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The tritium lab is dead – long live the....?

Leuren Moret Berkeley
Wednesday December 12, 2001



The Lawrence Berkeley Lab has been stating to the public, the Berkeley City Council, and the media that the National Tritium Labeling Facility has been shut down as of December 6, 2001. It is my understanding that the Lawrence Berkeley Lab has been actively seeking a new life under the Department of Energy without notifying the public, the City Council or the Community Environmental Advisory Commission. I understand that the Lawrence Berkeley Lab has filed lengthy documents with another agency to be permitted to treat and dispose of mixed waste generated by activities at the National Tritium Facility. We do not want tritium contaminated materials burned or otherwise treated in this community. 

This seems to be the usual deceptive, destructive, manipulative, macho cowboy way the Lawrence Berkeley Lab has operated in the past, with the collusion of the University of California. 

From a recent article on the Tritium Labeling Facility closure in “Science” journal (v. 294, Nov. 2, 2001, p. 977-8), it is clear that Elmer Grossman, the Chair of the CEAC, is now representing himself as the spokesman for the Lawrence Berkeley Lab and the University of California. His statements do not represent the viewpoint of the Berkeley City Council which twice voted to close the facility, nor of the CEAC where it was never discussed nor a vote taken on what statements Grossman should be making as chair. Why is he making statements to the media which support LBNL actions which endanger public health? After all, he is a medical doctor. At the last CEAC meeting on Nov. 1, his designated replacement, Mr. Simon MD, told me that tritium is not a dangerous substance and that there was too much concern about it.  

It is obvious that both Grossman and Simon, as members of the medical profession, should be telling people the truth. It is simple to open a physics or chemistry handbook and understand the danger to living systems that radioactive hydrogen poses.  

In addition, in documents filed with the city clerk, Mr. Robert Clear does not state his employer nor job description, but gives a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab phone number as his work number. If Mr. Clear is an employee of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab this information should be added to his CEAC paperwork and he should not be voting on the CEAC on issues concerning the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. 

It is obvious that the CEAC has been infiltrated by the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and that the statements of Grossman and documents secretly filed to extend the life of the Tritium Labeling Facility have compromised the effectiveness of the CEAC and exposed the collusion of the University of California in proposed activities which will endanger public health. 

The public citizens, Berkeley City Council, the Community Environmental Advisory Commission, and the media deserve some answers with regard to implementation of your three- phase closure plan. 


Leuren Moret