[ RadSafe ] Re: 'Exit' signs boost landfill radiation levels vs. registration vs. HFBR

Susan Gawarecki loc at icx.net
Fri Apr 7 14:42:54 CDT 2006


The remediation of the groundwater contaminated by tritium at Brookhaven consisted of pumping it out of the ground and sending it offsite for treatment.  The water was put into tanker trucks, driven from NY to Tennessee, and "disposed of" at a local radwaste facility.  This "disposal" was accomplished by feeding the tritiated water into the incinerator at a rate that kept the tritium emissions just under the facility's permit level.

Thanks, all you activists in NY.  Not only did you move your problem to Tennessee, but instead of decaying away safely in the ground, the tritium was actually released to the atmosphere so that there could be exposures to local populations.  In addition, the transportation accident risks far outweighed any risks of either keeping it in the ground or releasing it to the air.  

To top it off, no NEPA assessment was performed because DOE sent the waste to a private facility.  So the potential impact on public health/safety (transporation included) was never seen by the public.  Never mind that the facility it was sent to was just a few miles down the road from the Oak Ridge Reservation and neighboring private radwaste treatment facilities, so there was potential for a cumulative impact.

But I guess those New Yorkers would rather believe local hysterics than choose the most rational, safest, and cheapest alternative--leave it in the ground.

Susan Gawarecki

Stewart Farber wrote:

>Interesting comparison vs. groundwater H-3. The HUGE flap over tritium in 
>groundwater from the High Flux Beam Reactor at BNL on LI which hit the news 
>in late 1996 involved H-3 in groundwater due to a leak from the HFBR spent 
>fuel pool. However, the H-3 in the plume from BNL did not affect  lab 
>drinking water or local community drinking water, and closest to the HFBR 
>was less than 3 x the level seen at the highest landfill noted in the 
>article posted below. Yet this occurence of H-3 in a groundwater from BNL 
>was used by activists and many politicians to garner huge local and national 
>press coverage, criticize Brookhaven's and DOE's environmental stewardship, 
>force out the director of the lab, and led to Sec. of Energy Pena 
>terminating AUI's 50 year contract in mid-1997 to operate BNL because of the 
>"disintegration of public trust" and supposed "lax environmental monitoring 


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