Just another reason why uranium isn’t the way to go, it costs the taxpayer way too much money for what he receives.
Take the former Fernald Feed Materials Production Center at Fernald, Ohio, that’s about 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati. The former uranium processing site opened in complete secrecy during the Cold War in 1951. The plant fabricated uranium fuel cores for the U.S. nuclear weapons production complex until 1989, when it shut the doors.
Releases from the plant exposed residents of the small community of Fernald to radon, soluble and insoluble forms of uranium and various chemicals, both in groundwater and from blowing dust. The health consequences to residents and former workers are still being evaluated.
True, the Cold War was settled peacefully, with jangled nerves and a plethora of nuclear weapons as a threat to total annihilation of anyone who attacks our shores. But the taxpayers who worked at and lived near the plant were exposed to dangerous elements, as described above. Some payoff, especially for the 50 years it took to get the mess cleaned up.
How much did it cost, you ask? Well, the Energy Department has finished the removal of 1.5 million tons of waste at a cost of $4.4 billion. And, after 22 years, remember that number, 22 years, the feds have agreed to pay $13.7 million settlement over contaminated ground water at the site.
True, this isn’t about a nuclear power generating station, it’s about nuclear energy and the stuff that makes it run, uranium. Once disturbed from it’s natural state, entered into the mainstream of American life, it can be dangerous at best.
Don’t forget, this is only one of maybe a hundred or more sites where mighty uranium has been mined, processed, fabricated or used in some way that has yet to be cleaned up and restored. Nuclear isn’t clean, it’s dirty, invasive and dangerous, but we’ve got it and there’s no way to change it.
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Image: www.lm.doe.gov/…/ fernald_orig/Future/flu.htm