Friday, March 14, 2014

Nuclear Malfeasance in a Pennsylvania Nuclear Waste Dump

The Wall Street Journal has a very concerning story on the Pennsylvania radioactive-waste dump, describing a critical report by the NRC Inspector General on that agency's [lack of] historical oversight of waste disposal there:
Nuclear Report Raises Questions on Pennsylvania Dump Cleanup by John Emshwiller:

The report on the Shallow Land Disposal Area, by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's office of inspector general, was made public Thursday. It found that incomplete historical records make it impossible to determine "with certainty what is buried on the SLDA site and in what precise locations."

The report said the same is true for whether burials of atomic waste at the site, which occurred decades ago, were done in compliance with federal regulations. The report said "indirect evidence" suggests those rules might have been broken.

The former president of the company that buried much of the waste told investigators that the records used in the past by federal authorities "grossly underestimate" the amount of material at the western Pennsylvania site, the report said. A former company scientist said he believed past federal estimates didn't represent even 5% of the waste buried. 
Majia here: The article goes on to say that in 2012 The National Security Council designated the site as including 'special nuclear material,' which is a classification that includes plutonium and 'uranium isotopes usable in atomic weapons.'

It is expected that costs for removing the contaminated waste will cost up to $500 million (I'm sure it will be much higher). 

The Army Corp of Engineers, working on site clean up, charges that an unexpectedly large amount of 'complex material' had been found. 

In the late 1950s, Numer (Nuclear Materials Equipment Corp) handled radioactive waste and bomb-grade uranium for federal governments nuclear enterprises. It apparently improperly disposed of vast amounts of radioactive waste, which threatens local residents.

One woman, Patricia Ameno, is cited as playing a pivotal role in these disclosures after she provided the NRC Inspector General with 185,200 digitalized historical files concern waste disposal at the site.

One woman's activism helped alert the nation to still more nuclear malfeasance.

Nuclear is inconsistent with human survival.

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