Put this in the unbelievable column. I have researched this extensively.This must be the hoax of the century. Please tell me I am wrong about this. So this is Secretary Chu’s farewell gift to us? All that talk about saving our environment and keeping Mother Earth safe and sound? But wait, in 2000 Energy Secretary Richardson tried to do this once before.It gives new meaning to Obama and his so called “all of the above” plan regarding energy.
In an article entitled “Nuclear weapons waste in your hip replacement?”, John LaForge of Nukewatch reports, U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) — who is now running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry as he becomes Secretary of State — has sent a strongly worded letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, expressing opposition to the so-called “recycling” scheme. The full letter can be found HERE.
DOE made the proposal to rescind its earlier moratorium on radioactive scrap metal recycling in December, 2012.
The letter notes that in 2000, then-Energy Secretary Bill Richardson first suspended DOE’s radioactive recycling efforts in response to concerns raised by Rep. Markey and others that DOE would not be able to assure public safety as radioactively contaminated metals could have been turned into everything from baby spoons to jewelry to medical devices that are implanted into the human body
Rep. Markey serves as Ranking Member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, and as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
On Jan. 11th, Markey wrote to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu — and his office issued a press release — expressing deep concerns and asking pointed questions about the U.S. Department of Energy’s proposals to “recycle” large quantities of radioactive scrap metal into consumer products.
On Jan. 14th, Rep. Markey again wrote Secretary Chu, questioning the wisdom of DOE’s dirty, dangerous, and expensive proposal to “recycle” surplus weapons plutonium into MOX (Mixed-Oxide, uranium-plutonium) reactor fuel.
The proposal follows an incident from 2012 involving Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in America recalling tissue holders made in India that were contaminated with the radio-isotope cobalt-60. Those products were shipped to 200 stores in 20 states. In response to that incident, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesperson advised members of the public to return the products even though the amount of contamination was not considered to be a health risk.
“The public concerns associated with such a proposal cannot be understated,” writes Rep. Markey to Secretary Chu. “If these metals are being released to companies who will subsequently manufacture new consumer products from them, DOE simply has no way to ensure that different samples are not aggregated into more highly radioactive products.”
On a vital radioactive waste battlefront, NIRS has put out an alert against a scheme to “recycle” vast quantities of radioactive metal from across the nuclear weapons complex into the consumer product recycling stream.
“The Department of Energy wants to mix radioactive metal from nuclear weapons factories with clean recycled metal and let it enter into general commerce–where it could be used for any purpose.
It’s a foot in the door for revival of a vast–and discredited–radioactive waste deregulation plan defeated in 1992.
. H/T: Beyond Nuclear