Here’s a cheery bit of news: For every nuclear reactor that has its license renewed and operates for another 20 years, 12 people will die from routine exposure to radiation. That, according to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (via our friends at the watchdog Nuclear Information and Resource Service).
Given that the Bush administration has made relicensing of the 100 or so commercial reactors currently in operation a priority, an estimated 1,200 people will die as a result of cancer caused by radiation from the plants.
As an even cheerier footnote: The fatality figure does not include accidents or “nonroutine” radiation releases.
“This admission by the federal government gives the lie to the administration and nuclear industry’s claim that nuclear power is somehow an ‘emission-free’ technology,” quoth Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based NIRS. “The Bush administration thinks killing more than 1,000 people is an acceptable price to pay for continued use of nuclear power. We think it’s a national scandal.”News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail [email protected]