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Old 07-05-2009, 11:33 AM
 
6 posts, read 31,610 times
Reputation: 12

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Hey there, anyone know the facts about living near a power plant, say the Limrick one? I am clueless but scared about living near a nuclear power plant. I just keep thinking my baby will be born with all kinds of crazy problems.

I love downtown Phoenixville, the fact that it is near Valley Forge, and the river. I found a few places that we can afford and like but am now uncertain of how safe it is. So if someone can give me any facts on the subject I would appreciate it. Meanwhile, I will read the website the plant has and try to figure out how much of what they tell me is BS and what is fact.

Thanks!!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,744 posts, read 7,845,060 times
Reputation: 4700
Quote:
Originally Posted by serfmunke View Post
Hey there, anyone know the facts about living near a power plant, say the Limrick one? I am clueless but scared about living near a nuclear power plant. I just keep thinking my baby will be born with all kinds of crazy problems.

I love downtown Phoenixville, the fact that it is near Valley Forge, and the river. I found a few places that we can afford and like but am now uncertain of how safe it is. So if someone can give me any facts on the subject I would appreciate it. Meanwhile, I will read the website the plant has and try to figure out how much of what they tell me is BS and what is fact.

Thanks!!!
While I can certainly understand the concerns with living adjacent to Limerick, I would not necessarily allow that to be the ultimate decision-breaker for deciding on whether to live in Phoenixille. There is daily monitoring of the plant from local and federal authorities (Nuclear Regulatory Commission), which is consistent with policy for all nuclear reactors across the country. Assuming we can trust the government source, we can hopefully take solace in the fact that a 1990 study found no correlation between cancer rates (one of the most prevalent concerns about populations near nuclear reactors) and proxomity to nuclear power plants. This is one citation from the NRC website:

"In 1990, at the request of Congress, the National Cancer Institute7 conducted a study of cancer mortality rates around 52 nuclear power plants and 10 other nuclear facilities. The study covered the period from 1950 to 1984, and evaluated the change in mortality rates before and during facility operations. The study concluded there was no evidence that nuclear facilities may be linked causally with excess deaths from leukemia or from other cancers in populations living nearby."

NRC: Backgrounder on Radiation Protection and the “Tooth Fairy” Issue

So, take that as you will. I am in no way a proponent of nuclear power and would be among the happiest if the plant was decommissioned, but I think -- at least as far as the health affects are concerned -- there appears to be a large amount of oversight, being that this is an issue in every densely-populated area where there is a nuclear reactor in operation.


I hope that at least gives you some reassurance. Good luck in whatever you choose!
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:01 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,843,384 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by serfmunke View Post
Hey there, anyone know the facts about living near a power plant, say the Limrick one? I am clueless but scared about living near a nuclear power plant. Especially if the last major study was done in 1990. I just keep thinking my baby will be born with all kinds of crazy problems.

I love downtown Phoenixville, the fact that it is near Valley Forge, and the river. I found a few places that we can afford and like but am now uncertain of how safe it is. So if someone can give me any facts on the subject I would appreciate it. Meanwhile, I will read the website the plant has and try to figure out how much of what they tell me is BS and what is fact.

Thanks!!!
Whether or not there is any evidence of contamination is hard to say since such information is hard to analyze or normally explained away by private industry. But there have been assertions made that power plants contaminate ground water and drinking water.

This is an opinion piece on the Limerick Plant contaminating the Schuylkill:

Limerick nuclear plant a threat to drinking water - The Mercury Opinion: Pottstown, PA and The Tri County areas of Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties (pottsmerc.com)

"For three years ACE collected documentation from permits, dockets, and other official sources that identify significant cause for concern related to Limerick Nuclear Power Plant operational impacts on the Schuylkill River."

My opinion on the subject - there is no way these power plants across the country do not contaminate the local water supply and ground water, it's just a matter of how much, not if it does. People around Toms River, NJ have had a large increase in cancer rates among children that the local community claimed was due to illegal dumping by a company in the area. Guess what? There's also a power plant in nearby Lacey Township. Hard to say if that is the cause. But the plant was shut down for repair around the same time and then the cancer rate began to decline. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com...ress=115x47724

Government agencies and private industry are going to spin it as safe because they are making money and activist groups will claim otherwise. Unless there is an accident, things will stay as they are. It's up to you to decide. Philadelphia was also recently named one of the Top 10 most cancerous cities. Again, no proof, but there seems to be a local issue attributed to something.

