Damages from a Major Release of 137Cs into the Atmosphere of the United States*

Jan Beyea, Ed Lyman, Frank Hippel, "Damages from a Major Release of 137Cs into the Atmosphere of the United States*," Science & Global Security, 12, no. 1-2, (2004): 125-136.
We report estimates of costs of evacuation, decontamination, property loss, and cancer deaths due to releases by a spent fuel fire of 3.5 and 35 MCi of 137Cs into the atmosphere at five U.S. nuclear-power plant sites. The MACCS2 atmospheric-dispersion model is used with median dispersion conditions and azimuthally-averaged radial population densities. Decontamination cost estimates are based primarily on the results of a Sandia study. Our five-site average consequences are $100 billion and 2000 cancer deaths for the 3.5 MCi release, and $400 billion in damages and 6000 cancer deaths for the 35 MCi release. The implications for the cost-benefit analyses in "Reducing the hazards" are discussed. *Addendum to "Reducing the hazards from stored spent power-reactor fuel in the United States," by R. Alvarez, J. Beyea, K. Janberg, J. Kang, E. Lyman, A. Macfarlane, G. Thompson, and F. von Hippel, Science & Global Security 11(2003), pp. 1-51.

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