Severe Nuclear Reactor Accidents Likely Every 10 to 20 Years, European Study Suggests

Europe re-analyzes risk after Fukushima and finds it higher than expected. Close neighbors may make them more cautious going forward than large countries like the U.S. who seem to feel less vulnerable. But, the danger is the same even if the perception is different. Nuclear power threatens every country that uses it. It threatens security, public health, the environment, food and water safety, the list of possible harm is almost endless. The benefits non-existent.

Science Daily l May 22, 2012

Western Europe has the worldwide highest risk of radioactive contamination caused by major reactor accidents.

Catastrophic nuclear accidents such as the core meltdowns in Chernobyl and Fukushima are more likely to happen than previously assumed. Based on the operating hours of all civil nuclear reactors and the number of nuclear meltdowns that have occurred, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz have calculated that such events may occur once every 10 to 20 years (based on the current number of reactors) -- some 200 times more often than estimated in the past. The researchers also determined that, in the event of such a major accident, half of the radioactive caesium-137 would be spread over an area of more than 1,000 kilometres away from the nuclear reactor. Their results show that Western Europe is likely to be contaminated about once in 50 years by more than 40 kilobecquerel of caesium-137 per square meter. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, an area is defined as being contaminated with radiation from this amount onwards. In view of their findings, the researchers call for an in-depth analysis and reassessment of the risks associated with nuclear power plants.

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Nuclear Power is not the Answer