On July 16, 1973, 28 years to the day after the first nuclear weapon was exploded at Alamogordo, New Mexico, a line of dump trucks containing the detritus from the uranium used to make plutonium for the test bomb showed up at the West Lake landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri. Assuming the trucks were loaded with clean fill, the landfill superintendent waved them through without charging a dumping fee. A truck driver said later that he and others used the black stuff in their home gardens. By October several thousand shipments were illegally dumped at the landfill in north St. Louis County, in violation of federal standards; they contained an estimated 43,000 tons of radioactive uranium processing wastes and contaminated soil.
If the fire reaches the radioactive wastes, the St. Louis County emergency plan warns, there is the “potential for radioactive fallout to be released in the smoke plume and spread throughout the region...”
more: West Lake story: An underground fire, radioactive waste, and governmental failure | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists