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New Texas radioactive waste dump raises questions on water safety

“Our biggest concern of all is the water, and the risk of radioactivity getting into the water,” she said, adding that dumps are too close to the Ogalla Aquifer, which provides drinking water and farming water across a large band of the central-west United States

Nuclear waste dump opens offers a “Texas Solution” to nuclear waste. Courier Journal  October 19, 2012 by James Bruggers It’s not every day that one gets to stand in the bottom of a nuclear waste dump.

But yesterday I did just that, along with about a dozen other journalists one of the new low-level nuclear waste landfills operated by Waste Control Specialists  in West Texas,….At the federal dump, we went down 90 feet and were standing atop several feet of natural
and designed protective barrier, including concrete, plastic, clay and caliche, a sedimentary rock.

Rod Baltzer, the president of the company, conducted the tour, and
proudly spoke of how this was the first low level nuclear waste
facility to be permitted and opened in 30 years.

“We expect a 35 year operating life,” he said.

The federal dump will take waste from DOE sites, possibly including
some of the contaminated materials from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion
Plant site, and will eventually be turned over to the federal
government with supposedly enough money to maintain it for 100 years.
The state cell takes waste from Maine and Texas, and a variety of
other states, and will eventually be turned over to the state of Texas
with a century of maintenance funds.

As you can imagine, the facility is controversial.

Karen Hadden, with a group called SEED, as well as the Sierra Club,
are still fighting the state’s decision to grant permits to the
company and allow it’s construction and operation. The Sierra Club is
pressing in courts for a more thorough environmental review.

“Our biggest concern of all is the water, and the risk of radioactivity getting into the water,” she said, adding that dumps are too close to the Ogalla Aquifer, which provides drinking water and farming water across a large band of the central-west United States…..
Let’s hope the company and Texas environmental regulators are right.
Some of this waste will remain radioactive and potentially dangerous
for thousands of years. And that kind of math illustrates just what
kind of bargain we’ve driven in this nuclear
age.http://blogs.courier-journal.com/watchdogearth/2012/10/19/nuclear-waste-dump-opens-offers-a-texas-solution-to-nuclear-waste/

October 20, 2012 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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