AP: Catastrophic event could release radioactive fallout over major U.S. metropolitan area — Gov’t issues emergency plan as fire burns near nuclear site — Report: “World is on brink of nuclear disaster” — Senator: “What we have… could end up as Chernobyl” (VIDEO)

Published: October 12th, 2015 at 8:23 pm ET
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AP, Oct 8, 2015 (emphasis added): Beneath the surface of a St. Louis-area landfill lurk two things that should never meet: a slow-burning fire and a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste, separated by just 300 meters… Authorities have quietly adopted an emergency plan in case the smoldering embers ever reach the waste, a potentially ‘catastrophic event‘ that could release radioactive fallout in a plume of smoke over a densely populated area of suburban St. Louis… [T]he plan for a worst-case scenario was developed only a year ago and never publicized until this week… If the underground fire reaches the waste, “there is a potential for radioactive fallout to be released in the smoke plume and spread throughout the region,” according to the disaster plan. The plan calls for evacuationsin St. Louis County… and perhaps the federal government, would be called upon to help…

Missouri Attorney General, Sep 3, 2015: BREAKING NEWS — Attorney General Chris Koster released today new reports from expert witnesses [that] paint a troubling picture of the environment surrounding the landfill site…

  • Drs. Joel Burken and Shoaib Usman… at Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology, detected radiological… contamination in trees on the property of neighboring landowners… these findings “indicate the off-site migration of RIM [radiologically impacted material], either in groundwater or aerial transport of particulate matter”…
  • Drs. Tony Sperling [and] Ali Abedini [concluded] the fire has moved beyond both lines of gas interceptor wellsin the direction of the OU-1 radiological area
  • Todd Thalhamer, a civil engineer… with extensive experience investigating landfill fires, concluded that what he described as a “catastrophic event” at the landfill “was foreseeable and preventable.”…
  • Dr. Timothy Stark, PhD and professional engineer… observed significant slope degradation and areas where the waste mass had settled, suggesting the underground waste had been consumed by a smoldering / combustion event
  • “These reports underscore what has been clear from the beginning—Republic Services does not have this site under control,” Koster said… “it appears that it has poisoned its neighbors’ groundwater and vegetation.”…

St. Louis County Emergency Operations Plan, Oct 2014: … If the “sub-surface smoldering event” reaches the radiological area, there is a potential for radioactive fallout to be released in the smoke plume and spread throughout the region… This event will most likely occur with little or no warning. Officials… are aware of the possible occurrence of an emergency or major disaster requiring an emergency shelter in place or evacuation… It may be necessary to request assistance through… federal sources.

Missouri Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Sep 17, 2015 (at 27:00 in): “There are references that are in the reports that the Attorney General did with independent scientists where they say that what we have under the ground could end up as Chernobyl. What I am concerned about are the 40,000 tons of uranium that have been spread all over the place… We’re talking about the most potent uranium in the world… We’re looking at the cancer clusters… We’re looking at the number of children who have double sets of teeth, children who have missing eyeballs, the number of children who have brain tumors. This is not consistent with a normal community whatsoever.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial, Oct 10, 2015: Mr. Koster released reports last month saying an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill was moving toward radioactive waste in the adjacent West Lake Landfill… [S]ome of the radioactive contamination was found outside of West Lake… [A]n order from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources [was made] to prevent the chemical reaction from spreading to the north (West Lake) and possibly ignitingSomething must be done and it should not take a cataclysmic event to make that happen.

St. Louis Public Radio, Sep 17, 2015: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster released reports that radiation from the West Lake Landfillhas spread to neighboring properties. The reports also suggested that an underground fire… is moving toward radioactive waste and could reach it as soon three to six months.

Daily Star, Oct 8, 2015: Nuclear disaster fears as fire nears Cold War bomb dump; The world is on the brink of a nuclear disaster as fire rages towards a cache of Cold War nukes — A secret emergency plan has been drawn up as an underground blaze creeps towards a waste dump containing radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project. The leaked document warns a “catastrophic event” will be triggered if the nuclear material is ignited… radioactive smoke could erupt over the densely-populated area of St Louis.

Watch KSDK’s broadcast here

Published: October 12th, 2015 at 8:23 pm ET
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535 comments

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