Leid Stories – 08.10.15

U.S. Cleans Up Nuclear-Waste with … Kitty Litter!

Ferguson: A Year After Rebellion, Is There ‘Reform?’

In On Feb. 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy said a salt-hauling truck caught fire at its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico, an underground collection, processing and storage plant for nuclear and radioactive waste from a Defense Department weapons facility located in Los Alamos, Texas. Workers were evacuated, six were treated for smoke inhalation, and part of the plant was shut down, the DOE said.

Nine days later, workers on the night shift on Feb. 14 heard an explosion “close to the operating location where waste was being emplaced,” the DOE confirmed. The next day, air monitors detected “very low levels of airborne radioactive contamination.”

Independent, award-winning journalist Paul DeRienzo—who had done a six-part series (“America’s Fukushima”) on Leid Stories about the nation’s largest ecological disaster caused by massive contamination from the Hanford Site, a sprawling nuclear-reactor complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington state—sheds light on the clear and present danger posed by the nation’s nuclear-weapons industry and the government’s abysmal regulation of nuclear waste.

In Ferguson, Missouri, and across the nation yesterday, thousands paused in memory of Michael Brown, who at 18 was shot dead by former police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 last year. Leid Stories takes a look at what Ferguson has taught us.