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« Cora Henry: "70 Years After Bomb, Hiroshima Activists Defy Nuclear Energy Industry" | Main | Radioactive West Lake Landfill: "The people of St. Louis have had to live with this burden for generations" »
Wednesday
Jul222015

"West Lake Landfill may be more contaminated than previously thought, company says"

St. Louis Post-Dispatch graphicAs reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Exelon Nuclear has admitted that Cotter Company documents have revealed that previously undisclosed radioactive waste streams could have been dumped at the West Lake Landfill in metro St. Louis. A Cotter subcontractor, B&K Construction, illegal dumped 8,700 tons of uranium processing wastes from Mallinckrodt Chemical Works at West Lake Landfill in 1973. Exelon's predessor took over Cotter a year later, but Exelon is still liable for the costs of the illegal dumping.

Mallinckrodt had processed uranium for nuclear weapons, including highly concentrated Belgian Congo uranium ore during the earliest days of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, that led to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August 1945.

On July 17th, a bipartisan group of Missouri U.S. Congress Members wrote the U.S. Department of Energy, urging that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers take over West Lake Landfill clean-up as part of its FUSRAP (Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program) jurisdiction.

In March 2015, Beyond Nuclear board member Kay Drey and colleagues in St. Louis published a pamphlet entitled "Remove the radioactive wastes NOW! Protect Metro St. Louis' water and air from West Lake Landfill's radioactive contamination!" It includes a map, showing that the radioactive wastes at West Lake Landfill are upstream of the drinking water intakes for North County and the City of St. Louis, on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The pamphlet urges readers to "Please go to www.moenviron.org to sign a letter asking U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and Congress members William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner to work to transfer responsibility for West Lake’s radioactive wastes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."