An 80-km BNPP evacuation radius will include all of Bataan and Pampanga, most of Zambales, Bulacan, Metro Manila and Cavite, and parts of Tarlac, Laguna and Batangas

Laguna and Batangas

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued on March 16, 2011 the following warning to U.S. citizens in Japan: “Under the guidelines for public safety that would be used in the United States under similar circumstances, the NRC believes it is appropriate for U.S. residents within 50 miles of the Fukushima reactors to evacuate.”

The U.S. warning suggests that the Japanese authorities, who only ordered evacuation of people within 20 km of the nuclear disaster, have been downplaying the risks associated with the ongoing nuclear meltdown. Indeed, most governments and the nuclear industry have a long history of downplaying risks, keeping secret the real extent of damage to human life and health, and outright lies about the dangers as well as costs of nuclear plants.

The Fukushima meltdown highlights another problem with nuclear energy: in times of natural disasters, when regular as well as emergency sources of power tend to fail, nuclear plants compete for the attention of emergency services because they absolutely need significant amounts of power and cooling water to prevent runaway overheating and a subsequent meltdown. When the Japanese government’s attention and resources need to be fully focused on attending to the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit their country, attention and resources are instead diverted to coping with the danger of nuclear meltdown, which threatens consequences that are as dire if not worse than the natural disasters themselves.

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