Nuclear Power Safety not just Japanese Issue: Threat to North Carolina Work Safety is Real

Bloomberg is reporting that Raleigh based, Progress Energy Inc., led the U.S. list for near misses by nuclear power plants.

Our injury lawyers in Charlotte and Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers are following the latest news about Progress Energy Incorporated and their planned merger with Duke Energy Corp., which would create the largest U.S. utility owner.
A watchdog group, Union of Concerned Scientists, released a report that listed 14 plants that had near misses last year. Progress Energy had four accidents at three reactors last year.

The worst U.S. reactor incident happened at Progress Energy’s H.B. Robinson plant in South Carolina, when an electrical fire caused an unplanned shutdown and was followed by a series of serious mistakes by plant operators.

Progress Energy’s Crystal River plant in Florida, had the most costly mistake, with a price tag of $500 million. When workers had to cut a hole in a reactor containment wall, in order to replace steam generators, they used more pressure than the concrete could withstand.

The findings in this report hit close to home as we watch the news on the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station in Japan.

What you should do before a nuclear power plant emergency:

-Know the nuclear emergency terminology:
Notification of Unusual Event – no leak is expected, no action on your part.

Alert – chance of small leak inside plant, no action on your part.

Site Area Emergency – small radiation leak from plant, listen to TV & radio for information.

General Emergency – leak outside the plant and off plant site, be prepared to evacuate.

-Know your community’s warning system.

-Obtain emergency information from the power company that operates the plant.
-Know the emergency plans for schools, nursing homes and day care centers.
-Be ready to evacuate.

What you should do during a nuclear power plant emergency.

-Listen for information and review the info you get from the power company.

-Evacuate if you are told to do so, close and lock all doors and windows, keep car windows and vents shut (use re-circulating air), keep the radio tuned for information.

-Remain indoors, if told to do so, keep doors and windows closed, turn off the AC and any air intake devices, go into the basement, keep a radio with you at all times.

-Bring pets and livestock indoors.

-Don’t use the phone.

-If you think you have been exposed, take a thorough shower, put exposed clothes in a plastic bag and seal it.

-All food needs to be in covered containers or the refrigerator.

What you should do after a nuclear power plant emergency.
-Don’t return home until told to do so.

-Don’t leave your house until told to do so.

-Seek medical care if you experience any unusual symptoms, like nausea, that could be related to radiation exposure.

The best ways to limit radiation exposure are to get as far away from the source as possible, shield yourself from the radiation by staying indoors and be patient.

If you or someone you know have been in a serious Carolina accident, contact Lee & Smith injury lawyers in Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

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