2013/01/19

Great Lakes Nuclear Dump

More forgotten history that hides in plain sight: It's not a stop for the Japanese tourists who visit Niagara, but they might be interested to know. The shores of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River are the resting place for high-level radioactive waste left over from the project to build the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. Who knew?


Niagara Falls is a place to escape the present. When I go there I remember day trips from Toronto with my parents, or visits I made later with my own children. I can contemplate the Ice Age scraping out the Great Lakes, or imagine the first French explorers coming up the river with Indian guides in the 17th century. Later, slaves escaping from plantations took the Underground Railroad, and crossed the Niagara River to freedom. The N.A.A.C.P, at first called The Niagara Group, began in 1905 in a hotel on the Canadian side. A statue on the American side commemorates Nikola Tesla and the 1895 launch of the first large-scale AC power system in the world. This heralded the industrialization of the area on the American side.
In the early days of electricity, there was a cost advantage in setting up close to the source of power, so American investment in heavy industry flowed into the area. On the Canadian side, the power was sent to points farther away. Thus the difference between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York: One is Canada’s front yard, welcoming visitors from the more populous south. On the Canadian side it is all resorts, wineries, casinos and tended gardens. On the other side is America’s backyard industrial zone, a day’s drive from the front entrance in New York City. One could choose an anatomical metaphor for this difference, but I’ll leave it at that.
International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH) released the Great Lakes Nuclear Hot Spots Map
Niagara Falls also invites one to contemplate geological time. The Ice Age carved out the Great Lakes, and ten thousand years ago the falls were five kilometers farther north toward Lake Ontario. One can look forward the same length of time and wonder how the falls will be then, and what kind of civilization will exist. On a warm summer day you can meditate like a zen monk to the roar of the water, all that water set in motion by the eternal energy of the sun.
The industrial history of the area can also lead one to these thoughts of eternity because, in another astounding example of "secret" history hiding in plain sight, one of the world’s many intractable nuclear waste dumps can be found beside the Niagara River in Lewiston, New York. Hardly anyone is aware of it, even though it stopped being a state secret long ago.
The site is described in Ginger Strand’s Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies (2008) and more recently in Tom Zoellner’s Uranium: War, Energy and the Rock that Shaped the World. (2010, pages 289-294), but there is surprisingly little about it to be found in blogs and mainstream journalism.

In the summer of 2011, I came across a report by WIVB, a Buffalo, NY television station, about a Niagara Falls road project that had been held up because of high radiation levels discovered by a contractor on the project. The report is somewhat confusing because some of the people quoted seemed to be alarmed by the discovery, while the mayor said, "The project is not a remedial project for removing radioactive materials wherever they're found. It's a road construction project in which radioactive materials that are under the road are being removed, and so there are limits to the bounds of the project."
In other words, everyone involved was supposed to know the contamination existed, and residents with contaminated properties were out of luck because the project focused only on the road. Strangely, the report failed to explain why the area was contaminated. This might be because the issue is so well-known to locals that it need not be mentioned. This is, after all, the home of Love Canal, one of the most famous cases of industrial pollution in the world. The area has been so damaged by industry that health studies of the radiation are inconclusive because the high rates of cancer are also caused by chemicals.
Another explanation for the lack of context in the news report is that the relevant information has just gone down the memory hole, and the journalists may not know or care to investigate why the road is radioactive. People who worry about the legacy of nuclear waste give a lot of thought to the possibility that people in the future may lose contact with the knowledge of the hazards left by their ancestors. This report is evidence that this change might already be underway.
There is some hope to be found in the fact that a year before this TV report, two writers for a Buffalo arts weekly were up to the task of doing some real journalism. Geoff Kelly and Louis Ricciuti made the connection to the debris left by the Manhattan Project, quoted precise figures of the radiation levels--which were astoundingly high--and pointed out that, just as we have seen in Fukushima, the contract went to a local company with no capabilities in radiological cleanup.


