On a vital radioactive waste battlefront, NIRS has put out an alert against a scheme to "recycle" vast quantities of radioactive metal from across the nuclear weapons complex into the consumer product recycling stream. NIRS asks, "Will the next zipper on your pants be radioactive? How about your silverware?", and explains:
"The Department of Energy wants to mix radioactive metal from nuclear weapons factories with clean recycled metal and let it enter into general commerce--where it could be used for any purpose.
It's a foot in the door for revival of a vast--and discredited--radioactive waste deregulation plan defeated in 1992.
Please take action at the NIRS links above. NIRS' Diane D'Arrigo has also posted more extensive talking points that you can use to write your own comments to DOE.
In an article entitled "Nuclear weapons waste in your hip replacement?", John LaForge of Nukewatch reports, U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) -- who is now running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry as he becomes Secretary of State -- has sent a strongly worded letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, expressing opposition to the so-called "recycling" scheme.
John LaForge has also pointed out, in an article posted at Counterpunch entitled "Women and Children First! (To Be Harmed by Radiation!"), that radiation protection regulations based on "Reference Man" are obsolete and unscientific, allowing radiation exposures under law and regulation which are having a disproportionate impact on women and children. This is spelled out in IEER's "Healthy from the Start" campaign. Thus, radioactive metal "recycling" into consumer products will add to the harmful radioative burden borne by society, including those most at risk, women and children.