Radiation monitoring network: Belgium vs. USA

  • Summary

Depending on how you gauge it, Belgium is 27 times, 52 times, or 530 times better equipped for radiation monitoring than the United States of America.

Belgium has about 530 times more radiation monitor density than the United States (for area covered), or about 52 time more (for population covered), or 27 times (for comparing monitors/nuke plants).  

  • A basic comparison overview:

Belgium, with 7 nuclear reactors (pool storage in Tihange and dry storage in Doel), with about 85,000 square meters of various nuclear wastes; and a suspected small stash of NATO nuclear weapons (at the Belgian air force base Kleine Brogel), has 220* currently operational public-access radiation monitors.  (220/7 = 31.4285 monitors per nuke plant.)

220 monitors on 30,528 square kilometers; 7 nuke plants; Population: 10,827,519

  • > Thus Belgium has about 31 monitors per nuke plant; and on average,  1 monitor per  152 square kilometer (or 1 public monitor per 49,216 inhabitants)

The United States, with its 104 nuclear reactors (with each storage on site), nuclear waste sites in 30 states, with an estimated total of 60,000 tonnes HM (HeavyMetal) of spent fuel (of which about 48,000 tonnes HM is in pool storage) plus 350,000 square meter (m3) of high-level radioactive waste, 114,000 m3 of Transuranic waste , about 97,000 m3 of government-owned low-level and mixed low-level waste and about 9 million m3 of “disposed of” various radioactive waste, including waste derived from cleanup sites. Additionally, the USA has done 1,054 nuclear tests (of which 928 at the Nevada Test Site alone, including 100 above ground); plus having a stockpile of about 10,000 nuclear warheads, has 122** currently operational public-access radiation monitors (though, of those, many are often randomly “under survey” with no data publicly available). (122/104= 1.1730 monitors per nuke plant.)

122 monitors on 9,826,675 square kilometers; 104 nuke plants; Population: 311,160,000

  • > Thus the USA has barely more monitors than nuke plants; and on average, only  1 monitor per  80,546 square kilometer.  (or 1 public monitor per 2,550,482 inhabitants)

SOURCE: Nuclear data from http://www.oecd-nea.org/  Monitor number straight from the horse’s mouth:  *http://www.telerad.fgov.be/   ** http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=016b87a4-114b-4588-b2fc-99dc6569edff

PS:  And: Belgium doesn’t even have government  (see HERE for something on that) – haha.

Additional SOURCES also accessed in the process of writing this up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_by_country  http://www.scpr.org/news/2011/03/22/us-spent-fuel-storage-sites-are-packed/  http://www.motherearth.org/nuke/dossierkb.php  http://solveclimate.com/news/20110302/us-nuclear-power-energy-radioactive-waste-storage-yucca-mountain    http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1100_prn.pdf  http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/profiles/Belgium%20profile%202010%20web.pdf  http://www.oecd-nea.org/law/legislation/usa.html  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density
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