The attack could have caused up to 43,700 immediate fatalities, 518,000 long-term cancer deaths, permanent relocation of 11. 1 million people, and $2. 1 trillion in damage costs. 3 There are currently 64 nuclear plant sites in United States, and constructing another plant in New York will only increase high risks for terror attacks and national insecurity. Potential nuclear explosion can also lead to severe environmental hazards, which will also affect our safety. The radioactive exposure pollutes water, land and air, and increases health hazards in the long-run.
Excessive exposure to radioactivity will lead to radiation sickness, which may seriously lead to death within two to four weeks. Radioactivity exposure can also lead to lung and blood cancers and may also cause birth defects such as downs syndrome, cleft palate, and congenital malformations. 4 In addition, ____________________ 2. Gofman, John W. , and Arthur R. Tamplin. Poisoned Power: The Case Against Nuclear Power Plants Before and After Three Mile Island. Chapter 7: Nuclear Electricity and The Citizen’s Rights. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale, 1971. ;www. ratical.
com/radiation/CNR/PP/chp7. html;. 3. “The Fatal Flaws of Nuclear Power. ” Public Citizen. Apr. 2006. Web. ;http://www. citizen. org/documents/FatalFlawsSummary. pdf;. 4. “Radiation | Greenpeace International. ” Inspiring Action for a Green and Peaceful Future | Greenpeace USA. Greenpeace International, 5 Oct. 2006. Web. ;http://www. greenpeace. org/international/en/campaigns/nuclear/safety/radiation/;. nuclear explosion also causes indirect long-term health risks because environmental pollution affects the food chain and agricultural production.
Therefore, we need to prevent the Willets Point construction at all costs, especially because of its site location. Willets Point is in Queens, which is less than 8 miles away from New York City. New York City is a high risk target for terror attacks, because it is the nation’s cultural and financial icon. As mentioned above, an explosion at the Indian Point nuclear plant could lead to severe damage costs. Since Indian Point is 24 miles from of New York City, an attack at Willets Point will comparatively lead to an even greater damage to the city.
It is also extremely dangerous to build a nuclear power plant near City Field, which has a maximum capacity of 45,000 people. The explosion could instantly take the lives of ten thousands of people, if an event simultaneously takes place at the field. Most importantly, building a power plant near a residential area violates the residents’ rights to safety. The residents may lose their homes or lives in the explosion and will be constantly exposed to radioactive materials. Hence, the construction at Willets Point must be prevented, as it directly violates citizen rights and causes unnecessary threats and risks.
Supporters of nuclear energy claim that nuclear power plants will provide clean, abundant, and cheaper energy. However, nuclear energy emits radioactive wastes and causes environmental hazards. It is definitely not a clean source of energy. Nuclear energy is also not the only abudant source of energy. The government can turn to renewable energy sources instead to meet the increasing national energy demand. Therefore, the claim for nuclear energy as the best solution to cheap and abundant energy source fails. In fact, is nuclear energy really as cheap as the government claims it to be?
Does it truly provide economic gains to New Yorkers? Nuclear energy requires billions of dollars on production and investment costs and may cause potential trillions of dollars on explosion damage costs. Hence, nuclear energy is extremely expensive. Although the New Yorkers may enjoy cheaper electricity and tax breaks, the potential explosions may take their lives and require them to pay for damage fees. Although it may not be easy, we must exercise our rights by preventing the construction of the power plant through the following steps.
First, the damage costs need to be projected to be used as convincing evidence of national threat. It is important to get actual figures of the total investment costs, the potential damage costs, the number of people that will be affected, and the areas that will be exposed to radioactivity and the explosion. Secondly, renewable energy needs to be well researched so that we may confidently recommend it as an alternative solution. In addition, we need to reaech out to national anti-nuclear movement organizations such as Greenpeace and Critical Mass for guidance and support.
Under the 1954 Atomic Energy Act, citizens have the right to appear before and be heard by atomic safety and licensing boards at the construction and operating permit stages of the licensing process. 5 Therefore, we will reach out to the residents in Willets Point and the New York City area to inform them of the impending threat. After getting their support and signatures, we will organize citizen campaigns to intervene at public hearings. Past cases like the 1970 Palisades Protest in Michigan have shown that citizen intervention is extremely powerful and effective.
They have succeed in re-negotiating safety measures for constructed plant sites and in preventing the construction of the power plants in the first place. We will defend our democratic rights by campaigning to prevent the construction of the nuclear plant until the proposed plan is foiled. The current crisis at Fukushima following the devastating earthquake and tsunami has been top global news. Thousands of Japanese citizens have lost their lives and families members from the earthquake and tsunami damages. Thousands more are suffering from hunger and physical damages.
However, the Japanese are currently most troubled by the fear of a potential nuclear explosion. Fifty workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant are currently sacrificing their lives to help mitigate the crisis. The Japanese Prime Minister have confessed that the nuclear plants have caused the hardest hardship since the World War II. In this global world, the least we can do is to have increased caution for nuclear energy by seeking anti-nuclear means. Constructing more nuclear plants at home while providing relief efforts for Japan seems paradoxical.
Expanding national nuclear projects while guaranteeing democratic rights to security and safety is extremely contradictory. Willets Point nuclear plant construction must be prevented.