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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:34 AM
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Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors

Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors

Map of census data shows a 17 percent increase in residents within 10 miles in a decade

By Bill Dedman
Investigative reporter

WATERFORD, Conn. Who's afraid of nuclear power? Not the American people, judging by where they choose to live.

A new map of data from the 2010 U.S. Census shows that the number of people living within the 10-mile emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants rose by 17 percent in the past decade, compared with an overall increase of less than 10 percent in the U.S. population.

If the circles on the map are widened to a 50-mile radius (the same evacuation area that U.S. nuclear officials recommended for Americans living near Japan's troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors), they would cover one in three people in the U.S.

That's 116 million nuclear neighbors, up from 109 million a decade earlier, according to the analysis conducted for msnbc.com by Longcreative, a data analysis and design company.
Only on msnbc.com

The population within 10 miles of Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island reactor grew 11 percent. At Pilgrim, outside of Boston, the increase was 41 percent. Near San Onofre on the California fault lines, 50 percent. Among the 100 most populous cities on the new census map, 26 have a nuclear plant within 50 miles: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia (3 different plants nearby), Phoenix, San Diego, Fort Worth, Charlotte (2 plants), Detroit, Baltimore, Boston (2 plants), Washington, Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Omaha, Raleigh and Durham, Miami, Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Paul (2 plants), New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Toledo (2 plants), Newark, Baton Rouge, and Rochester, N.Y.

Why would the population rise sharply near nuclear power plants, even in lower-growth states outside the Sun Belt? One reason could be normal population expansion, with previously unoccupied areas being filled in. Another reason: Nuclear reactors use water for cooling, from lakes, rivers or oceans, so the reactors are typically built on waterfront property. Is the sun rising or setting over the ocean any less beautiful if you can also see a cooling tower?

<snip>

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:35 PM
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1. That population trend will reverse soon. nt
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