To look deeper into the truth of such matters you usually have to ignore the professional journalists and turn to some local, concerned expert who has fought the battle and recorded every detail on the sort of web 1.0 website that went out of style in 1997. Such people know that what they have to say is important and rightly don’t care if their pages don’t have the bells and whistles of big media sites.
James Rauch, author of Tonawanda Nuclear Site Info (TNSI), seems to be just such a local hero. His extensive site gives this summary of the Manhattan Project nuclear waste dumped in the Niagara Falls area:

“[The term] K-65 residues [refers to] the uranium mill tailings resulting from a uniquely concentrated uranium ore discovered before WW II in Katanga province (Shinkolobwe) of the former Belgian Congo, now Democratic Republic of Congo… This ore, dubbed "K-65", had a record 65% uranium content. It also held very high concentrations of thorium and radium, and their decay products, including radon gas, which are retained in the tailings (residues). The very high concentrations of these extremely toxic, long-lived radionuclides present in these wastes prompted the National Academy of Science's National Research Council to categorize them as indistinguishable in hazard from High-Level Waste in its 1995 report. The K-65 ores were refined as a key part of the Manhattan Project during World War II at the Linde Ceramics Plant at Tonawanda, NY, and at the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis… The Linde "K-65 residues" were transported to a storage silo built at the federally-appropriated Lake Ontario Ordnance Works site outside of Lewiston, NY, a short distance from Niagara Falls.”


The report by the National Academy of Science concluded with the points below (among others not cited here):

1.  There is no immediate hazard to the off-site public from the residues in their present configuration.
2.  The high-level residues pose a potential long-term risk to the public, given the existing environmental conditions and future unpredictability, if they are left permanently at the NFSS.
3.  The proposed actions of replacing the interim cap with a “permanent” cap and of long-term site maintenance and monitoring do not address the potential risks to the public for the long periods of time commensurate with the duration of that potential risk.
4.  The present and potential future interactions between the NFSS and disposal sites adjacent to the NFSS, where non-radioactive toxic chemical and landfill wastes are currently disposed, have not been addressed adequately.
5.  Current site monitoring activities are inadequate for the determination of long-term site integrity and potential future risks to the public…

What this means is that the Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) poses the same risk that the infamous Hanford facility in Washington inflicts on the Columbia River. Unless a better solution is built, soon or sometime within a century, and for a long time afterward, a plume of radionuclides will flow through the groundwater into Lake Ontario. Nothing is being done about this, and considering present conditions in the USA, I doubt that the country will have the competence for the task in 2085.
Sixty kilometers across the lake in my hometown, I suspect very few of Toronto’s four million residents know anything about this blowback from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that has been dumped on their Great Lakes border. Ironically, there is a campaign now underway called Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, but it is focused on opposing the proposal to create a permanent storage site near Lake Huron for low-level waste from Canada’s nuclear power plants. The people behind this campaign may not realize the problem is more urgent than they knew.

The Niagara Falls Storage Site, looking east.
Sources and Further Reading:

Geoff Kelly and Louis Ricciuti, The Bomb that Fell on Niagara,” Artvoice, September 24, 2008.

Geoff Kelly and Louis Ricciuti, “The Cult of Nuclearists,” Artvoice, May 12, 2010.


Geoff Kelly and Louis Ricciuti, "Greenpac Reveals Radioactive Waste Issue at Niagara Falls Mill," Artvoice, August 1, 2013.

John R. Emshweller and Jeremy Singer-Vine, "A Nuclear Cleanup Effort Leaves Questions Lingering at Scores of Old Sites," Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2013.


Luke Moretti, Concerns over Falls Road Fill Radiation, WIVB, Buffalo, NY. August 31, 2011.


Ralph Blumenthal, "Big Atomic Waste Site Reported Found Near Buffalo," New York Times, February 1, 1981,
http://www.nytimes.com/1981/02/01/nyregion/big-atom-waste-site-reported-found-near-buffalo.html  

Robert Sullivan, “Taming the Falls. Review of Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies,” New York Times. June 1, 2008.

