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

jjcohen at prodigy.net jjcohen at prodigy.net
Sat Apr 8 00:58:39 CDT 2006

The really absurd aspect of this story is that the tritium posed no health
risk to begin with. If anything shipping it to TN deprived the residents of
NY of  any hormetic benefit that might have come from the potential trivial
exposures. Another example of your tax dollars at work.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Susan Gawarecki" <loc at icx.net>
To: "RADSAFE" <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 12:42 PM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] 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
> 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
> >in late 1996 involved H-3 in groundwater due to a leak from the HFBR
> >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
> >press coverage, criticize Brookhaven's and DOE's environmental
> >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
> >"disintegration of public trust" and supposed "lax environmental
> >efforts".
> <snip>
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