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

Stewart Farber farbersa at optonline.net
Fri Apr 7 15:44:05 CDT 2006

Hi Susan,
How could one not RANT when things are so bizarre on all matters related to [nuclear facility] radioactivity issues.

I am always reminded of the remark by Abraham Lincoln in the first Lincoln-Douglas debate in August 1858:

"In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed."

Nuclear projects and facilities in the US have simply proven unable to act in their own interests related to impacting public sentiment. Consequently they have failed, projects have been cancelled, and essential research curtailed. 

The nuclear power industry [and other nuclear endeavors] have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with ill-conceived and executed "advertising" campaigns that are largely embarrasing and ineffectual. It really is a tragedy that has cost this nation trillions of dollars due to up-front cost of cancelled plants and fuel savings over the life of cancelled power plants, affected national security by promoting energy dependence on oil and gas supply from unstable and unreliable regions, and  increased environmental impacts.

What a mess.

Stewart Farber

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Susan Gawarecki" <loc at icx.net>
To: "RADSAFE" <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Cc: <farbersa at optonline.net>; <ncohen12 at comcast.net>
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 3:42 PM
Subject: Re: 'Exit' signs boost landfill radiation levels vs. registration vs. HFBR

> 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:
> <snip>
>>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 
> <snip>
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