Exelon nuclear power company – the largest nuclear operator in the U.S. – issued a press release yesterday stating:
Operators at Byron Generating Station [around 110 miles from Chicago] declared an Unusual Event at 10:18 a.m. CT, due to the loss of offsite power and Unit 2 coming offline.
The nuclear facility’s diesel generators activated as designed to provide power to the facility when there is a loss of offsite power to the facility. The facility remains in a safe condition. Station engineering experts are looking into the cause of the loss of offsite power.
Byron Station is designed to depressurize to reduce steam pressure as part of the many redundant safety systems built into the facility. Steam from the unit is released through safety relief valves that are specifically designed for this purpose. The steam, which will evaporate quickly, contained expected levels of tritium. Local residents may see or hear the steam release in progress, which will continue throughout the day until the unit cools down. These types of station releases are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
There is no health or safety impact to workers or to the public from the release, and Exelon Nuclear has notified all appropriate local, state and federal officials of the Unusual Event.
Tritium is produced in greater concentrations in commercial nuclear reactors and is routinely discharged into the environment under strictregulatory guidelines.
EVEN WHEN OPERATING NORMALLY, NUCLEAR PLANTS VENT RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS WHICH CAUSE CANCER
It’s not just tritium, and it’s not just accidents.
While the nuclear industry and its lapdogs in the nuclear agencies say that living near a nuclear plant is safe, numerous scientific studies have found that – even when operating normally – the plants cause cancer.
For example, numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world show that the incidence of leukemia is much higher for people living near nuclear plants. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
The bottom line is that nuclear power can be safe – or it can be cheap … but it can’t be both.