Medical Consequences of a Nuclear Plant Attack or Accident around Chicago Andrew S.

Download Report

Transcript Medical Consequences of a Nuclear Plant Attack or Accident around Chicago Andrew S.

Medical Consequences of a
Nuclear Plant Attack or
Accident around Chicago
Andrew S. Kanter, MD MPH
Physicians for Social Responsibility/
Chicago Chapter
Agenda for Today
The World Today: Fear and Opportunity
Nuclear Power Plant Security
Fissile Materials as Targets for Attack
Medical Consequences of Attacks on
The splitting of the atom changed
everything, save our modes of thinking,
and we thus drift towards unparalleled
-Albert Einstein, 1946
The single greatest danger…
Nuclear Power Plants in the US
104 operating
nuclear power plants
and 36 non-power
reactors in the US
11 operating plants
in Northern Illinois
Produce 8% of the
nation’s energy
Common Reactor Types
Boiling Water
Images from NRC
Pressurized Water
Spent Fuel Storage
After 12-24 months in
the reactor, fuel is
offloaded into cooling
Must remain until cool
More than 10x the
radioactive material
than the core (20-50
million curies Cs-137Chernobyl released 2
million curies)
Nuclear Plant Security
Core protected by containment dome
Coolant supply critical (20,000-500,000 g/m)
Spent fuel pools vulnerable
Security strengthened after 9/11
Force-on-Force tests woefully inadequate
Small group of terrorists with one insider
Lone insider
Four-wheel drive vehicle bomb
Accident/Attack at Braidwood
PWR producing 2500 MW at full power
50+ mi SW of Chicago
Two scenarios:
Reactor vessel breach
Spent fuel pond fire
Analysis Tools
HPAC- Hazard Prediction and
Assessment Capability from the Defense
Threat Reduction Agency
CATS- Consequences Assessment Tool
Set from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency
Braidwood Scenario 1
Catastrophic coolant failure
Core exposed causing fire and breach
4% of core/hr burned
Summer Day
Normal Temperatures
Broken Clouds
Radiation Sickness
The signs and symptoms of radiation sickness include:
Nausea and vomiting
Skin burns
Loss of appetite
Inflammation of tissues
Mucosal bleeding
Low red blood cell count/anemia
Hair loss
Biological Effects of Radiation (REM)
Potential for genetic consequences
Temporary decrease in white blood cell count.
Acute radiation sickness - nausea, vomiting,
longer-term decrease in white blood cells.
Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite,
death in some cases.
Vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhaging, deaths
occurring in 50% of cases at 350+ REM
Above 600 Eventual death in almost all cases
Braidwood Total Effective Dose Equivalent
South Bend
Fort Wayne
Braidwood Evacuation Area
Grand Rapids
Medical Consequences
The number of acutely ill people would
overwhelm all available care facilities
Many facilities will not be available due to
113 hospitals would fall within the occupational
exposure zone (including two VA hospitals)
affecting more than 32,000 potential beds.
Nearly 20,000 physicians in five counties would
receive greater than occupational maximums for
radiation exposure from the plume itself, let alone
that from contaminated patients.
Medical Consequences
First responders, like firefighters would also be badly
affected. The 25 firefighters of Essex Fire Department
would possibly receive lethal doses, and the 67
firefighters of Braidwood and Herscher departments
would be suffering from radiation sickness.
Another 10,500 firefighters in 355 other departments
would have exceeded occupational exposures from
the plume itself and would be unavailable to respond
within the highly contaminated area. Police
departments would also be hard hit in Essex,
Braidwood and Herscher with the 38 police officers
receiving potentially lethal doses of radiation.
Braidwood Scenario 2
Spent Fuel Pond (SPF) Fire--Loss of coverage
causing Zirconium fire
3 assemblies destroyed, releasing Cs-137
Cs-137 half-life of 60 years, potent gamma
emitter. 50% of 10-y.o. fuel is Cs.
Summer Day
Normal Temperatures
Broken Clouds
No Security Plans for SFP
The NRC has denied petitions by citizen
groups seeking enhanced protections from
terrorist acts against reactor spent-fuel pools.
In its decision, the NRC has asserted that
“the possibility of a terrorist attack . . . is
speculative and simply too far removed from
the natural or expected consequences of
agency action . . . ”
SFP Total Effective Dose Equivalent
SFP Evacuation Area
SFP Thyroid Dose Protection
Indian Point Comparison
3,500-44,000 immediate deaths
100,000-500,000 long term deaths due
to cancer
Economic damages within 100 mi range
from $1.1-2.1 trillion
What You Can Do
Speak out and educate
Write to your leaders, newspapers, friends
Stop producing more nuclear materials
Secure all existing nuclear materials
Shut down nuclear power plants and transition to
renewable sources
Transfer waste from wet pools to dry storage casks
Develop long term storage for waste on site
For More Information
R. Alvarez et al., “Reducing the
Hazards from Stored Spent PowerReactor Fuel in the United States,”
Science and Global Security 11
(2003): 1-51.
D. Hirsch, “The NRC: What, me
worry?,” Bulletin of Atomic
Scientists 58(1): 38-44.
E. Lyman, “Chernobyl on the
Hudson?,” Union of Concerned
Scientists, September 2004: 1-54.
Visit PSR’s website at:
or contact PSR at:
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW,
Suite 1012
Washington, DC, 20009
Telephone: (202) 667-4260
Fax: (202) 667-4201
Chicago PSR:
4750 N. Sheridan Road #439
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 989-4655
[email protected]
Cask Accident on Train Line
Cask Accident on Train Line