Wednesday, Oct 26th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Environment Buried plutonium levels triple previous estimate

Buried plutonium levels triple previous estimate

E-mail Print PDF

Plutonium levels triple previous estimateThe amount of plutonium buried at a U.S. nuclear reservation in Washington state is almost triple what the government had previously reported, officials say. The New York Times Sunday reported the discovery of the higher plutonium levels at the 560-square-mile Hanford Nuclear Reservation will likely make long-term cleanup a greater challenge than previously thought.

The plutonium poses no immediate radiation danger because of "institutional controls" such as guards, weapons and gates, the Times said. But scientists note plutonium, which can cause cancer in even small quantities, takes 24,000 years to lose half its radioactivity.

In coming generations, experts worry, plutonium could reach the underground water flow and enter the Columbia River.

The U.S. Energy Department said it is deciding whether to try to clean up 90 percent, 99 percent or 99.9 percent of the waste and now prefers the 99 percent option, the Times said.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Renewables just passed coal as the largest source of new electricity worldwide

Reign of coal is overIt’s been a long run, coal, but your reign is over.Renewable energy sources have passed coal...

Atchison, Kan., residents urged to shelter in place after chemical spill

MGP spillA spill at the MGP Ingredients Inc. chemical plant in the Kansas city of Atchison has...

6.6-magnitude quake hits Japan; little damage reported

6.6 earthquake in JapanA suspected 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook western Japan's Tottori prefecture Friday afternoon, causing some injuries and property...

Super Typhoon Haima hits Philippines as equivalent of Category 4 hurrricane

hurricane hits philippinesSuper Typhoon Haima hit the northeast Philippines on Wednesday, bringing gusts of nearly 200 mph --...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!