A new report that details the impact of nuclear power plants on drinking water will be disclosed today, said Alana Miller, program associate for PennPIRG – a statewide nonpartisan consumer advocacy group based in Philadelphia.
Yesterday, Miller said the organization asked the state's Environmental Protection Agency for data pertaining to areas near nuclear power plants.
Findings in today's report will "raise awareness" of a nuclear power plant's impact on local drinking water, she said.
"The (Limerick) plant is featured in the report," Miller said, adding this will be the group's first report on nuclear power plants and drinking water.
Although details of the report will not be released until later today, research indicates Pennsylvanians are at risk for negative health effects posed by nuclear power plants, Miller said.
"We partnered with Penn Environment," she said of collecting data for the report.
According to Miller, PIRG has been researching nuclear power plants and their impact on the environment for decades.
However, today's report will cover new territory, she said.
"It's ... new information that's never been used before," Miller said.
When asked to comment on the issue, Exelon Limerick Generating Station Communications Manager Dana Melia via email said the station "operates conservatively within all environmental regulations set forth by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware River Basin Commission."
The Limerick plant employs an environmental monitoring program to "ensure the continued health" of the Schuylkill River and communities it serves, she said.
"Part of that program includes collecting air, water, soil, livestock and agricultural samples from many different locations outside the facility," Melia said. "These samples are analyzed by an independent laboratory to ensure that no unsafe radiological impact exists."
The station is also home to a comprehensive river and well monitoring program to ensure it meets or exceeds state and federal regulatory standards, she said.
Pennsylvania is not the only state PIRG will address today.
MassPIRG will issue a new report about nuclear power's effect on drinking water as the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station reports "potential problems" with the plant's computer system, reports Plymouth, MA Patch Editor Casey Meserve.
Check back for details of today's PennPIRG report.
Meanwhile, "a team of U.N. nuclear experts (yesterday) began a review of tests conducted by Japan to prove the safety of its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima radiation crisis," Reuters reports.
And, the U.S. Dept. of Energy said it will explore a plan to manufacture small modular nuclear reactors that are roughly a third the size of current nuclear plants and would offer "safety, siting, construction and economic" benefits.
“America’s choice is clear - we can either develop the next generation of clean energy technologies, which will help create thousands of new jobs and export opportunities here in America, or we can wait for other countries to take the lead,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said last week.