St. Louis Landfill Fire Could Reach Radioactive Waste in Months – County Releases Public Emergency Plan

St Louis County Releases Where To Go In a Radiation Emergency

St. Louis Landfill Fire Could Reach Radioactive Waste in Months – County Releases Public Emergency Plan

RT News Reports
Authorities in St. Louis County have quietly developed an emergency plan in case a smoldering landfill fire reaches a nuclear waste site 1,000 feet away. Officials say everything is still safe, but the plan notes disaster might strike without warning.

About 20 miles (32 km) from downtown St. Louis, the Bridgeton Landfill has been spewing toxic smoke since 2010. The cause of the fire and its extent remain unknown. Just 1,000 feet (300 m) away is the West Lake Landfill, a site contaminated in 1973 by radioactive waste dating back to the 1940s. It was designated an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site in 1990, but the federal government is still deciding how to clean up the waste.

The county released the details of the emergency plan to local news station KMOX, after area residents reported receiving instructions on what to do in a radiation emergency. If the “sub-surface smoldering event” reaches the nuclear waste site,“there is a potential for radioactive fallout to be released in the smoke plume and spread throughout the region,”the document says.

“This event will most likely occur with little or no warning,” the plan notes, listing the municipalities directly affected as Bridgeton, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, the Village of Champ and the City of St. Charles.

Shelter in Place for Radiation Emergency My Ass!

Shelter in Place for Radiation Emergency My Ass! reports:

In his Sept. 2 report for the Attorney General, landfill fire consultant Tony Sperling said the underground reaction had reached the narrow neck of the Bridgeton landfill and was moving north in the direction of radioactive waste in the adjacent West Lake Landfill. He also said that high temperatures from the reaction could conceivably reach the waste in 3 to 6 months, a statement which has alarmed many area residents.

Which means the fire is going to reach the nuclear waste if nothing is done……

But according to a rough draft of the transcript of Sperling’s Thursday deposition with an attorney for Republic Services posted Friday on the company’s Bridgeton Landfill website, Sperling said he has “not examined the information at the neck in the level of detail to determine if there is movement.” That statement seems to contradict the one in his report, which said the reaction had definitively “passed beyond” both lines of gas interceptor wells in the neck, and was “moving closer to the North Quarry.”

Photo: St Louis Today

Photo: St Louis Today

Al Jazeerah Reports

St. Louis landfill fire could reach radioactive waste in months

State-commissioned reports support residents’ fears about proximity of smoldering fire to Manhattan Project waste

ST. LOUIS — A fire smoldering underneath a landfill north of St. Louis since 2010 could reach radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project in as little as three months, according to a report released by Missouri’s attorney general.

Much of the uranium used to make the first nuclear weapons was processed in downtown St. Louis, and the waste was moved around the region for decades. In 1973 a private company that bought some of the waste from the U.S. government illegally dumped it at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis.

As reported in part three of Al Jazeera’s May series looking at the effects of the Manhattan Project on St. Louis and its suburbs, the extent of the contamination, in terms of severity and location, at the landfill remains largely unknown, but researchers have concluded that it is likely far worse than previously thought.

The underground fire was discovered in an adjacent landfill in 2010 and has continued to move toward the known radioactive waste, according to the state reports. The landfill’s owner, Arizona-based Republic Services,maintains that the fire is not spreading. A representative for the company told The Missouri Times that the state’s reports were scientifically inaccurate, overstated and irresponsible.

One of the reports released by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster concluded that the underground fire could reach the West Lake Landfill’s known radioactive waste in three to six months — the consequences of which remain largely unknown.

“I don’t understand why we’re just sitting back, as a city and as a nation, just letting this happen,” said Dawn Chapman, a resident who has been organizing to raise awareness about the situation.

More than 3 million people live in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

“Not only does the landfill emit a foul odor, it appears that it has poisoned its neighbors’ groundwater and vegetation,” Koster wrote in a statement released with the reports on Sept. 3. “The people of Missouri can’t afford to wait any longer — Republic needs to get this site cleaned up.”

Categories: NUCLEAR NEWS

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