Safety of the High-Level Uranium Ore Residues at the Niagara Falls Storage Site, Lewiston, New York (1995) National Academy of Sciences. Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources (CGER)

21 comments:

  1. as a former LOOW site resident that attended school in LewPort a local school located less than a mile from the NFSS dumpsite - let me just say that there is more to this than can be typed in one small article - focus on this - there is no pathway for the material in the NFSS site to migrate into contact to people or the lake or river - there fore at this time there is no immediate threat to the general population or water supply - if you have an interest in this see the very comprehensive volumes of info in the links search as "army core of engineers LOOW NFSS FUSRAP" - it is at this time much more likely that the tons of PCBs located in the nearby CWM waste DUMP site will breach their containment well before any threat from the NFSS site --- comments from LR and GK should be taken with a grain or two of salt . MOTM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback. In the article I did quote the National Academy of Sciences report that said, "There is no immediate hazard to the off-site public from the residues in their present configuration," so I hope what came across in the article is that I am not alarmist about this, but that I think we should be concerned about how future generations can be protected.
      And in my research I did read some of the FUSRAP report by the Army Corps of Engineers.

      Delete
  2. When you push for energy change from one type to another, just remember that for every solution there are resulting problems. It is somewhat like for every action there is a reaction. Let's assume that the 400+ nuclear reactors in the world are removed. The list of repercussions by the removal itself will be extensive. Then of course there is the replacement energy source, and along with any replacement you can dream of there will be repercussions; environmentally and socio/economically. Here's another way of looking at "Saving The Planet and Ourselves." Basically trying to keep human existence never-ending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Miv4NHsDo

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  3. IO grew up in Tonawanda and as a kid we would ride our bikes on the trails in and around the municipal landfill off Military Road. We discovered some very strange stuff back then. One incident I never forgot was a neon green substance bubbling up from the ground and emitting smoke. Im on the West Coast now getting pummeled by Fukushima fallout.

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  4. Hello Dennis:

    Thank you so much for covering these issues and for your time in doing so with your great web site. Domo Arrigato Guzimous (spelled as best I can)..!

    I am the researcher and co-author of the series of articles published at Artvoice newspaper in Buffalo, and elsewhere about Niagara Falls, Lewiston-Porter, Youngstown and Niagara County New York. I appreciate you giving citations and credit for the work that's been done and we're proud to support your efforts. I do admire your site and would like to offer the following in answer to some of the statements on this important subject. Please take a look if you've the opportunity.

    There is great reason for concern around Niagara Falls, Niagara County and this 12 square mile Lewiston-Porter site in specific. I am not a "past resident" and live here currently -- under these deteriorated environmental conditions. I have spent more than a dozen years in this research and writing and have found out that everything has happened along a timeline -- Manhattan Engineering District (MED), Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), USERDA - US Energy Research and Development Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) etc. For instance: The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) publication cited and the findings posted are almost 20 years old (1995). There have been new findings since then (see: leakage) and the 95' NAS report was written about a "containment facility" that was built about five or six years before the report was created and at that time, it was written about as a "25 year interim containment facility." (Key word: "interim") The 25 year projected life span has now past and new findings are coming out. Think -- "timeline" and please read the below story links and references.

    As a point of fact: the "containment facility" is actually constructed from the old basements of three military buildings that were built on the site in 1942 and not for the specific purpose of long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste. There is no special containment structure per se as these basements were used basically unaltered save for a few utility line disconnects and that sort of thing. The water table in this area is within 12 inches of the ground surface -- meaning that these high-level wastes are oftentimes submerged within the water table that sits in the lake plain. The number of Curies within the radioactive materials already associated with this site and that have been present for decades and their associated direct cancer risks, far outweigh by-orders-of-magnitude, all of the PCBs that could ever be placed upon this site.

    Yes indeed. Great concern is warranted because transport and biological uptake is a given and has already taken place with what's shown above and below. Various MD's and Ph.D.'s have called the correlation to local deleterious health stats and environmental contamination as being, "Manifest."

    Blindly trusting the US Army Corps may be a bit misguided. Not only are they the ones that left the wastes around in the first place in heading up the WWII era Manhattan (Engineering District) Project but by placing trust before verification you would be doing so at your own peril (see: fox guarding hen house).

    Thanks again Dennis and post what parts of this you can or that you might want to.
    Best regards and please keep up your efforts,

    Louis Ricciuti,
    Niagara Falls, NY "Los Alamos East"
    ===

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this in the comments, Louis. You sent this info in an email the other day, and it went to my spam folder. I almost deleted it. I replied by email, but maybe that went to your spam filter too. Anyway, keep in touch. I hope to do more research on this issue.
      The leaks at Hanford are getting some national news coverage this week. How about the mess in Niagara? Has it ever received national media attention? All the sources I found were local.

