Potassium Iodide to Residents Near Nuclear Power Plants, and Requests Implementation of 2002 Markey Law to Protect More People
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2011) – With today’s announcement that the evacuation zone around the site of the Fukushima meltdown would be expanded to 19 miles, and news of a possible dangerous breach of containment at one reactor, today Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) wrote ten state governors urging them to join 22 other states who have already taken advantage of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) policy of providing a free supply of potassium iodide to states that request it for residents that live within ten miles of an operating nuclear power plant. Potassium iodide, also called KI, has been found to protect individuals, especially young children, from the cancer-causing releases of radioactive iodine contained in the fallout that would be discharged in the event if a nuclear disaster occurred in the U.S. Thyroid cancer was the biggest negative health impact caused by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. More than 6,000 Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian residents who were children at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster developed thyroid cancer. The Japanese and American governments have already distributed KI to those living near Fukushima or participating in the emergency response. Congressman Markey also sent a letter to the National Governors Association requesting its assistance in urging the Obama Administration to implement the 2002 Markey law requiring the distribution of KI to a larger 20-mile radius around operating nuclear power plants.
“I urge the Governors and the Obama Administration to take all necessary steps to protect residents living near nuclear power plants,” said Rep. Markey. “It does not make sense to wait for a catastrophic accident at or a terrorist attack on a nuclear reactor in this country to occur to implement this common-sense emergency preparedness measure.”
Markey-authored Section 127 of the 2002 Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act directed the President to establish a program to make potassium iodide available free to state and local governments for distribution to residents living within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant. Previously, distribution was limited to just those living within 10 miles, and todate, ten states have not yet requested this free medication from the NRC. The Bush administration improperly waived the law requiring distribution of the pharmaceutical safeguard to occur within 20 miles, and the Obama Administration has not yet reversed that action.
Copies of the letters to the ten Governors urging them to request potassium iodide for residents living within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant can be found HERE.
A copy of the letter to the National Governor’s Association requesting that they urge the Obama Administration to allow residents living within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant to receive potassium iodide can be found HERE.
Since the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and power outage that caused the nuclear meltdown in Japan, Rep. Markey has also written to Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren asking him to fully implement his 2002 law. Additionally, Rep. Markey wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services urging them to call on the Obama administration to reverse the Bush Administration’s decision to remove HHS’s authority to implement it.
Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has served on the Committees that have oversight over the NRC and the nuclear utility industry since 1976. For more than three decades, Rep. Markey has worked to secure nuclear power plants and ensure the public safety in the event of a nuclear disaster. In 1979, before the Three Mile Island accident occurred, Rep. Markey introduced legislation providing for a three year moratorium on licensing of new nuclear power plants until a top to bottom safety analysis on nuclear reactors could be performed. In the early and mid-1980s, Rep. Markey chaired hearings on the lessons of the Three Mile Island accident, including a March 1982 hearing on the need to make KI available to those living around U.S. nuclear power plants. In 1986, he chaired hearings on the causes and consequences of the disaster at Chernobyl. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rep. Markey passed a law to strengthen security for nuclear reactors and materials, and a law providing for distribution of potassium iodide to those living within 20 miles of a nuclear reactor. And before the catastrophe in Japan, Rep. Markey raised concerns of the seismic resiliency of our reactors.
On March 16, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the owner of the plant, released this photo of the damaged No. 3 (left), left, and No. 4 reactors. The No. 3 reactor suffered damage on March 14, when overheated fuel caused an explosion. No. 4 was not in operation when the quake hit, but an explosion on March 15 damaged the building that houses it.
Saturday, March 26, 3pm
Whitaker Center is pleased to present the nuclear safety program, Ensuring Safety at Three Mile Island at 3pm in Stage Two, Whitaker Center’s Lower Level.
Ralph DeSantis, Communications Manager, Three Mile Island Generating Station, Exelon Nuclear, will discuss the basic operation of Three Mile Island Unit 1 and discuss the numerous safety systems in place. He will explain what Exelon Nuclear, the operator of Three Mile Island, has done over the past several years to further improve the safety and reliability of the plant.
The 30-minute presentation is suitable for all ages and will include an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.Admission is free.
Mr. DeSantis has more than 25 years of communication experience in the nuclear power industry. In his current role, he is responsible for all external and internal communications at Three Mile Island. Mr. DeSantis holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from Penn State and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Clarion State University.
