What a Swiss nuclear disaster could do to Europe
By Susan Misicka
A Swiss-led study has calculated the potential effect of nuclear meltdowns on the health of people living nearby. Its focus is on how meteorology and geography would influence the movement of a radioactive cloud.
The research team used the weather conditions throughout 2017 to calculate the fallout of disasters at the Swiss reactors and concluded that 16-24 million Europeans would be affected by a nuclear meltdown in Switzerland, which itself has a population of 8.5 million. They reckoned that 12,500-31,100 people would die on account of cancer and heart problems caused by the radiation. On top of that, there would be additional health problems, including genetic maladies and sterility.
“The Swiss nuclear power plants have been designed, built and regularly retrofitted in such a way that they can cope with severe accidents,” explained a swissnuclear spokeswoman, calling the situation described by the study an “unrealistic event”.
“Thanks to multiple and independent safety systems, it is extremely unlikely that a serious accident will occur.”