Coming to your landfill?
The Environmental Protection Agency is
considering a rule change that would allow the nuclear industry to store
low-level radioactive material in ordinary landfills and hazardous waste sites.
The news arrived just in time for the
It’s true government and the nuclear
industry have had problems finding places for nuclear waste. Idaho refuses to
accept waste from commercial reactors. Nevada is having a tizzy about
development of Yucca Mountain, a new high-level waste dump. Commercial operators
hate having any of the stuff pile up around their plants.
So, the EPA decided it would be easier to
spread around the low-level waste—clothing, tools, rags and containers
contaminated with such appealing substances as cesium, strontium, cobalt and
An EPA statement about the rule said, "The
important principle is that any facility that might accept "low-activity"
(nuclear) waste must provide protection of public health and the environment
that is comparable to the protection provided by EPA and NRC standards for other
Yup. No problem for the folks used to
dealing with old refrigerators and tin cans.
If the EPA were really creative, it could
box and wrap the waste in old Christmas paper so as not to alarm landfill
workers and neighbors. A colorful holly print can make just about any gift a