Thursday, June 30, 2011

Los Alamos Report: Toxic Waste Dumped Without Containment for 70 Years or So

Here is an excerpt from this damning and ultimately terrifying report produced by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability:

Approximately 18 million cubic feet of radioactive and chemical solid wastes onsite were disposed of since 1943. “All of the radioactive waste and most of the chemical waste have been buried on the mesas of Pajarito Plateau where LANL is located. Radioactive liquid wastes were discharged to the canyons, initially with little treatment.” 

For many years, one method of disposal was “kick-and-roll”. The back of a truck was brought to the edge of a hole and barrels of waste were kicked. Wherever the barrels rolled tow as their final resting place. 

No protection was put in place to ensure contaminants did not spread from the barrel. It is not clear that today’s practices are more protective. 

An estimated 899,000 curies of low-level  transuranic wastes were buried at Los Alamos. It is difficult to estimate exactly the quantity of radionuclides buried onsite due to the inaccurate record keeping and alterations in the definitions of low-elevel waste in the intervening years. Disposal continues today in unlined pits and shafts, a practice declared illegal by the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in 2011....

Tons of plutonium were processed at LANL in the early years of development and again in the 1980s. After the Savannah River Site, LANL contains the second largest volume of plutonium-238 in the US nuclear weapons complex: this type of plutonium has a 90-year half-life, a very high activity and is extremely hazardous....

Majia Here: Read the Report.
Thank you Jon_NY for posting this link at Enews.

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