NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

February 5, 2013

N-plant poses risks to families

To the editor:

Your article “Seabrook reviews evacuation times” (Jan. 18) provides an excellent opportunity for ongoing public discussion about evacuation planning for the Seabrook nuclear power plant — let’s continue the discussion.

Each year, the Seabrook plant fulfills its requirement to inform the public of its emergency plans for evacuation. The plant sends a calendar to every area family — the 2013 Emergency Public Information Calendar for Neighbors of Seabrook Station in Massachusetts (Do Not Discard: Save for Use during an Emergency). We urge you to read the fine print.

During a radiological emergency, parents will not be allowed immediate access to their children in school (see p. 31). “School children may be moved to a designated facility outside the emergency planning zone.” In fact, the calendar states: “do not try to pick up your children at their school or phone the school.” This is a lot of ask of any parent in a radiological emergency!

Parents are told to meet their children at a host location outside the 10-mile evacuation zone (p. 31). What parents are not told is that these facilities are subject to radiological releases. Depending on wind conditions, children may be more affected by radiation exposure than they would have experienced if they have stayed in their schools. There is no way of knowing this ahead of time.

Things get more complicated if you have a child in school and another in a day care center or children in different schools, so you may want to check the calendar for details on these sorts of situations. (p. 31).

The risk that the Seabrook nuclear plant poses to families is simply not worth it. In our previous letter to the editor, we highlighted that the Seabrook plant failed to notify emergency management officials at all during an April 2012 NRC-simulated radiological emergency. If it had been a real radiological emergency, the result could have been catastrophic for you and your family.

The Fukushima disaster reminds us that thousands of families may never return to their homes after a radiological release. Why should the public endure this risk when potentially there is so much electricity available from less dangerous, non-nuclear sources?

Chaffee Monell

Amesbury

For No More Fukushimas!

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