Tri-Valley Care fights the good fight to save Livermore valley from plutonium wastes
Tri-Valley CAREs has had many successes throughout the years…. the first group in the western US to receive an EPA grant to monitor the Superfund cleanup at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and the first community-based group in the country to win a recognition award from EPA for its effectiveness
For decades, a toxic groundwater plume has flowed westward from Lawrence Livermore National Lab in the Livermore community aquifer towards Dublin.
Living with the Legacy of the Nuclear Stockpile Next Door in Livermore, CA http://www.arounddublinblog.com/2012/07/livermore-ca-nuclear-stockpile-next-door/ by Around Dublin Team Tri-Valley CAREs was founded in 1983 in Livermore, CA by concerned neighbors living around Lawrence Livermore National Lab , one of two locations where all US nuclear weapons are designed. This grassroots organization works to strengthen global security by stopping the development of new nuclear weapons in the US and by promoting the elimination of nuclear weapons globally.
It monitors nuclear weapons and environmental clean-up activities throughout the US nuclear
weapons complex, with a special focus on Lawrence Livermore National Lab and the surrounding Tri-Valley communities.
Tri-Valley CAREs has had many successes throughout the years. It stopped Lawrence Livermore National Lab from building a massive toxic and radioactive waste incinerator. Further, the group led a successful campaign to shut down Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s existing incinerator.
As the first group in the western US to receive an EPA grant to monitor the Superfund cleanup at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and the first community-based group in the country to win a recognition award from EPA for its effectiveness, Tri-Valley CAREs has helped to
stop Congressional funding for two new nuclear bombs that were under
development at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. One was called the
“Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator” bomb, and the other was called the
“Reliable Replacement Warhead” Program.
For decades, a toxic groundwater plume has flowed westward from
Lawrence Livermore National Lab in the Livermore community aquifer
towards Dublin. The plume’s leading edge is filled with volatile
organic compounds such as perchloroethylene (PCE). A suspected
carcinogen, PCE is used in metal degreasing and dry cleaning.
In recent years, Tri-Valley CAREs was able to prevent the dumping of
80 million gallons of untreated and contaminated groundwater from
Lawrence Livermore National Lab into the San Francisco Bay. Lawrence
Livermore National Lab now plans to pump this toxic water back to its
Main Site for cleanup. As part of this process, an additional pumping
well has been constructed further west, closer to the plume’s edge.
Soon, a pipeline will be laid to support the new pump.
Laying the new pipes will require digging within feet of Big Trees
Park. Early 1990’s soil testing identified elevated levels of
Plutonium-239 in Big Trees Park. Used in nuclear bombs, Plutonium-239
is a radioactive, high-energy, alpha emitter. One microscopic
Plutonium particle, inhaled into the lungs, is sufficient to cause
cancer. According to Tri-Valley CAREs, the highest levels of
contamination were found feet away from where digging will occur.
Construction work could kick contaminated dirt into the air and
negatively impact nearby homes, apartments, community pool, and city
park, but Lawrence Livermore National Lab has declined to use
radiation air monitors for this project.
According to Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the thrust of the
weapons program today is science-based stewardship of the US nuclear
stockpile. Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab are
responsible for four of the nine weapon systems in the enduring US
stockpile. Maintaining and managing those systems will be Livermore’s
responsibility for years to come.
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