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How much is a life worth?

Leuren Moret Berkeley Community Environmental Advisory Commission
Monday December 24, 2001

Editor: 

The experimental mixed waste treatability study should not be restarted because:  

1. This is a dangerous experimental study using a very amateur apparatus done by macho cowboys who have already caused an accident. The accident which caused the shutdown of the Treatability Study a year ago, demonstrates what is already known, that pilot studies by amateurs are always dangerous.  

2. This study was stopped by a state agency because dangerous practices resulted in a dangerous accident and risk to the public. 12,000 Curies of tritium are stored a few feet from pure oxygen and an explosion chamber at high temperature used in the apparatus. This could blow up at any time spreading thousands of Curies of radiation everywhere.  

3. Mixed waste is a problem at all DOE and radiation facilities because they have not found an answer to the disposal problem. The other facilities are storing the mixed waste on-site until a solution is found. Other facilities — not located in an urban setting — are better places to do experimental studies.  

4. Treating the mixed waste on site does not make it safer to transport. This process has increased the amount of mixed waste because the process did not successfully separate the waste — the waste stream was still contaminated with both radioactive and chemical waste after treatment.  

This treatment is creating more mixed waste. It will be just as hazardous to transport and there will be twice as much. It is a DOE/LBNL lie that it is safer to treat it onsite and makes it safer to transport.  

The State of California shut it down because it was not safe. California has led the nation in environmental laws. The U.S. government adopted California’s environmental laws for the nation because they were more stringent and better crafted than any others. 

DOE and the U.S. governm