Demand that Radioactive Waste be Stored Properly

radioactive

Target: Department of Energy

Goal: Ensure that containers holding nuclear waste are periodically replaced to prevent leaks.

A nuclear site in Washington has recently reported that several of its nuclear waste containers are leaking. Six aging containers are currently leaking and some environmentalists are concerned that others might soon develop leaks as well. The site is only five miles away from the Columbia River, and many are concerned about the potential contamination of the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans. Radioactive waste is currently seeping into the soil surrounding this area, threatening the nearby ecosystems.

Nuclear waste can devastate the environment and threaten human lives. Although the radioactive leaks in Washington are not yet critical, experts believe that much more radioactive waste is leaking than was initially estimated. According to research done at Princeton University, exposure to radiation can cause damage to the cells and tissues of the body and can lead to instantaneous death in high concentrations. It can also cause radiation syndrome, which includes nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and a lowered white blood cell count, and has been linked to various forms of cancer.

This waste has been stored underground for decades. Geologists and other scientists agree that radioactive waste must be buried for hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of years until the waste no longer emits enough radiation to be harmful. However, the containers in which the waste is held decompose over time and are not always changed regularly. Ensuring that these containers are replaced periodically would help to ensure the safety of our environment and of our citizens. Please ask the Department of Energy to ensure that nuclear waste containers are being regularly changed to prevent radioactive leaks.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Department of Energy,

As you know, the recent discovery that nuclear waste is leaking from several storage containers in Washington has the nation concerned. Nuclear waste poses major environmental and health concerns, and ensuring that this waste is properly stored is essential. The storage containers in Washington are reportedly leaking due to their age and deterioration, which indicates that these containers are not being replaced with sufficient regularity.

The leaks in Washington are dangerously close to the Columbia River, and many are concerned that the Colorado River could become contaminated as well. Exposure to nuclear waste can cause a variety of adverse health issues including cancer, damage to cells and body tissues, reduced white blood cell count, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. With the safety of American citizens at risk, it is imperative that proper storage procedures of nuclear waste are used.

Since nuclear waste has to be stored underground for such long periods of time, often hundreds or thousands of years, it is essential to account for the decomposition and aging of storage containers. Once waste containers begin losing their integrity, waste can begin seeping into the groundwater and spreading into nearby ecosystems and water sources. Please help prevent nuclear waste from leaking in the future by ensuring that storage containers are regularly maintained and replaced.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Radioactive Symbol via Public Domain

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  • James Thrailkill
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