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Anger at USA government’s new lax radiation safety rules

safety-symbol1New radiation guidelines outrage anti-nuclear groups AprFlag-USA 18 – McClatchy-Tribune Regional News – Pam Sohn Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. At the same time that citizens are cooling on nuclear power in Fukushima’s wake and both nuclear regulators and operators are pushing emergency preparedness for worst-case scenarios, the EPA has moved to update radiation exposure rules.

They include some health-related guidelines to help responders determine evacuation needs and short-term exposure measures for situations not previously spelled out, according to Jonathan Edwards, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency’s radiation division, and David McIntyre, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The guide is intended to be used by emergency planners.

But at least two environmental groups charge that the new guidelines, announced Monday in the Federal Register, relax existing rules.

“The new [protective action guides] eliminate requirements to evacuate people in the face of high projected thyroid, skin, or lifetime whole body doses,” according to statements from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and the Committee to Bridge the Gap.

Daniel Hirsch, president of Committee to Bridge the Gap, said the guide also recommends dumping radioactive waste in municipal landfills not designed for such waste and proposes options for drinking water that would increase the permitted concentrations of radioactivity “by as much as 27,000 times.”….

the groups — both anti-nuclear — are outraged.

“In essence the government is now saying nuclear power accidents could produce such widespread contamination and produce such high radiation levels that the government should abandon efforts to clean it up and instead force people to live with radiation-induced cancer risks orders of magnitude higher than ever considered acceptable,” Hirsch said……..


April 20, 2013 - Posted by | politics, safety, USA

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