Monday, July 22, 2013

Hearings scheduled on House bill to increase nuclear safety requirements

Rep. James Cantwell, D-Marshfield, Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown, and Rep. Ann Margaret Ferrente, D-Gloucester, plan to introduce legislation Tuesday (July 9) to expand nuclear power plant safety preparedness by the state Department of Public Health, according to the nuclear watchdog group Cape Downwinders.

 The proposed legislation includes expanding the Emergency Preparedness Zone (EPZ) from 10 to 20 miles, implementing the lessons learned from Fukushima and Chernobyl and severe accidents involving spent fuel pools, the threat of terrorism, advanced meteorological understanding and improved understanding of radiation health effects.

The EPZ currently limited to the 10 mile radius around a nuclear power plant would be expanded to 20 miles with the same plans for evacuation and sheltering required.

The bill also includes a requirement for real-time radiological monitoring and the distribution of potassium iodide (KI). The expanded EPZ would reach beyond Plymouth County to cities and towns located in Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties, plus Cape Ann in Essex County, the Cape Downwinders’ announcement said.

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