      Delete
  5. December 4, 2012
    Army Corps looking for leaking uranium at LOOW
    Niagara Gazette Tue Dec 04, 2012, 10:14 PM EST

    Niagara Gazette — It seems the Army Corps of Engineers is listening to some of the public's concerns about possible uranium contamination in areas directly surrounding the Interim Waste Containment Structure at the Niagara Falls Storage Site.

    ==
    Official warns about possible leak of N-waste at interim storage site
    Buffalo News Niagara Reporter

    March 14, 2012, 12:00 AM
    LEWISTON — Radioactive uranium left over from development of the atomic bomb during World War II may be leaking from its “temporary” storage site near the Lewiston- Porter town line, a group of environmental advisers was warned Tuesday.

    buffnews.com

    --
    LAKE ONTARIO

    Uranium from waste site may have leaked into creeks - Lewiston - The Buffalo News
    Updated: August 12, 2011, 11:12 AM

    August 12, 2011, 12:00 AM

    LEWISTON — Radioactive uranium stored at the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works site is likely to have leaked into local creeks that empty into Lake Ontario, a scientist said at a meeting there Thursday.
    --

    Lou Ricciuti
    Researcher-writer, Artvoice
    www.artvoice.com

    PodCast
    103.3 FM WEDG The Edge Buffalo, NY, Radio
    Shredd and Ragan Show
    Radium leaks from NFSS.
    "Son of a .....!"

    See also: Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) at Buffalo News.

    S&R Mon. 7/20/09 Hour 3 pt. 2

    Download this show
    Why? Again? Seems there's some radium that's been stored in Niagara Falls that may be leaking right now. Pal Lou Ricciuti joins us to shed some light on the plight.
    --

    Contamination found underground at former weapons site

    Radioactive leak is feared
    NEWS NIAGARA REPORTER
    July 19, 2009, 7:32 AM

    An underground container that holds about half of the world’s supply of radium may be leaking into groundwater in northwestern Niagara County, an advisory group to federal regulators warns.

    The Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for investigating an area in the towns of Lewiston and Porter holding leftovers from the Manhattan Project, has found uranium contamination beneath ground level in portions of a former federal weapons site.

    “If you’re minimizing the potential for leaks,” he continued, “that starts to factor into the argument about the stability of the temporary storage site. And the stability of the storage site is going to be critical in arguing whether [the radioactive material] stays here or not.” But the results of a plethora of studies and risk analyses are the building blocks for the final decision on whether to keep the radioactive materials buried in Western New York or to ship them somewhere else for disposal.The materials buried in the waste cell come from ore mined in Africa and brought to the United States.

    They are unique in a global sense because of the concentration of uranium that was initially found within them..

    While the radioactive substances in this case are naturally occurring— as opposed to being the by-products of a nuclear reactor — they are still more than 10 times richer than anything that’s been found on earth.. Uranium, a high energy and unstable radioactive material, changes into radium as part of a natural decay process.


    “I’m not saying they’re incompetent, but this isn’t world-class science and engineering,” Gardella said.
    The sides also differ on what uranium levels they accept as typical for the area, also known as “background” levels.
    --

    Is a Lewiston radioactive storage site leaking? : City & Region ...

    Jul 4, 2010 ... A Town of Porter resident, has recently questioned the ... Structure on the Niagara Falls Storage Site may be leaking: ...

    Sampling for contaminants at Lew-Port to begin soon : Latest Local ...
    Jun 23, 2010 ... LEWISTON -- Sampling is expected to begin as soon as late July ... includes a 191-acre area known as the Niagara Falls Storage Site ... area resident and chemist raised concerns ... review of environmental monitoring data leads to belief the cell is leaking, ...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Dennis.
    I just responded to your email that the USA Today newspaper articles/ 3-day series ("Poisoned Workers, Poisoned Places," by Peter Eisler, Sept. 6-8, 2000) has been about the extent of any national coverage thus far -- so I continue to write and publish in the locals and then...you pick it up in Chiba, Japan! That certainly helps a whole bunch in getting the word out...so, thanks again and keep up your needed good work in Chiba!

    I hope to follow up on our discussion.

