Five years ago, Congress had a fit of conscience regarding nuclear
power. The power plants, each with the potential to spew deadly
radioactivity into air and water, were a potential problem to more than
the four-and-a-half million people living within 10 miles of the 110
plants operating in the United States. They were a threat to almost 22
million people living within 20 miles of the plants.
That was the new economic reckoning in 2002, anyway.
So they decided that a program that distributes anti-radiation potassium iodide pills to those 4.5 million folks should be expanded.
Now, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission isn't fond of the idea according to a recent USA Today article.
It makes the over-extended and leaky plants seem, somehow, dangerous when the government is in the business of doling out pills to protect people from thyroid cancer. Huh. Don't say?
So they are leaning on the White House to use a loophole in the original bill to kill the measure and instead consider alternatives to the pills, including providing uncontaminated food and relying on evacuations to protect a public at risk of exposure.
That Massachusetts Dem Ed Markey told the paper that potassium iodide "is a simple, cheap, proven drug that can save countless lives, especially children, in the event of a nuclear release."
Sure there's that. But what about the reputation of nuclear power. I mean, they've got issues. Considering the recent cooling tower collapse at Vermont Yankee, every little bit helps.
Maybe it'd be worth hashing it out at:
Now here's a fun game I like to call Nuke Beach...First, open up this map of Matagorda County, home to South Texas Project, where our two existing nuke plants are hard at work. You'll see STP there just northwest of Matagorda when you zoom in.