Friday, Oct 28th

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...

World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns

wild animals on track to be lost by 2020The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020,...

5.5 Earthquake Hits Central Italy, Tremors Felt In Rome

Earthquake hits ItalyA 5.5-magnitude earthquake Wednesday hit central Italy, about 50 miles north of the site of a...

Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Yale Study Finds

Fracking chemicals linked to cancerYet another study has determined that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, might be a major public health...

DiCaprio's Climate Doc Exposes Destruction of Rainforest for Palm Oil as Huge Driver of Global Carbon Emissions

Rain forest destructionA new documentary produced and starring actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio premieres in Los Angeles today...
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!