Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2019
A container inside a truck carrying radioactive waste was found to be contaminated upon arrival at Savannah River Site in South Carolina, according to an April 10 “Occurrence Report” by the Department of Energy (DOE). The shipment originated from an unnamed university. The DOE report said, “Upon a survey conducted by radiological control, it revealed excessive contamination levels outside of a 5-gallon pail. No spills or leaks were observed. Radiological control placed the 5-gallon pail into a bag…. [then] surveyed the truck and trailer, and there was no contamination found. The truck was allowed to exit the site.” Replying to a May 1, 2019 inquiry by Savannah River Site Watch, the DOE was mum beyond acknowledging receipt of the letter. After getting no answers, SRS Watch director Tom Clements said, “Given that this incident involved unanticipated contamination involving a radiological shipment to SRS, it’s incumbent upon the site to reveal details of the incident and how it is being addressed. Our inquiry to SRS has gone unanswered and response to our questions will help with public understanding of exactly what happened and how such contamination can be avoided in the future.” At press time June 2, SRS had still not answered questions about the shipment’s contamination.
—Savannah River Site Watch, May 10, 2019