Rolling Stone: “Mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis” possible from inferno at landfill? Fire “smells like dead bodies” — 8,700 tons of nuclear waste nearby

Published: May 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
54 comments


Title: St. Louis Landfill Fire
Source: Rolling Stone
Author: Steven Hsieh
Date: May 10, 2013

An underground landfill fire near tons of nuclear waste raises serious health and safety concerns – so why isn’t the government doing more to help?

[...] It’s invisible to area residents, buried deep beneath the ground in a North St. Louis County landfill. [...] “It smells like dead bodies,” observes another local.

[...] “Am I going to end up with cancer 20 years down the road?” [...]

The Bridgeton landfill fire is burning close to at least 8,700 tons of nuclear weapons wastes. [...]

About 1,200 feet south of the radioactive EPA site, the fire at Bridgeton Landfill spreads out like hot barbeque coals. No one knows for sure what happens when an underground inferno meets a pool of atomic waste, but residents aren’t eager to find out. [...]

At a March 15th press conference, Peter Anderson – an economist who has studied landfills for over 20 years – raised the worst-case scenario of a “dirty bomb,” meaning a non-detonated, mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis. “Now, to be clear, a dirty bomb is not nuclear fission, it’s not an atomic bomb, it’s not a weapon of mass destruction,” Anderson assured meeting attendants in Bridgeton’s Machinists Union Hall. “But the dispersal of that radioactive material in air that could reach – depending upon weather conditions – as far as 10 miles from the site could make it impossible to have economic activity continue.” [...]

Robert Criss, a geochemist at Washington University in St. Louis who has studied the issue closely, says the EPA is grossly underplaying a host of risks surrounding West Lake – flooding, earthquakes, liquefaction, groundwater leaching – that could pave the way for a public health crisis. That’s not to mention the recent development of an underground fire nearby. Says Criss, “There is no geological site I can think of that is more absurd to place such waste.” [...]

Full report here

Update: 'Nuclear waste wild card' at burning St. Louis area landfill -- “We’re looking for trends in that radioactive data" -- Contamination migrating closer to area on fire? (VIDEO)

Published: May 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
54 comments

Related Posts

  1. TV: Official to reveal “new concerns” about landfill fire nearby nuclear dump — “Will unveil new information about the radioactive waste” — Erin Brockovich’s group meets with residents June 17, 2013
  2. “Emergency Action”: Lawmaker says nuclear waste is under threat from underground landfill fire near St. Louis June 17, 2013
  3. ‘Nuclear waste wild card’ at burning St. Louis area landfill — “We’re looking for trends in that radioactive data” — Contamination migrating closer to area on fire? (VIDEO) May 14, 2013
  4. Report: “Fire continues to move toward the radioactive waste” at St. Louis-area landfill — Now 200 feet closer to illegally buried nuclear material — EPA says it’s OK (VIDEO) May 29, 2013
  5. Professor: Explosion possible near St. Louis-area nuclear site — Official: Steam increasing from underground fire, may be moving closer to radioactive waste May 31, 2013

54 comments to Rolling Stone: “Mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis” possible from inferno at landfill? Fire “smells like dead bodies” — 8,700 tons of nuclear waste nearby

  • "“But the dispersal of that radioactive material in air that could reach – depending upon weather conditions – as far as 10 miles from the site could make it impossible to have economic activity continue.”

    There's a recurring meme here that needs to be emphasized, from the mouth of an economist. All considerations of public health are subsumed to the increasingly desperate goal of having economic growth continue, at all costs, including human life. In this country, economic growth supercedes everthing else; people be damned.


    Report comment

  • markww markww

    LAND FILL FIRES

    They can be put out with CO-2 or Nitrogen gas injection into the burning dump.

    Markww


    Report comment

  • harengus_acidophilus

    Just a case of sight …

    > “Now, to be clear, a dirty bomb is not nuclear fission,
    > it’s not an atomic bomb, it’s not a weapon of mass destruction,”

    "It's comparable to a close encounter with a nurse inside a running computer tomograph during a transatlantic flight.
    No matter of concern, just 'kid stuff'!"

    Or a "weapon of mass killing" …

    h.


    Report comment

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Who said it's not a "weapon of mass destruction?" Just because it isn't sitting in the form of a nuke bomb doesn't mean it's not a WMD. If a pressure cooker bomb can be a WMD, a cooking, seething pile of nuclear waste burning off into the atmosphere and leaching into groundwater certainly could be.

      Oh, but you could never get TPTB to admit that one, it's a bit too much reality for them to swallow.

      It's really irritating to see the EPA isn't doing its job at all in these larger cities with nuclear hazards occurring all the time. The "P" needs to be taken out of the EPA, because it isn't P'ing anything except special interests and nuclear stakeholders.


      Report comment

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    “Am I going to end up with cancer 20 years down the road?”

    Yes, a large percentage of us are, those that don't die of any other radiation-induced sickness, or from the violence when the world's economies all explode, which is coming soon – on purpose and carefully planned.

    And when millions of Americans do come down with horrible radiation-induced cancers, not only will there be less medical care available, thanks to Obamacare, after the financial crash no one will be able to afford any cancer relief drugs, because Obamacare carefully left those out of 'mandated' coverage:

    "Cancer patients could face high costs for medications under President Barack Obama's health care law, industry analysts and advocates warn."

    "To try to keep premiums low, some states are allowing insurers to charge patients a hefty share of the cost for expensive medications used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other life-altering chronic diseases."

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/13/cancer-patients-could-face-high-costs-for-medications-under-obamacare-critics/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fnational+%28Internal+-+US+Latest+-+Text%29

    Your government works for the .001%, not you. They don't care if you or your family dies a horrible death, as long as the .001% get richer.

    The Road is just around the corner.


