Medical consequences of a nuclear plant attack or accident around chicago
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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. Introduction The World Today: Fear and Opportunity Nuclear Power Plant Security

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Medical Consequences of a Nuclear Plant Attack or Accident around Chicago

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Medical consequences of a nuclear plant attack or accident around chicago

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

Agenda for Today

  • Introduction

  • The World Today: Fear and Opportunity

  • Nuclear Power Plant Security

  • Fissile Materials as Targets for Attack

  • Medical Consequences of Attacks on Braidwood


Medical consequences of a nuclear plant attack or accident around chicago

The splitting of the atom changed everything, save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.-Albert Einstein, 1946


The single greatest danger

The single greatest danger…


Nuclear power plants in the us

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

Pressurized Water

Common Reactor Types

Images from NRC


Spent fuel storage

Spent Fuel Storage

  • After 12-24 months in the reactor, fuel is offloaded into cooling ponds

  • Must remain until cool

  • More than 10x the radioactive material than the core (20-50 million curies Cs-137-Chernobyl released 2 million curies)


Nuclear plant security

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

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

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

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

Radiation Sickness

The signs and symptoms of radiation sickness include:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Skin burns

  • Weakness/Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fainting

  • Inflammation of tissues

  • Mucosal bleeding

  • Low red blood cell count/anemia

  • Hair loss


Biological effects of radiation rem

Biological Effects of Radiation (REM)

  • 0-20 Potential for genetic consequences

  • 20-100 Temporary decrease in white blood cell count.

  • 100-200 Acute radiation sickness - nausea, vomiting, longer-term decrease in white blood cells.

  • 200-300 Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, death in some cases.

  • 300-600 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

Braidwood Total Effective Dose Equivalent

Joliet

South Bend

Fort Wayne


Braidwood evacuation area

Braidwood Evacuation Area

Grand Rapids


Medical consequences

Medical Consequences

  • The number of acutely ill people would overwhelm all available care facilities

  • Many facilities will not be available due to contamination:

    • 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 consequences1

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

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

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 Total Effective Dose Equivalent


Sfp evacuation area

SFP Evacuation Area


Sfp thyroid dose protection

SFP Thyroid Dose Protection


Indian point comparison

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

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

For More Information

  • R. Alvarez et al., “Reducing the Hazards from Stored Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States,” Science and Global Security 11 (2003): 1-51.

  • D. Hirsch, “The NRC: What, me worry?,” Bulletin of Atomic Scientists58(1): 38-44.

  • E. Lyman, “Chernobyl on the Hudson?,” Union of Concerned Scientists, September 2004: 1-54.

Visit PSR’s website at:

http://www.psr.org

or contact PSR at:

1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1012Washington, DC, 20009Telephone: (202) 667-4260Fax: (202) 667-4201

Chicago PSR:

4750 N. Sheridan Road #439Chicago, IL 60640(773) 989-4655 [email protected]


Cask accident on train line

Cask Accident on Train Line


Cask accident on train line1

Cask Accident on Train Line


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