Has your water had a funny taste lately, bunky? Perhaps it’s the result of DOE’s (mis)handling of radioactive waste materials, now possibly entering groundwater near you. If not, it may be coming soon.
TAKOMA PARK, Maryland, May 14, 2007 (ENS) – Radioactive materials from nuclear weapons facilities are being released to regular landfills and could get into commercial recycling streams, finds a report issued today by the nonprofit Nuclear Information and Resource Service, NIRS. Radioactive scrap, concrete, equipment, asphalt, plastic, wood, chemicals, and soil are placed in ordinary landfills, researchers learned.
Contaminated by nuclear bomb production at Department of Energy, DOE, facilities, some of the radioactive waste is processed by state-licensed companies. In some cases it is “redefined” as “special” and then disposed of in regular landfills.
The amount of tis material is not easily understated.
The sheer volume of radioactive material the Energy Department’s Office of Environmental Management must deal with is enormous. This agency is tasked with cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation’s nuclear weapons program and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. …
On September 30, 2005, the Department of Energy announced that it had accomplished “a major milestone in environmental cleanup with the safe disposition of over one million cubic feet of legacy waste,” from the Oak Ridge Reservation.
This volume equates to a football field covered more than 30 feet high. The waste consisted of radioactive scrap metal, contaminated soil, construction debris, organic liquids, waste water and sludge residue, the DOE said.
The full report is here.