A nuclear reactor has ruptured near the West Sussex market town of Midhurst, spewing a plume of radioactive gases into the skies over the South Downs. Borne on prevailing winds from the southwest, the cloud drifts over Crawley and Guildford and on towards the M25. As many as 3.9 million people are breathing in unstable isotopes of xenon, iodine and caesium. What should they do? They should more or less keep calm and carry on, according to a network of British safety researchers who have found that the fallout from a civil nuclear disaster is likely to be nothing like as bad as it sounds. In spite of the hysteria around the nuclear accidents at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 there is almost never a case for permanently moving people out of the contaminated area, the academics say. While tho se who stay may lose a few months of life expectancy and face a slightly greater risk of cancer, the drawbacks are no greater than choosing to live in a big and polluted city such as London. Philip Thomas, professor of risk management at the University of Bristol, said that in hindsight the Soviet and Japanese authorities had hugely overreacted when they forced more than 450,000 people to abandon their homes for good. “Very few people are properly aware of just how relatively small the risks of nuclear power are, even after a big nuclear accident has happened, never mind how rare that event might be,” he said.
Times 23rd Nov 2017 read more »
[Machine Translation] Greenpeace has put online a map that allows each user to see which is the nuclear power plant closest to the municipality of his choice. Once the municipality selected, it sees three areas of color appear around it. A small and red which is the area in which the specific intervention plan (PPI) applies is the set of measures that must be applied in the event of an accident on a nuclear site. The second zone, yellow, represents the radiological impact of the Fukushima accident which extended over a perimeter of more than 100 km. The last, green, represents this impact during the Chernobyl accident (300km).
France Info 21st Nov 2017 read more »