Evident by the ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima, when nuclear disasters strike, there is no easy fix. Even more, the unfortunate triple meltdown of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima added to the pain and suffering of the Japanese after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the country.
It does not take a nuclear reactor for radioactive materials to contaminate the environment. New Mexico and Idaho, states that do not have nuclear reactors, are dealing with radioactive waste that has leaked and spilled into rivers and streams used for drinking water.
The Church Rock site in New Mexico that is contaminating the Navajo Nation’s drinking water is the leftover wastes from a uranium mine. In Idaho, the poorly planned storage of radioactive waste resulted in contamination of the Snake River. Local residents have fought hard to get the government to address the leaking radioactive waste.
St. Louis has its own radioactive legacy. Multiple sites around the metro region were contaminated when Mallinckrodt Chemical Works signed a contract with The Manhattan Project to secretly purify uranium for nuclear weapons beginning in 1942. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency are responsible for managing these contaminated sites. Visit our page on the West Lake Superfund for more information.
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