The Three Pillars of Nuclear Waste Cleanup

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

This is Part Three of a three-part series on nuclear waste. Part One covered what it will take to clean up the mess left by the nuclear arms race. Part Two outlined key issues that need to be addressed by all sides in cleaning up defense nuclear sites.

In attempting to clean up the radioactive remnants of America’s nuclear weapons programs, the most salient obstacle doesn’t revolve around half lives and salt beds but on the miasma of mistrust that pits two sides — each ultimately sharing the other’s goal — at each other’s throat.

http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/the-three-pillars-of-nuclear-waste-cleanup-966Cold War secrecy and the self-regulatory status of the Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies had hidden information about off-site releases of radiation and hazardous chemicals. The DOE had not integrated the requirements of clean air, clean water and hazardous waste laws into its regulations. The culture of Cold War-crisis patriotism had kept workers from acknowledging some of the ill-effects of their employment.

As the Cold War wound down, the media, activists, state regulators and Congress brought these lapses to public attention, along with concerns about the deteriorating — and, to many, dangerous — state of the DOE’s nuclear facilities. The DOE officials and the contractors who managed these facilities — the very people deemed accountable for past failings — were now the ones responsible for correcting them and cleaning up.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: