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Radioactive Waste


Radioactive waste originates with nuclear power, weapons, industry and nuclear medicine. It comes from uranium mining, reactor fuel fabrication and fuel reprocessing. Nuclear waste is radioactive and by nature, dangerous. It can be called “low-level, transuranic, intermediate-level or high-level depending on the country and agency categorizing the isotopes, or a label may depend on the radioactivity per mass or volume, or for what the element can be used. It can be long-lived or short-lived depending on the half-life, or the amount of time half of the isotope’s energy disintegrates. A half-life can be seconds or millions of years and the faster it decays, the more radioactive it will be. Radioisotopes are unstable configurations of elements in decay and through the decay process, radiation is emitted. Many radionuclides decay into other radioactive elements. Isotopes may be a gas, solid or liquid. Hundreds of human-made isotopes are created in nuclear reactors. Some waste can be handled by humans and some solely by robots.
            Nuclear waste has been chucked into ravines, buried in shallow graves, stored in underground caverns, left to blow with the wind, thrown overboard into the sea, smelted in scrap yards and has been making its way, in increasing amounts, into our environment since its use for weapons and power became a focus for nations around the world.
Exposure to certain levels of radioactive waste may cause serious harm or death. The effect of exposure depends on the isotope and decay mode of an element. Cesium-137 is water soluble and can pass through the body and exit in urine causing less damage than iodine-131 which tends to lodge in the thyroid gland and continuously emits harmful beta and gamma radiation into surrounding tissue.
            The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 108 sites nationwide are contaminated with enough radioactive waste as to be unusable for the foreseeable future. The Oak Ridge nuclear weapons production site contained 167 poisoned areas. While “clean up” is taking place, clean up means packaging and re-dumping in another location.
            Radioactive waste has been filtered into industry and used for such things as the irradiation of food to kill pathogens, those harmful and useful to humans and industry has created radioisotope thermoelectric generators or RTH batteries for space craft. 
            Radioactive waste is a lethal by-product and the wisest path to take is to stop producing it.


Nukewatch Quarterly

Spring 2016
Great Lakes Rad' Waste Dump Plan Stalled by Environment Minister
Waste Fire Report Contradicts "All Clear" by Responders and Press

Winter 2015-16
Radioactive Waste Ignites in Underground Nevada Dump
     Continued on Page 3

Truck Watch Finds Hot Spots in Unlikely Places
St. Louis Blues: As Fire Inches toward Dump Site and Cancer Numbers Rise, Community Groups
     Push for Resolution of Manhattan Project Contamination

     Continued on Page 7

Canada Decides to Further Review Risks of Radioactive Waste Dump on Great Lakes Shore

Fall 2015
Nukewatch Plans Truck Watch to Alert Public to Alert Public to Radioactive Transport Dangers     Continued on Page 2

Summer 2015
Wasting New Mexico: State Invites High-Level Reactor Waste as Energy Department Eyes
     Carlsbad's Contaminated WIPP Site for Plutonium Disposal

Public Interest Groups Declare Canadian Waste Dump Study Fatally Flawed
Radioactive Ship "Discovered" in National Marine Sanctuary
Is Fracking Wastewater More Radioactive Than Scientists Thought?
Sanctions Halt Offshore Drilling Near Radioactive Dumps--for Now

Spring 2015
Fracking's Radioactive Waste: North Dakota Considers Weakened Landfill Rules, Less Oversight
Hearings Completed on Lake Huron Dump Proposal

Public Interest Groups: High-Level Waste Dump "All Risk and No Reward for Texas"
WIPP'ed Energy Department Shirks Responsibility for Leak

Winter 2014-15
WIPP Update: More Information Surfaces on Februray Radiation Leak at Country's Only
     High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository

     Continued on Page 2

Nine Groups Sue NRC Over Failure to Obey 2012 Waste Ruling
Worker Killed at Tennessee Radioactive Waste Facility
Yucca Mountain Redux: The Impossible Dream
Proposed Lake Huron Waste Dump Critics Proliferating
Radioactive Waste Fuel Pools Declared 'No Danger to the Public'

Fall 2014
Waste Isolation Pilot Project Fire and Explosion: Behind the Failure of the Country's
    Only High-Level Waste Disposal Site

    Continued on Page 2

Regulators Okay Indefinite Onsite Storage of Highly Radioactive Waste Fuel

Summer 2014
Radioactive Fracking Waste Dumped Illegally
     Continued on Page 5
WIPP Leak Traced to Kitty Litter Mishap
Canadian 'Experts' Comfy with Radioactive Pollution of Great Lakes

Spring 2014
WIPP Leak Contaminates at Least 13 Workers
A Primer: US Military Radioactive Wastes

Winter 2013-2014
Nukewatch Joins Opposition to Rad Waste Dump on Lake Huron
Rad Waste Forever Hanging Around
Radioactive Waste Truck Burns in Ohio
Italy's Illegal Dumping Linked to Cancers
Truck Hauling Cobalt-60 Stolen in Mexico

Fall 2013
Germany's Asse Rad Dump

Summer 2013
Is Underground St. Louis Fire Inching Toward Disaster?
The UK's Irresponsible Nuclear Industry
The Long-Lived Legacy of Fracking

Cumbrians Reject Waste Dump

Spring 2013
Great Lakes Watershed Targeted for Two Shoreline Radioactive Waste Dumps
Centuries of Reservations at Hanford
The Military's Boundless Pollution Legacy: Part I

Trouble at Sellafield

Winter 2012
Texas Billionaire's Waste Dump

Fall 2012
NRC Suspends Reactor Licensing for Lack of Radioactive Waste Plan
Canada Plans to Bury Waste Near Lake Huron
Russia Used Seas for Vast Radiation Dumping

Aussies Resist Uranium Mining and Waste Dumping

Summer 2012
Saying No to Nuclear Waste Factories
Texas Nuclear Dump Bought with Campaign Contributions

Spring 2012
Villagers Fight Rad Waste Dump at King's Cliffe
Nation's Bedrock Again Eyed for High-Level Waste Dumps

Winter 2011
Great Lakes Would Lose Environmental Protections Under Proposed Bills

Fall 2011
Rotten to the Corps: Are Lake Superior Waste Dumpers Investigating Themselves?

