CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn says he is open to taking much more expansive measures if a nuclear accident occurs at one of Illinois’ eleven reactors.
The standard emergency planning zone around Illinois nuclear plants today is 10 miles. But in Japan, worrisome readings are being found twice that far out. Quinn said Saturday, at an unrelated event, that it is something the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) should weigh carefully in its emergency planning going forward.
“I think we have to be very, very comprehensive with respect to safety,” he said. “We’re going to look at every single thing. If the (planning and exclusion zone) parameters have to be expanded, so be it.”
Quinn last week ordered stepped up inspections of all 11 reactors by IEMA’s Nuclear Safety Department, and has asked legislators to impose additional fees on the plants’ owner, Exelon, to pay for it.
He spoke one day after U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin convened a daylong forum on nuclear safety in Illinois. Kirk and Durbin both said Illinois needs to review the size of evacuation zones and assure that a sufficient stockpile of potassium iodide pills exists.