March 27, 2011

Our Drinking water - Lessons from Japan

You might remember the front page article in the Globe earlier this week talking about how officials had announced that the drinking water in Tokyo was not safe for pregnant women and infants, followed by assurances the following day that the water is now safe. 

You may have wondered how the drinking water in Tokyo could have been contaminated when Tokyo is 200 miles south of Fukushima. I certainly did. 

The NY Times may have provided a clue this morning in their article discussing radiation and Boston's dependence on the Quabbin Reservoir for our drinking water. I hadn't realized that the Quabbin Reservoir is only 30 to 40 miles downwind from the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor. 

If there were to be an accident at the Yankee nuclear reactor, the probability is high that the Quabbin and Boston's drinking water would be affected. 

What are your thoughts?

From the article - 

"One place to look? The Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, one of two reservoirs supplying the bulk of demand to the city of Boston.

Located about 30 miles south of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vt., the open-air reservoir is the largest man-made one in the United States and falls within a 50-mile "ingestion pathway zone" that extends around the nuclear plant on all sides.

Vermont Yankee has been under a cloud recently as Vermont lawmakers have voted to close the plant, citing safety concerns, when it reaches the end of its operating life next year. But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined this week that it should be given a 20-year extension on operations.

Vermont Yankee is of the same design as the nuclear reactors now failing in Japan..."
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