    Best, cheers & domo arrigato,
    Lou Ricciuti (LR)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Plutonium from University of Rochester NY revealed in Niagara

    Part 1 of 2
    Posted At: nucnews nucnews
    Posted On: Oct 23, 2004 4:31 pm

    Plutonium from University of Rochester NY revealed in Niagara

    Human Radiation Experiments - HREX USDOE

    rochester democratandchronicle,
    Rochester, New York
    Corydon Ireland
    12/18/2002

    LEWISTON - About 90 miles west of Rochester, in rural Niagara County, is a historical remnant of the University of Rochester's role in the making of the atom bomb.

    It doesn't look like much: a cattail marsh 21 feet by 21 feet in size, within an undulant field of weeds and wildflowers. But the so-called University of Rochester Burial Area is in the heart of what used to be a 12-square-mile military site. In 1943, part of that site was turned over to the Manhattan Project, the
    top-secret federal operation that created the atomic bomb.

    In those days, UR did research on the health effects of radiation, using the remote Niagara County burial area to entomb the remains of thousands of laboratory animals contaminated by radiation, including more than 270,000 mice.

    Artifacts of darker UR experiments - some injecting unwitting patients at Strong Memorial
    Hospital with plutonium - were apparently also buried there.

    The site was investigated and cleaned up by the U.S. Department of Energy 30 years ago. But a 2002 investigation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - made public this year, with a report due this fall - turned up plutonium and other radioactive metals.

    The corps, the federal authority for cleaning up such sites, said that the traces of radioactivity found were not enough to have endangered human health or the environment. But they are enough to warrant further investigation.

    (UR is not liable, because the radioactive material was part of a federally financed program, the Manhattan Project.)

    Finding radioactive metals at the UR Burial Area - a site supposedly long ago cleaned up - has sounded a major chord of concern in Niagara County. It was a sign to many that the federal government has not adequately investigated radiation at the former military site known as the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works.

    Finding radioactive metals at the UR Burial Area - a site supposedly long ago cleaned up - has sounded a major chord of concern in Niagara County.

    It was a sign to many that the federal government has not adequately investigated radiation at the former military site known as the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works.

    Lewiston resident Lou Ricciuti, who thinks of Niagara County as "an atomic wasteland," called the UR Burial Area "fascinating and frightening."

    The one-time Niagara Falls tourism expert has been studying nuclear contamination in his home county for four years, compiling 50 cubic feet of documents.

    Other residents say that if radioactive metals were found in the tiny UR burial area, they could be elsewhere - buried and forgotten, or missed in earlier federal investigations and cleanups. To the west just more than a mile is the Niagara River, to the north, Lake Ontario.

    "The federal government hasn't done its job"
    investigating radioactivity in the area, said William Choboy, a member of the Lewiston Town Board.

    Part of the old ordnance works site, once 7,500 acres, is still in federal hands. Included is the 191-acre Niagara Falls Storage Site, one of about 20 former U.S. military installations contaminated with bomb-related radioactive waste. Buried there is 22,000 tons of radioactive waste, including one-third of the
    world's supply of mined uranium.

    But most of the ordnance works site - 5,000 acres, including the forgotten UR burial area - was sold back to private interests starting in 1945. Buying it up were farmers, developers and even a school district... cont.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Part 2
    Plutonium found at Niagara
    Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

    The Lewiston-Porter Central School District campus, on the southwest edge of the former ordnance site, was where Tim Henderson went to school in the 1960s. Now a water-treatment worker, he put two children through school on the same campus and today has a grandson there.

    "There is plenty to be feared" about the site, he
    said, including more buried radioactive waste hinted at by the UR burial area.

    At a public meeting this summer about the radiation find, Henderson said, a thousand people turned out.

    'Lightning rod'
    The UR burial area is on an unused portion of a
    710-acre landfill now owned by CWM Chemical Services LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based Waste Management Inc.

    Dick Sturgis, CWM district manager, said the radiation found at the UR burial area "was so small it was difficult to gather a sample for analysis."

    But the long-forgotten UR site "has become a lightning rod" on radiation issues, said William Rolland, who lives in Porter, on a creek downwind and downstream from CWM.

    The discovery not only focused local criticism on the government, he said, but also it focused attention on CWM, the only commercial hazardous waste landfill in the Northeast. It takes in high-level toxic waste from 30 states and Canada, as well as other foreign customers.

