Even the nuclear crisis enveloping Japan isn’t enough to wake up an indifferent Obama Administration. The massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on Friday also created a crisis at the country’s nuclear power plants. Damage at the sites was extensive, and repair work was impeded by at least one massive explosion. Radioactive gas leaks have been reported, with radiation 1,000 times higher than normal levels. In response, the Japanese government has imposed a massive, military-led evacuation, clearing people away from at least two of the plants.
Despite the tragedy unfolding in Japan, the United States remains unprepared. The country does not have enough of even the most basic countermeasures, such as potassium iodide or KI, which would be needed to protect the general population from a nuclear emergency. Last June, 13 bipartisan representatives from Florida wrote HHS Secretary Sebelius, asking her to begin stockpiling KI at sufficient levels needed to protect the general public, as suggested by the National Academy of Sciences and required by Congress in the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.
To date, some eight months later, not only has the Administration refused to address this dangerous oversight. It hasn’t even answered the letter.
To see a copy of the letter, click here: Delegation letter to Sebelius