State breezes past beryllium risks in stimulus rush to hire for Hanford cleanup

Fellow nonprofit journalism center ProPublica produced this insightful report about how the state of Washington is brushing past the insidious and sometimes lethal risks of beryllium contamination during its stimulus-funded stampede to hire workers to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The report by David Epstein and Krista Kjellman Schmidt shows that the effects are more than just workplace statistics.  They have a human face.

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New Mexico wants more funds to deal with uranium contamination

New Mexico needs more money to clean up abandoned uranium mines. Under the Bush Administration, much of the federal money designated for cleanup went to coal mines, writes Sue Major Holmes of the Associated Press. But New Mexico mining and mineral officials are more concerned about abandoned hardrock mines, including those opened between the 1950s and the 1980s when New Mexico was the nation's leading producer of uranium.  Even though New Mexico received $3.8 million this year in federal funds for decontamination of abandoned mines and mills, only $800,000 of that is allowed to be used for cleaning up hardrock sites. Many of the abandoned mines are on tribal land. New Mexico officials are hoping Interior Secretary will reverse the changes made under the last administration to re-allow mine cleanup funds to be used for uranium cleanup.

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United Nuclear to clean up site on Navajo Nation

United Nuclear Corp. has agreed to clean up its share of uranium contamination at a site located on the Navajo Nation. Contaminated soil at the abandoned Northeast Church Rock Mine near Gallup, New Mexico, will be replaced with fresh soil at a cost of about $5 million, reports Felicia Fonseca of the Associated Press. United Nuclear operated a mine at the 125-acre site between 1967 and 1982. Still undetermined is the question of what to do with the waste material once it's been removed. Public comment on various waste disposal plans is open through Sept. 9.