The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Thursday, December 13, 2001

DOE must ban any release of contaminated materials


EDITOR: I am writing this letter on behalf of the ACT (Active Citizens for Truth) Committee. We, as neighbors and citizens surrounding the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, are very concerned for our safety and the well-being of our community, as well as our families and friends.

We strongly oppose the procedure the Department of Energy is wanting to use in the dispersing of some radioactive contaminated materials. If this is released, there will be no way for the Department of Energy to trace these contaminants. We do not want these contaminants to be used by innocent people in their homes (or at work) and become contaminated, sick and eventually die.

Radioactive concrete, metals, soil, plastics, chemicals and more have been permitted to be released from DOE controls on a "case-by-case" basis at the discretion of the DOE at all levels of management. In the past, mixed radioactive and hazardous wastes have gone to the facilities designed to take only mixed waste. We know this for a fact as we live here by one of the dumps that has this very same situation.

We, as a committee, urge you to really take a good look at what is being proposed. If this gets to the general public and people are not aware of the radioactive metals and contaminants that have been sold in order to make money for DOE and they become sick, what are you going to do then? You should prohibit such materials from being released for disposal or recycling.

DOE should revise its authorizations to prohibit any radioactivity from DOE activities being released into commerce or regular trash. There can be multiple exposures from many different deregulated waste streams. Once radioactive materials are released from the DOE complex, there is no limit on what can be made with them. The scope must be expanded to cover all releases, not just surface contaminated metals in control areas.

RUBY ENGLISH

ACT Chairman

West Paducah