Friday, June 10, 2011

state seeks compensation for nevada test site contamination

LATimes | The Nevada Legislature wants the U.S. government to contain and mitigate about 300 million curies of radioactive contamination left in the soil and water of the former nuclear weapons testing site.

The Nevada Legislature has taken the first step in demanding that the federal government make amends for massive radioactive contamination left by decades of nuclear weapons testing on a swath of desert the size of Rhode Island.

In a joint resolution, the state's Senate and House are asking the federal government to contain and mitigate about 300 million curies of contamination left in the soil and water of the former Nevada Test Site, about 75 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The Energy Department detonated 921 nuclear warheads underground before testing ended in 1992. An estimated 1.6 trillion gallons of water in aquifers under the site are radioactively contaminated with the byproducts of the bomb tests.

The resolution will open the way for Nevada to demand compensation for the loss of its water resources, said Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, the resolution's lead sponsor. He said the resolution stemmed from a detailed examination of the radioactive legacy of testing that was published by The Times in November 2009.

"It is one of the largest contamination zones in the U.S., if not the world," Goedhart said. "If we are prevented from using our water resources, it is a taking and we should be compensated."

The Energy Department has said the contaminated water is moving very slowly downhill toward Death Valley National Park, but it could take thousands of years to reach any affected community.

Until then, it would be technically and economically impossible to purify the water, some of which is 5,000 feet below the land surface, Energy Department scientists have asserted.

"The test site has been declared a sacrifice zone," said , Joseph Strolin, acting director of Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects. "The federal officials are basically taking the approach that this can never be cleaned up and will be monitored in perpetuity." Fist tap Big Don.


nanakwame said...

Wonder how many folks were ever truly compensated. We really don't look back to what we left behind  in the last 100 years.

CNu said...

superbly well-played nanakwame...,

Rep. Jasmine Crockett Cosponsored Bill to Revoke Trump Secret Service Protection

TheTexan  | Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett (D-TX-30), a freshman from Dallas, signed onto a resolution back in April that would have str...