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Is New Jersey’s Drinking Water At Risk? [AUDIO]

Flickr User Joe Pell

If there is a leak or accident at a local nuclear power plant, the drinking water for 3,286,373 people in New Jersey could be at risk of radioactive contamination.

That’s according to a new report entitled Too Close to Home: Nuclear Power and the Threat to Drinking Water, which has been released by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group.

“The danger of nuclear power is too close to home,” said Jennifer Kim of NJPIRG. “We looked at where there were drinking water intakes within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. Fifty miles is the distance the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses to measure risk to food and water supplies. If we ever had an accident like the one in Fukushima, Japan, cancer-causing radioactive waste could get into our drinking water.”

“The nearby metropolitan area of Philadelphia and New York also get their drinking water from a source within 50 miles of a nuclear plant,” said Kim.

New Jersey’s nuclear plants are no strangers to leaks. In 2002, radiation was discovered on the shoes of workers at the Salem plant in South Jersey. That lead to the discovery of a leak that had been going on for at least five years before it was discovered. The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township has leaked over 20 times.

“We are calling for a number of things including a thorough, independent safety review of all the plants and any problems that are identified should be fixed immediately,” said Kim. “Also, all plant operators should implement regular groundwater tests in order to catch leaks.”

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