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Friday
May102013

Landfill fire near buried nuclear waste raises alarm in Missouri

A North St. Louis County landfill is smouldering, and close by sits at least 8,700 tons of nuclear weapons wastes. West Lake Landfill is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site that's home to some of the oldest radioactive wastes in the world.  Rolling Stone Magazine has just published an in-depth look at this disaster waiting to happen. Beyond Nuclear board member, Kay Drey, (pictured) has been advocating for more than three decades to get the radioactive wastes removed from the floodplain of the Missouri River.

Writes Steven Hsieh: "Today, West Lake's radioactive waste – all 143,000 cubic yards of it – sits on the outskirts of a former quarry with practically none of the standard safety features found in most municipal landfills. No clay liner blocks toxic leachate – or "garbage juice" – from seeping into area groundwater. No cap keeps toxic gas from dispersing into the air. This unprotected waste sits on a floodplain 1.5 miles away from the Missouri River. Eight miles downstream is a drinking water reservoir that serves 300,000 St. Louisans. Worst of all: The materials dumped in this populous metropolitan area will continue to pose a hazard for hundreds of thousands of years." Read the full article. And watch an interview with Kay Drey by the Missouri Coalition for the Environement.