From Green Right Now Reports
If the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan has piqued your interest in the state of nuclear power in the U.S., you can check into the issue of nuclear reactor safety at the information tracker set up by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The information you find there may puncture the common misconception that nuclear power is exceedingly safe, unless and until a major disaster occurs.
Of the 104 operational and 21 closed nuclear reactors in the United States, 99 have experienced “groundwater leaks”, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists documents. You can see the reactors that have experienced these leaks mapped on the graphic below. To zoom in on the location and get more details, click on the map to visit the UCS’s interactive database.
The UCS defines a groundwater “leak” as documented “past spill, leak or other inadvertent release of radioactively contaminated water to the environment.” The contaminated water may or may not have made its way onto public lands and into drinking water supplies. The leakage may not have resulted in high radioactivity in the affected area. But the leak reports do demonstrate the potential difficulty of containing all potential nuclear waste.
The UCS keeps a complete list of all nuclear power reactors — operating, closed and proposed — at its Nuclear Power Tracker. The group of scientists set up the program to help make public the safety issues that afflict some reactors.