Spring 2011
Energy Solutions, Inc, Creating Problems in Utah
Idaho Gov. Okays Waste Imports
Some in New Mexico Invite More Rad Waste to WIPP

Waste Threat to Great Lakes
Texas Dump Set to Replace S. Carolina as Nation's Low-Level Rad Waste Bin

Winter 2010
50,000 Protest German Waste Transports and Policy
     Continued on Page 2

Waste Dump Cancellation Being Challenged

Fall 2010
Conejos County Exiles Radioactive Waste
Lawsuit vs. Utah Waste Dump Reinstated

Summer 2010
Scrap Metal Killers
Utilities Hit Taxpayers for Failed Radwaste Schemes
Radiation Lobby Loses Big in Wisconsin

Spring 2010
Radioactive Waste Co. Targeted African Americans
     for More Radiation than Whites

Winter 2009-10
Nukewatch Prompts Minn. PCA to Correct Web Site Errors
Hanford's Radioactive Waste Shell Game

Fall 2009
Uranium Legacy Remembrance and Action
Uranium Mining -- a World of Destruction

German Rad Waste Dump Explosively Dangerous

Summer 2009

Page 1
Target Practice for Terrorists: Plutonium Fuel On the High Seas
Illegal Work on German Waste Site Reignites Protest
British Subs Spill Rad Coolant in Scottish Waters
Page 2
Funding Ended for Yucca Mt. High-level Waste Dump:
     NRC Finds 299 License Problems, Excludes Tribes From Hearing Process
Page 4
DOE Calls Nuclear Weapon Site "Substandard"
Page 5
60 Years of Bomb Building Poison Oak Ridge, Tenn. for 25 Sq. Miles
Weapons & Fuel Mkers Sued for Deadly Rad Pollution
Page 6
Feds Ignore Risks of Dumping Tons of DU in Trenches

Spring 2009
Word document:

Nukewatch Quarterly Special Report - March 2009
Drinking Water at Risk
  Toxic military wastes haunt Lake Superior

Nukewatch Quarterly Special Report - March 2009
Page 1
Drinking Water at Risk
Toxic military wastes haunt Lake Superior
EPA: Radiation "above background" emitted by barrels
Page 2
Red Cliff Tribal Government Wins Incestigative Grants
  Lake Superior Chippewa Produce Work Plan, Begin Study
Barrels called "priority hazard" in 1985 Minn. PCA assessment
Page 3
Timeline of Barrel Dumping Scandal
Vast Pile of Cartridges Dumped Into Lake Here
Waste dumped after 1962?
Page 4

Minnesota PCA greenwashes official barrel dumping record
Radiation cover-up alleged
   Submarine pilot says Geiger counter "started clicking"

Xcel Energy Puts Contamination on the Road

Winter 2008-09
Lame Duck White House Rushing Yucca Mt.
EnergySolutions' Radwaste Dump Avoids State Regulation
"Orphaned" Radioactive Waste $3.1 Billion Cheesegrater
Hanford, Washington: The Country's Most Toxic Plume
       By Jeffrey St. Clair

Army Waste Barrels & Lake Superior Drinking Water
15,000 Protest German Waste Convoy
Project Censored & Nuclear Madness

Fall 2008

Failure and Deception at German Waste Site
U.S. Salt Beds Getting More Military Radioactive Waste
Critics Slam Nuclear Waste Dump Proposed for Lake Huron Shore

Summer 2008
When 'Temporary' Means 200 Years
Energy$olutions, Inc. Dumps on Utah
Radiation from Army's Barrels in Lake Superior?
Contaminated Legacy Doesn't Scare Uranium Prospectors

Spring 2008

Uranium Fuel Site Residents Say No More
Hot Reactor Fuel Again Found Dumped at Hanford
Uranium Weapons
Atomic Highway

Winter 2007-2008
Waste Trains Derail, Lucky This Time
Train Derailments (Continued)
Fault Lines Rattle Yucca Mt. Project
Ministers Oppose Nuclear Waste Transport

Nuclear Dump Operators Girding For Waste Explosions

Fall 2007

Rad Waste Secrecy in Tennessee
Uranium-Contaminated Soil Being Removed
Contamination of West Chicago by Kerr-McGee Disclosed
Wrong Military Waste Sent to WIPP
Dump Yucca Update

Summer 2007
Train Watch Alerts Nation to Radioactive Transport
Report Finds Nuclear Weapons Materials Released to Landfills
Plutonium Reprocessing Plan to Waste Billions
South Carolina Says 'No More'
New Reactor Construction Eyed in Wisconsin
California Rejects Move to Lift Reactor Building Ban
New Study Charts Reactor Accidents Since Chernobyl
Braidwood's Unregulated Spills
On the Up Side: New Reactor on Hold
Indian Point 1, 2 and 3's Explosion and Leaks
Kewaunee Emergency Backup Power Failure
Smoked by Grass

The Sham of Nuclear Power and Patrick Moore
    by Harvey Wasserman
Major Security Breach at Palisades Reactor Critics Urge Congressional Investigation
     by Kevin Kamps

Current and Proposed State Renewable Energy Standard Policies Chart
Additional Radiation Warning Placard Unveiled by IAEA

Spring 2007
Australian Nuclear Waste Shipped to the U.S.


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