    Sturgis said a plan for radiological monitoring on the site is being designed with state health officials and will include the monitoring of soil, surface water, groundwater and air.

    But any cleanup of the old ordnance property, he said, is a federal responsibility.

    Linda Shaw, a Rochester environmental lawyer, said local ire should focus on the federal government and not CWM.

    She represents Eileen Syms of Grand Island, Erie
    County, who with her husband, John, bought part of the old ordnance site in 1970. But Syms has not been able to use the land since 1973 because of radiation contamination not revealed during the sale. Thirty years later, said Shaw, the federal government "has still not fully investigated" the ordnance site. The UR burial area is a signal that more radioactive waste is there to be found, she said. "It may be minor, but it's uncontained."

    ...cont

    ReplyDelete
  9. ...2B
    Plutonium from University of Rochester NY revealed in Niagara

    See: Human Radiation Experiments - HREX USDOE

    rochester democratandchronicle,
    Rochester, New York
    Corydon Ireland
    12/18/2002

    The corps' discovery

    In May and September of 2002, contractors working for the corps' Buffalo district office used a hand-drawn map from the 1950s to locate the old UR burial area. They excavated 300 feet of ground in six trenches as deep as 12 feet. Found were traces of plutonium, strontium and uranium. The traces were peppered through laboratory debris, including an animal bone, old lab gloves, glass slides, syringes - and an emesis basin, a device used in hospitals to catch and contain human vomit.

    James Karsten, a project manager at the corps' Corps' Buffalo district office, called the dig results "not surprising."

    The plutonium and other debris was too little and
    buried too deep, and on land too remote to be harmful, he said.

    UR officials are cautious.
    "The people living near that site have the right to know what materials were buried there, and what risks they may pose," said UR spokesman Christopher DiFrancesco.

    In 2002, UR provided historical information to the corps "to help them answer those questions," he added, "and we'll continue to provide any assistance they ask for."

    Surface soil at the site, according to a corps fact sheet, "exhibited near-background" radiation levels. The buried material, once uncovered, was 20 to 80 times higher than background levels normally found from natural radiation sources. These would be harmful
    only after prolonged close contact.

    The artifacts are hot enough to be "noteworthy from a regulatory standpoint," said radiation expert P. Andrew Karam, a research assistant professor of biology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "But this is not going to hurt anyone," he said, "unless people are over there munching on small animal bones and soil." The corps agrees that the radioactive find was significant enough to warrant more investigation, and this year applied for additional federal funding.

    Karam was UR's radiation safety officer in 2002, when the corps investigation was under way. He called the isotopes found "consistent with research that took place at (UR) under the Manhattan Project."

    The recovered material is now stored in drums at the Niagara Falls Storage Site, awaiting final disposal in Texas.
    --

    Best regards,
    Lou Ricciuti,
    Niagara Falls-Lewiston-Porter
    "Los Alamos East"

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is an update to this story which appeared on the front page of The Buffalo News on February 10, 2013 under the title "Has Love Canal's Demon Returned?" Here is the link to the original article published under a different title http://buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130209/CITYANDREGION/130209112/1010

    ReplyDelete
  11. I forgot to mention that the front page article in TBN seemed to contain much more information than the story published a day earlier though there does not appear to be a direct link to it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Lackawanna Steel Co. (former Bethlehem Steel Plant) in Lackawanna, NY on Lake Erie (not far from Niagara Falls) was also a Cold War manufacturing site for radioactive materials and has been determined to be an environmental hazard. The area is now a desolated wasteland. See links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lackawanna_Steel_Company
    http://higgins.house.gov/information-on-bethlehem-steel-claims.shtml
    Cancer statistics and other diseases are extremely high in WNY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna did not produce these materials as far as I can tell from government and other records. Anonymous, if you have any sources, URL or reference saying that they 'produced' the radioactive metal(s), it would be great to post that info here. As far as the record goes; Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna, New York, hot-rolled, cold-rolled, machined and milled-for-size the the radioactive metals such as uranium that were provided to them -- from Niagara Falls' Union Carbide Electrometallurgical Works and other manufactories such as the Mallinckrodt Chemical Co. in St. Louis, MO, which reduced/produced the metals into ingot, billet, derby, and dingbat form (yes, it's actually called that) and into rough rod and other shapes and forms.

