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Neighbors worry about left over radiation from lab

By John Geluardi, Daily Planet Staff
Monday December 17, 2001

When Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced the closure of its Tritium facility last September, many city officials and residents breathed a sigh of relief. But now a neighborhood organization is raising concerns about how the laboratory will dispose of left over radioactive and chemically toxic materials. 

Last September LBNL announced the December closure of the National Tritium Labeling Facility and an estimated $1 million decommissioning and decontamination process.  

The facility, which was managed by LBNL, provided medical researchers with the radioactive isotope tritium. The lab attached the tritium to pharmaceuticals and other medical compounds, in a process known as labeling, so the compounds can be accurately traced as they course through the living organisms. 

The facility, which opened in 1982, has been controversial since 1996 when a neighborhood group, the Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste, began asking