Last month, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) heralded an Energy Department funded study indicating that evacuation zones around nuclear power stations might not be needed after a major nuclear accident. The study, which exposed mice to radiation levels comparable to those near the Fukushima nuclear disaster, found no evidence of genetic harm. “There are no data that say that’s a dangerous level,” says Jacquelyn Yanch, a leader of the study. According to the MIT press release “current U.S. regulations require that residents of any area that reaches radiation levels eight times higher than background should be evacuated. However, the financial and emotional cost of such relocation may not be worthwhile, the researchers say.”
Even more troubling, the Obama administration reduced emergency preparedness in case of a major nuclear accident in a quiet announcement made six months ago, right before Christmas — virtually guaranteeing minimal media attention. Given that the number of people living near nuclear stations has grown four-and-a-half times larger since 1980, a move in the opposite direction would make more sense. Yet, the government’s low priority for radiation protection is underscored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General, who recently reported as radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear site drifted over the U.S., 20 percent of EPA’s radiation monitoring stations were out of service for more than 6 months.
Read more.. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/26-0