|Marco Kaltofen, whose studies suggest greater hazards than were previously known from radioactivity surrounding federal nuclear sites. (Tom Carpenter / Hanford Challenge)|
At the dawn of the nuclear age, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration placed the nation’s major nuclear weapons production and research facilities in large, isolated reservations to shield them from foreign spies — and to protect the American public from the still unknown risks of radioactivity.
By the late 1980s, near the end of the Cold War, federal lands in South Carolina, Tennessee, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio and Washington state, among other places, were so polluted with radionuclides that the land was deemed permanently unsuitable for human habitation.
That much has long been accepted as a price for the nation’s nuclear deterrent. But a far more complex problem could emerge if recent research is correct.
Studies by a Massachusetts scientist say that invisible radioactive particles of plutonium, thorium and uranium are showing up in household dust, automotive air cleaners and along hiking trails outside the factories and laboratories that for half a century contributed to the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons…
more: Hidden danger: Radioactive dust is found in communities around nuclear weapons sites - Los Angeles Times