Drinking water for nearly 3.3 million New Jersey residents could be at contamination risk from a radiation leak at a nearby nuclear power plant, according to a report released this week by two advocacy groups.
The study “Too Close to Home” was released by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Law & Policy Center and Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center. It uses the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed the Japan earthquake and tsunami to illustrate effects of a similar disaster locally.
The report determined how many people nationwide live within a 50-mile radius of a nuclear power plant. About 49 million Americans depend on drinking water sources within that 50-mile radius, the report stated.
The radius is the distance that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses to determine risk to food and water supplies.
While the report focuses on the Fukushima disaster, it also notes that the majority of radiation risks from nuclear power plants comes from leaked tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen.
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