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Nuclear waste legacy

Published: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Radioactive, nuclear waste from mining uranium and production of nuclear energy, bomb, and medicine, leaves a longevity range from cesium’s 12 years to plutonium’s billions of years legacy.

No safe level of radiation exists. It is cumulative.

The location or presence of nuclear waste has been concealed by burial in waterways or the ground. At Fort Bliss in Texas, the Air Force buried contaminated equipment and nuclear waste. Lacking records, the Army planned to build housing bunkers there until a former worker alerted authorities. Likewise, Long Island’s Hicksville nuclear site buried radioactive material from weapons reactors, with health consequences.

The Palisades reactor, South Haven leaks and Kewaunee reactor leaks endanger Lake Michigan. The Wisconsin governor wants deregulation to continue.

Worse, as of July, a mobile Chernobyl threatens to transport nuclear waste to sites across the U.S.

Citizens, so far, halted hundred-ton radioactive generators from shipping through Lake Huron to Sweden (for mixing Canadian waste into unlabeled, commercial products).

Animals born near Three Mile Island were born deformed. After Russia’s Chernobyl, California birds failed to hatch. After Fukushima meltdowns, 300 tons of groundwater with radioactivity from cesium and plutonium pour into the Pacific daily. Cesium contaminated fish off Oregon. Fukushima polluted air.

In April, the Federal Register published that drinking water contamination 20,000 times less stringent than now is allowed. Conservatives are heavily reducing corporate liability of radiological accidents by ignoring EPA Superfund rules.

Conservatives must actually protect people against radioactive transit accidents and burial of nuclear waste with strict regulation.

Bernice Russell

Crystal Lake

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