Tuesday, August 03, 1999

DOE to spread Fernald technology




BY RACHEL MELCER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CROSBY TOWNSHIP — Every day, the former Fernald uranium processing plant is getting more of what other Department of Energy (DOE) sites want: clean soil and water.

        So officials from DOE headquarters in Washington and about 40 others are touring Fernald today to see what scientists have learned.

        They will carry the lessons and new technology to spots across the nation where there is contaminated water that cannot be consumed and fields where it is not safe for adults to walk or children to play.

        There are about 5,700 instances of soil or ground-water contamination across the DOE complex, covering more than 200 million cubic meters of soil plus enough ground water to fill a 90-square-mile lake 30 feet deep, according to the DOE Subsurface Contaminants Focus Area.

        Gerald Boyd, DOE acting deputy assistant secretary for science and technology, and other visitors are studying systems developed and tested at Fernald to clean the Great Miami Aquifer and check for radioac tive “hot spots” on the ground.

        Mr. Boyd will see how millions of tax dollars are spent at Fernald.

        Community activists are pleased to see expensive technology being spread around, so that each of about a dozen DOE cleanup sites is not forced to reinvent the wheel when faced with similar problems.

        “We need to be doing this more often. It saves time, energy and money,” said Lisa Crawford, founder of Fernald Residents for Environmental Safety and Health. “Instead of everybody working in a vacuum, it's great that they're working together.”

       



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