Lastly, real estate around power plants is a harder sale. People are naturally afraid of these issues. The best way to deal with it is to choose not to live around one.

Last edited by MoorestownResident; 07-05-2009 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
27 posts, read 99,203 times
Reputation: 26
Nuclear power is very safe and isn't a threat to you or your family.

Check out this article, from one of my favorite podcasts.

skeptoid.com/episodes/4092

More people die of lung disease caused by conventional fossil-fuel plants than people die of nuclear radiation. Chernobyl happened because it was a shoddy, old, ill repaired reactor staffed by non-trained individuals. Three-Mile-Island was actually a testament to the reaction of emergency management teams.

Nuclear reactors are meant to be safe, you can trust the government source on that, they may be inept, but they don't want people dying of leukemia. Radiation comes in three flavors, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. Alpha is deflected by your skin, beta by your clothes, and while gamma is a whole different ballgame, the actual reactor is shielded by graphite and lead, not to mention a thick concrete outer shell.

Nuclear power may seem scary, but with new advances in reactor tech and a need for cheap and clean sources of energy we may be building more these days.

Whatever you choose, I hope I alleviated your fears! :P

@MoorestownResident, that article seems a bit shoddy, coolant water is heated, but not radiated in any major way, and if it was it'd be like going through an x-ray machine.

Radiation like that dissipates quickly and over a large area probably amounts to no more than background radiation. Remember that "nuclear radiation" is just light at a higher frequency. You'd have to play around with it like the Curies to get ill. Check out the comments too, people seem to be skeptical of the article, which is an editorial (opinion piece) and not legitimate investigative journalism.

Higher cancer incidence in Philly is probably due to traffic, lack of access to medical care due to poverty, and to good ole' Rohm and Haas.

Last edited by Boeing; 07-05-2009 at 01:15 PM..
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:13 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,843,384 times
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I'm not saying it isn't safe but I am keeping an open mind on the subject. There's a lot of conflicting stuff out there on the subject and knowing big business the way I do, I cannot dismiss that they wouldn't try to minimize minor problems that might exist.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
27 posts, read 99,203 times
Reputation: 26
Depends on the businesses IMO, nuclear power plants generally have a good track record. They know their craft very well. Companies that don't serve the public good in a direct way, I'd be leery off. Like the paper mills that turned the Schuylkill and Delaware into sludge in the 20s. Personally I'd have no problem living next to a nuclear plant (well not RIGHT next to it :P). But then again I'd live in a house someone was murdered in. Yet I wouldn't live in Bridesburg next to Sunoco and Rohm & Haas.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
548 posts, read 1,835,315 times
Reputation: 115
I lived in Phoenixville for a bit, and I liked it for the same reasons you do. But me and the wife could never get used to seeing the Limerick towers whenever we drove in many areas. As a child of the 80's, and always hearing/reading the Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island stories, we couldn't shake the "nuclear = scary" feeling. It may be dumb or irrational, but hey it's my opinion.

It stinks that you can see them from parts of Valley Forge Park (one of the nicer parks in the northeast, in my opinion).
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:18 PM
 
1,163 posts, read 2,516,219 times
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Just don't purchase a home with a view of the towers, real estate agents in the area have told me they can be a tough sell.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:48 PM
 
6 posts, read 31,610 times
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Wow, I really appreciate all the feedback and links to articles. I need to read up and do the research. I am also very happy I have a great realtor who is honest and I trust her opinion, so we'll see what happens. I mean Phoenixville couldn't be any worse than Ridley Park which is next to 95, 476, the airport, Boeing, and some other spewing industrial buildings.

Thanks a bunch people!
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Limerick
8 posts, read 26,292 times
Reputation: 11
I have lived in the Limerick area for 35 years and I have three very normal children. They are actually very smart...not sure if thats from the power plant though, lol.
The power plants are in a very secure area and they are under constant watch. You are entitled to your feelings but gather all the facts before letting the towers scare you out of an area you really like. Honestly, after living here my whole life...I am very aware of them, I don't notice them.
Good luck to you!
Christine
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