It is no secret that soils in the Hunter's Point/Bayview
area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory area, and Livermore National
Laboratory grounds in the Livermore/Tracy area are horrendously contaminated
with radioactive soils that seep down into the regional water tables.
Here I explore - is the new research on fungi, that reportedly stops the
Uranium from spreading out, all it is being hyped up to be? Can this fungi
really act like Pacman and actually gobble up the soils that pose a serious
radioactive threat to our health?
after UK press coverage on citizen outrage over the continuation of firing
Depleted Uranium at the Dundrennan military firing range in Scotland and the
increased radioactive contamination of the environment there... http://tinyurl.com/4a3cte
immediately pops up this new fungi research out of Scotland, blasted as
if some miracle cure all over the place. Convenient timing, eh?
the purposes for this onslaught of this fungi news, being touted as some sort of
magical cure for Depleted Uranium poisoning of the soil - and eventually
contamination of underground water tables?
Undoubtedly, the first reason
is to try to take the heat off the MoD right now. In other words, the average
Brit will read this and be likely to think, Whew! I am so glad they found a way
to clean up the DU contamination in Scotland!
Even if it
is indeed true(?) that the fungi will somewhat help the spread of Uranium
through the contaminated soils, this does not make the radioactive Uranium in
the soils problem magically just disappear.
As Professor Geoffrey Gadd,
team leader for this research, admitted:
"... he cautions that the
minerals probably couldn't ever be considered harmless as they still contain
uranium, and this could still be toxic if eaten. Nor have the Dundee team yet
worked out a practical way to collect and dispose of the trapped uranium."
Soils that still contain Uranium are both toxic and radioactive - even
if a mechanism such as fungi is used to help the contamination spread less
There is a second point here that is being made, and this is
the most frightening real-life horror story I have read in quite some time. As
the BBC reports with chilling optimism:
"The research, published in the
journal Current Biology, concludes that the discovery could lead to
uranium-polluted soils eventually being brought back into use." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/tayside_and_central/7384500.stm
Goodlord, it is bad enough when they allow the radioactively soil areas
to go untouched... but can you just imagine them spreading some of this fungi
out in Depleted Uranium-laden soils and then trying to tell us one day that they
are going to build neighborhoods and playgrounds on top of the horrendously
contaminated Jefferson Proving Grounds in Indiana or the even more extensively
contaminated Aberdeen Proving Grounds, where Depleted Uranium is still "tested"
outdoors near Baltimore?
The possible implications for use of this fungi
as some sort of environmental cure are truly chilling.
We can not
possibly ever remediate Uranium contaminated soils that exist all over the
country and many other parts of the world - unless unfathomably huge and
prohibitively expensive, thorough remediation measures are taken.
while we can not un-do the massive radioactive contamination that has already
taken place, we must now do whatever we can to prevent Uranium from being used
for any purpose. We must stop Uranium from being used in nuclear power plants,
nuclear bombs, and everyday weapons currently used by our military, such as
bunker busters, missiles, DU fired out of A-10 aircraft and out of tanks used
everyday in military combat now in Asia and Africa.
It is also critical
we stop using half-baked phrases like "No more nukes" or "Stop the Bomb" and
instead replace this with simply, the more-to-the point, constant and unwavering
demand to all persons who hold political power at every level of government:
"Stop the Radioactive Uranium Poisoning of the US and the rest of our
Cathy Garger is a freelance writer,
public speaker, activist, and a certified personal coach who specializes in
Uranium weapons. Living in the shadow of the national District of Crime, Cathy
is constantly nauseated by the stench emanating from the nation's capital during
the Washington, DC, federal work week.