UofA, Don't SEFOR Our Rivers With 70,000 gallons of Tritium

  • by: N. D. Visible
  • recipient: University of Arkansas and City of Fayetteville, Arkansas

University of Arkansas is strapped with decommissioning an abandoned nuclear reactor used by General Electric.  Onsite is 70,000 gallons of Tritium in liquid solution-- an element which is very difficult to even measure accurately.  In order to save money, rather than transporting the nuclear waste to a hazardous waste facility, University of Arkansas is asking City of Fayetteville to let it dispose of the Tritium as 'industrial waste.'  City of Fayetteville discharges its treated wastewater into two watersheds:  The Illinois River and The White River.  Neither river should be polluted with this nuclear effluent.  It would constitute disposing of cancer-causing radioactive waste by release upon the river-using public.  Downstream is a thriving river tourism industry, and many riparians, and a biologically diverse habitat which would be affected by the mere thought of radioactive waste in the water... much less the cancer-causing effects which are documented to impair human health in a wide array of cancer types.  Join us to put them on notice.  Discharging radioactive effluent into the Illinois River and its counterpart the White River is wrong.  Downstream from these are respectively:  Lake Tenkiller and Beaver Lake.  Protect our beloved waters!

Over half a million guests come to the Oklahoma reach of the Illinois River each year, and would be potentially exposed to the Tritium-laced SEFOR facility waste that University of Arkansas proposes to dump into City of Fayetteville's sewage treatment facility. Tritium is a known carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen. It can cause any type of cancer because it is easily biotransported throughout the body. There is no safe maximum dose of Tritium. Fukishima Tritium remains onsite because disposal in a publicly-owned treatment works facility is a public release pathway. The exposure standards are reverse-engineered and do not reflect adequate risk analysis. Dumping Tritium-laden water in Fayetteville's sewer system would effectively violate ALARA. And besides: Those who benefit from an activity should be the ones who pay for cleanup-- rather than externalizing the social cost onto innocent neighbors and downstream water users. No one knows better than Fayetteville that polluting the Illinois River will be litigated all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.

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