      The location of Electro-Met, as it was sometimes called in Niagara Falls, NY, was the free world's largest production center for uranium metals during the entire Manhattan Project and into the Atomic Energy Commission era and provided the metals to Bethlehem Steel, Simonds Saw and Steel, in Lockport, New York, about 20 miles away, and other companies that machined, rolled and milled the metals into a finished "product" for use.

      I hope this is helpful. The above info is from the DOE HSS database.

      And sadly to say, still, this was nasty and very dangerous work in any of these locations and has left a lasting and lingering legacy of contamination, lives touched and lives lost..


      With regards,
      Lou Ricciuti
      Niagara Falls, Lewiston-Porter, New York
      "Los Alamos East"

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. I found your website while searching for radioactive landfills. I have never heard of this facility. I lived near the largest toxic waste landfill in the nation located in Sumter County, Alabama. The dump, owned by Waste Mgmt, Inc. and operated by their subsidiary, Chemical Waste Mgmt, Inc. (CWM), opened in 1978 and began taking in wastes from 48 states and foreign countries. Now, there are millions of tons of deadly wastes in the giant trenches in what they claim to be impermeable limestone. The truth is the limestone bed is fractured and there are three major aquifers under the formation. The CWM company's Permit did not allow them to accept radioactive wastes, but they did it anyway. Alabama Attorney General, James Evans, filed a lawsuit and investigated the incident. CWM received radioactive wastes from the Oak Ridge Incinerator in Tennessee for 12 years. The NRC, EPA nor the Alabama Dept of Environmental Management monitored the dump enough to catch this violation. Eighty-eight workers were unknowingly worked near the radioactive waste. I suspect the same scenario is common at the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump. Once high level wastes dumps open, it only gets worse. The area economy, property values, population loss, job and industry loss and quality of life can be affected by the dangerous disposal site. There is a fault zone near the CWM dump. Is there seismic activity near the Great Lakes Nuclear dump? Thank you for sharing your information.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding this information to this report. Unfortunately, there is a long list of contaminated sites such as these that I have become aware of since taking up this research.

      Delete
  15. Lou,
    as a life long resident of the town of Porter, let me thank you for helping to keep the truth alive regarding this site.
    I was a student at Lewiston - Porter, in 967 I was one of approx. 200, 8 & 9 year old children sent to school on the Balmer Road "School" site
    I experienced some very strong health effects at that time.

    one and a half years ago I was Diagnosed with a very rare neurologic disease which is uncurable.
    So further homework by all of us to find as many survivors, then children, teachers, office staff, cafeteria workers, and cleaning personell from this time.
    Perhaps, if nothing else we can make certian that the "Crime Scene" is duly noted for everyone to know the Truth. I thank you for your continued efforts to keep the truth alive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please see the reply from Lou in the comment below.

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  16. Dear Unknown BRETS student above:

    I agree that more research needs to be done and that full disclosure by school and other officials is warranted. You were indeed exposed to levels of radioactivity at the Balmer Road Elementary Temporary School, or BRETS as it was then called. Later testing and analysis of this property as recently as in the last 10 years have conclusively shown that this location was and is contaminated by radiation due to haphazard and careless handling of these materials there at the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works facility in Lewiston-Porter, New York -- The LOOW Site. These tests and analysis were performed by Marvin Reznikoff, PhD, of Radioactive Waste Associates out of Vermont, previously located in New York City. Dr. Reznikoff is renowned for his work in this field and has been a scholar and and actor in the nuclear business for more than 30 years. I have a copy of his report along with the graphics depicting exactly what you were exposed to (radium, uranium and others) and exposure rates. If you would like to contact me directly, you may do so at my Facebook connection {Louis Ricciuti-Niagara Falls] and I would be glad to provide you with a copy of this research work. I'm am terribly sorry for your illness, inconvenience, harm and trouble. You are not alone as you well know. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to gather as many names and contact information about your fellow students from the past, as memory allows, and to join forces to create a "louder" voice. What has happened there and to the students that were forced into this dreadful situation that for all intent and purposes, appears to have been done intentionally and or with malice of forethought. I wish you all the best and look forward to the contact. I send to you my very best regards, Lou R.

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