Nuclear Regulatory Commission Rejects Evacuation Expansion – Cape Still Screwed

pilgrim – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Wednesday it had denied a post-Fukushima petition to expand the emergency planning zones around the country’s nuclear power plants, saying the current zones are sufficient.

“The NRC has failed the American people,” said Michael Mariotte, president of Nuclear Information Resource Service, in a written statement. “Rather than learn from Fukushima and act appropriately to protect the public, the agency has chosen to protect the nuclear power industry yet again.”

The petition asked the NRC to expand the current 10-mile-radius emergency planning zone to 25 miles; to create a new, 50-mile “emergency response zone”; and to expand the “ingestion pathway zone” — where drinking water and food could become contaminated — from 50 to 100 miles.

Cape Cod currently falls into the ingestion pathway zone of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station but the region would have shifted into the “emergency response zone” had the petition prevailed.

The shift would have addressed the longtime complaint from Cape legislators and activists that there’s “no escape from the Cape.” As part of the petition’s provisions, nuclear plant owners would have been required to identify evacuation routes for all residents in the emergency response zone and annually provide information about the routes.

“It’s more of the same,” said state Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, of the petition’s denial. “I don’t know what we have to do to have our government regulators be more responsive to concerns from our region.”

Welp, that’s that. The NRC officially hates you, me, and Cape Cod. Although I have no idea how this expansion would actually help us if Pilgrim had a meltdown anyway. Last I checked there are two, count them, two roads off of Cape Cod. The only possible way to evacuate would be to fill in the canal and build a fifty lane highway.

Could you imagine every single person on Cape Cod trying to get off the peninsula at once? The bridges would just plain fail to handle the volume and it would be gridlock from Canal to P-Town. Imagine the level of road rage when there is a nuclear cloud on the way? I’ve never experienced it first hand but I would imagine that facing an imminent danger of your family’s faces melting off would make you a bit edgy.

If it happened in the summer people would start stealing boats, jumping on strangers boats etc. and it would turn into a scene from Mad Max or Red Dawn. If it happened in winter we’d have absolute mayhem at the boat ramps from people trying to get their boats in. Boat ramps in August are already high stress places where people get pissy, imagine if in the middle of the winter every boat owner on Cape Cod had to get their boat launched at the same exact time or they would grow a hand out the top of their head? There would be shotguns involved.

What I’m saying is that while this was a bad decision by the NRC in the long run it doesn’t matter one bit. If Pilgrim Nuclear melts down we are all fucked. It makes no difference if we are in an “ingestion pathway zone” or an “emergency response zone”. You could call it a “happy clean live forever zone” and it wouldn’t change the fact that we are all going to die.

My advice if there is a disaster? Head straight to the liquor store, grab your wife/boyfriend/vibrator or whatever you have, get hammered and go out with a bang.

P.S. I’m actually all for Nuclear Energy, but when you have two routes of escape for hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people and your friendly local nuclear plant is consistently ranked among the countries worst as far as safety? Yeah that can get a little disconcerting.

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