LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bulldozing of Contaminated Soil in Piketon Must Stop

Updated 41 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:  Bulldozing of Contaminated Soil in Piketon Must Stop

There is a dangerous situation nearby that you need to know, and do something about.

In Piketon, Ohio, "dusty bulldozing and open air demolition operations are now under way" at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site, "to deconstruct the complex, decontaminate the grounds, and build a radioactive waste abandonment facility. NBC News reported May 15 that although 'the contamination came from [the Portsmouth] plant the Department of Energy has repeatedly refused to cease operations there.

"In mid-May 2019, the US Department of Energy acknowledged that in 2017 it found trace amounts of highly radioactive neptunium-237 in air monitors on the school grounds, the Ironton Tribune reported. The DOE also admitted that it found similarly toxic americium there in 2018. The Dayton Daily News reported that neptunium is a carcinogen linked to bone cancers.

Why the discovery of radioactive chemicals was not made public at the time and BEFORE the school closed then has not been explained by the DOE. "A more recent and independent study, conducted by Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, found enriched uranium actually inside the middle school itself, and it found 'plutonium, uranium, and neptunium in water and dust samples from other parts of the community', the Associated Press reported.



Bulldozing needs to be stopped immediately as it is exposing people to deadly radioactivity. Testing is needed to determine where the contaminants have settled. Medical evaluation is needed about how much harm has been done to public health.

Residents need to be moved away, and the contaminated area should be declared off limits to everyone, as was done at Chernobyl following the meltdown in 1986.Radioactive substances require absolute containment.

There is no safe level of radiation. Radioactivity cannot be seen, it has no odor, and it makes no sound.

Rather than keeping radioactive materials securely contained, DoE has permitted the use of bulldozers and other equipment which contaminate the community's schools, houses, and water systems. It made a criminal mistake in not caring about the dangers of radioactivity.

We want all actions to stop onsite until the people who live in the community are properly protected.

We want a public meeting.


Vina Cooley

Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety  and Security (PRESS) and  National Nuclear Workers for Justice (NNWJ)


Comments powered by Disqus