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Toxic waste trickles toward New Mexico's water sources

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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 10:16 AM
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Toxic waste trickles toward New Mexico's water sources
Radioactive debris from Los Alamos National Laboratory has been found in canyons that drain into the Rio Grande but officials there claim no health or ecological risk. Unfortunately they haven't determined where all of the waste was buried across the laboratory's 40-square-mile property. Damn.

One of the canyons where radioactive waste has been found joins the Rio Grande just three miles above a diversion project the city of Santa Fe is building.

Walks like a coverup and quacks like a coverup ...




More than 60 years after scientists assembled the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lethal waste is seeping from mountain burial sites and moving toward aquifers, springs and streams that provide water to 250,000 residents of northern New Mexico.

Isolated on a high plateau, the Los Alamos National Laboratory seemed an ideal place to store a bomb factory's deadly debris. But the heavily fractured mountains haven't contained the waste, some of which has trickled down hundreds of feet to the edge of the Rio Grande, one of the most important water sources in the Southwest.

So far, the level of contamination in the Rio Grande has not been high enough to raise health concerns. But the monitoring of runoff in canyons that drain into the river has found unsafe concentrations of organic compounds such as perchlorate, an ingredient in rocket propellent, and various radioactive byproducts of nuclear fission.

Laboratory officials insist that the waste doesn't jeopardize people's health because even when storm water rushing down a canyon stirs up highly contaminated sediment, it is soon diluted or trapped in canyon bottoms, where it can be excavated and hauled away.



Toxic waste trickles toward New Mexico's water sources
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