From the York Dispatch:
Seizing a timely moment to talk about nuclear energy, Harrisburg's Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is hosting a presentation Saturday on nuclear safety.
The 30-minute talk features Ralph DeSantis, communications manager for Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Middletown.
DeSantis works for Exelon Nuclear, which operates the plant.
Whitaker Center staff decided to host the event because the tragedy in Japan has sparked national discussion about nuclear safety, said Steve Bishop, vice president of science and Imax programs at Whitaker Center.
This Special Edition of The Newsletter of TMIA Alert addresses the accident at the Fukushima plant in Japan and the availability of Potassium Iodie pills here in central Pennsylvania.
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OUR FIRST EVENT: IN COLLABORATION WITH NO NUKES, PA, WE INVITE YOU TO THE ANNUAL CANDLELIGHT VIGIL AT 3:30 AM ON MARCH 28, 2011 IN MEMORY OF THE 32nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACCIDENT AT THREE MILE ISLAND (TMI) AND TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN DURING THIS NUCLEAR CRISIS. MEET US AT THE NORTH GATE OF TMI ON ROUTE 441, IN MIDDLETOWN, PA. Visit our website at www.anuff.net or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ANUFF! was founded in the wake of the nuclear catastrophe that began unfolding in Japan in March, 2011. Originating in Middletown, PA, the site of the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history at Three Mile Island (TMI), we are a group of scholars with professional activity related to the anti-nuclear movement.
ANUFF! was developed to provide an academic arm to the anti-nuclear movement and to provide an international platform for academicians, students, and other concerned individuals to organize and respond to the growing environmental threats posed by nuclear technology.
Our mission is simple: to provide scholarly expertise to the anti-nuclear movement to connect “first wave” and “second wave” anti-nuclear activists and to promote nuclear literacy in communities. We have expertise in community mobilization, education and outreach, environmental activism, economics campaigning, lobbying, quantitative and qualitative social science research, community-based planning and evaluation, and writing for academic audiences and the popular press.
Our goal is to collaborate with other existing anti-nuclear and environmental organizations to create a unified voice for change to (1) stop the construction of new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world, (2) end the practice of re-licensing old nuclear power plants, (3) work toward a phase-out of nuclear power, and (4) pave the way for a truly “green” energy future.
Join ANUFF! by sending an email to email@example.com. Include your name and preferred email address and any areas of expertise or interests you would like to share. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Please distribute widely. We hope to reach out and connect with the entire international community of academics, students, and others who are dedicated to a nuclear free future!
AGENDA: In addition to the public hearing and its related action items identified below, the business meeting also includes actions or presentations on the following items: 1) the Morrison Cove Water Resources Study; 2) hydrologic conditions in the basin and strategies for stream gages; 3) administrative approval of flowback reuse involving diversions; 4) a demonstration of the Commission’s web-based Water Resource Portal; 5) a preliminary introduction to dockets; 6) administrative fee authorization for group transfers of approvals; 7) a Migratory Fish Restoration and Management Plan for the Susquehanna River Basin; 8) a request to initiate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Phase of Potential Revision of Low-Flow Regulation at the Cowanesque and Curwensville Lakes; 9) revision of FY-2012 Budget; and 10) ratification/approval of contracts. The Commission will also hear Legal Counsel’s report.
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From the New York Times:
The Japanese electricians who bravely strung wires this week to all six reactor buildings at a stricken nuclear power plant succeeded despite waves of heat and blasts of radioactive steam.
The restoration of electricity at the plant, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, stirred hopes that the crisis was ebbing. But nuclear engineers say some of the most difficult and dangerous tasks are still ahead — and time is not necessarily on the side of the repair teams.
The tasks include manually draining hundreds of gallons of radioactive water and venting radioactive gas from the pumps and piping of the emergency cooling systems, which are located diagonally underneath the overheated reactor vessels. The urgency of halting the spread of radioactive contamination from the site was underlined on Wednesday by the health warning that infants should not drink tap water — even in Tokyo, 140 miles southwest of the stricken plant — which raised alarms about extensive contamination.
"We've got at least 10 days to two weeks of potential drama before you can declare the accident over," said Michael Friedlander, who worked as a nuclear plant operator for 13 years.