    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Radioactive fracking debris triggers worries at dump sites
    May 12 2013

    http://hosted2.ap.org/PASCR/1a41edc3ac874a03ad014c13abd10d3e/Article_2013-05-12/id-d89995889838bbf1c553c4940aThis is South Huntington,Penn.00d2f4

    "Between 2009 and 2012, radiation alarms went off 1,325 times in 2012, with more than 1,000 of those alerts just from oil and gas waste, according to data from the Department of Environmental Protection."
    "The state's landfills have to one day be fit for people to live on after they close, so the state has to make sure they aren't allowing a dangerous build-up of radioactivity, officials said."

    "The state began requiring radiation monitors at landfills in 2002 because of medical waste. But oil and gas waste — which brings up naturally occurring radiation formerly locked a mile or so underground — has become an increasing concern."

    “smells like dead bodies”

    http://www.epa.gov/region4/ead/news/medical_waste_nc.pdf


    Report comment

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    Whenever I read that some radiation exposure risk "is not like a dirty bomb." I know that the exposure risk is being downplayed. I just happened to write the text below for something else I was replying to via but I think it is helpful here.


    Report comment

    • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

      “It is the cumulative impact of radiation that is the problem, not the measurement of radiation at any given time.” (not from the article it was a statement from someone that I was replying to)

      I think this statement could cause some confusion among people wondering about the impact of radiation exposure on their health and the environment.

      …continued…


      Report comment

    • The facts are… dirty bombs are waste from nuclear plants packed around conventional explosives.

      nuclear bombs… 20+ isotopes. Expended, relatively short half-life.
      Nuclear reactors… 200+ isotopes Non-expended, centuries long half-life.

      radioactive contents half-lives break-down to things with often longer half-life, and worse radioactive outputs. FACTS !

      The short half-life issue is a NUKE-SHILL SCAM !!


      Report comment

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    …continued
    Here is the problem. When you emphasize “cumulative” it implies that there is some radiation measurement that is totally safe to be below as if repeated smaller exposures have to add up to some magic number of exposures before they cause harm, which is not the case. In an article by Dr. Helen Caldicott she states, “as the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report has concluded, no dose of radiation is safe, however small, including background radiation;” (link to article is below) While an accumulation of exposures to radiation can cause more and more damage to a body making it more likely to get cancer what is key to understand is that any one exposure can cause the damage that jump starts a cancer. Additionally everyone focuses on cancer while there are other health problems associated with radiation exposures that are generally overlooked. So for one person it may be their 100th radiation exposure that starts a cancer growing and for another it may be only their 3rd radiation exposure that causes cancer or some other health problem. What type of radiation a person is exposed to, how long they are exposed to it, if it is an internal or external exposure, the general health of the person, their age and their gender, as well as their overall cumulative exposure over their lifetime ALL factor into how any one exposure may impact one person as compared to another person.
    …continued…


    Report comment

  • Well said, enoughalready45. I recently had a doctor tell me that it is not the accumulated dose that is the problem, but the individual dose at any one time. I don't agree with him, and I don't want to take the chance. He wanted me to have what I considered an unnecessary x-ray, and I already have had 60 years of teeth xrays from my dentist. I don't need more if I can avoid them.


    Report comment

  • combomelt combomelt

    8700 TONS !

    HMM .

    Its hard for most anyone to picture anything resembling that amount of any substance. So how much is 8700 tons anyway?
    Well….
    Its like…

    A stadium of 130,000 150lb people
    Or
    870 ten-ton semi tractor trailers in 87 rows of 10
    Or
    Is it like 3 olympic swimmin pools o water?
    You choose


    Report comment

  • combomelt combomelt

    Regardless, thats a f*$#%@loads worth of poison!


    Report comment

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    8,700 tons. Wow, that is a massive amount. It took awhile for that to sink in. The hell it isn't a dirty bomb. My arse.


    Report comment

    • combomelt combomelt

      I apologize. To be clear, the article says "at least" 8700 tons. Whew im glad it wasnt guesstimated at "more than" 8700 tons, that would be gettin crazy.! I couldnt make this s&%$t up if i tried! It takes really evil beliefs and blind obedient dedication to say the things being said by the heads


      Report comment

  • combomelt combomelt

    Staggering amount.
    And WHAT IS IT?


    Report comment

  • irhologram

    "…it’s not an atomic bomb, it’s not a weapon of mass destruction,” Anderson assured. I nearly choked on that one. It's only a WMD if its overseas? It would shut down commerce? And that's the worry! Given the amount of waste, the fact that it would be airborne…wouldn't that mean some would die fairly quickly, within months? or days? Or hours, given the circumstances? ..and not 20 years down the road… Because It wouldn't be a small exposure… And exactly what are the radioactive particles in nuclear weapons "waste"? (Now there's an oxymoron.) How many communities would be affected, ten miles from ground zero…meaning a 20 mile radius?


    Report comment

  • combomelt combomelt

    They stated in the full article there is …..

    142,000 cubic yards of nuke waste=8700 tons

    Well
    142,000 cubic yards =3,834,000 US gallons
    Multiply by roughly 8.34 and u get
    31,975,560 pounds.
    Which is 14,275 tons of plain water.

    Do i need to ad barrels for storage or plastic bags to the weight? Maybe my math is wrong. Is it solid waste? Somethings not right. Help!


    Report comment

  • We Not They Finally

    We had read that St. Louis was highly radioactive compared to other cities in the U.S. Wonder if this is the cause.


    Report comment

  • captndano captndano

    You've got to wonder; out of the 30+ countries that have nuclear power plants, would you think that these types of nuclear waste disasters are going on all over the planet? Unless it's a significant disaster like Fukushima, unless it's in our own back yard, we never hear about them….


    Report comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.