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U.S. Department of Energy won't help Georgia monitor radiation near Savannah River Site

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 3:21 PM
Last updated Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 5:29 AM
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The U.S. Department of Energy will not honor its 2010 offer to help Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division restore a program to monitor radiation levels in Georgia counties near Savannah River Site.

“Unfortunately due to budgetary constraints, the department cannot award every application and must therefore make difficult choices,” said Jim Giusti, a department spokesman at SRS. “The Georgia Department of Natural Resources grant could not be awarded.”

Georgia officials accepted an April 2010 DOE offer of federal funds to restore Georgia’s independent monitoring program, which was administered through the state’s Environmental Protection Division.

DOE supported that program from 2001-04 but discontinued funding in 2005, saying similar studies on the South Carolina side of the river were sufficient.

Discussions for restoring federal funding included an initial, annually renewable allocation of $750,000, but that sum was later reduced in light of leaner budgets.

By last October, the proposal that once called for $750,000 per year for five years had been whittled down to $300,000 per year for three years. Officials now say there will be no money at all.

The intent of the monitoring, which includes analysis of water, soil, vegetation and air, is to determine off-site effects from SRS – and to provide independent data to compare with extensive sampling already conducted by DOE on both sides of the Savannah River.

Anti-nuclear activists who lobbied for the restoration of the Georgia program said the Department of Energy’s about-face is disturbing.

“The DOE’s obstruction to environmental monitoring in Georgia is a gross example of environmental injustice,” said Bobbie Paul, the director of Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions. “Radiation does not acknowledge state boundaries.”

In 2010, then DOE Assistant Secretary Ines Triay pledged that monitoring would be restored to Georgia with a five-year contract independent of any restrictions from SRS.

“The money was never sent and in July 2011, DOE reported they would only fund $300,000 annually, less than half of what the program received annually when the its funding was cut in 2003,” Paul said. “Now, the offer is off the table.”

Giusti said SRS has a half century of experience at monitoring programs, which will remain intact to protect health and the environment.

 LEARN MORE

Results of SRS monitoring are annually provided to the public and published online at www.srs.gov/general/pubs/ERsum/index.html.

Comments (13) Add comment
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Riverman1
83800
Points
Riverman1 02/02/12 - 05:29 pm
0
0
Didn't outsiders discover

Didn't outsiders discover tritium contamination in the water outside of the SRS borders previously?

Little Lamb
45904
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Little Lamb 02/02/12 - 05:44 pm
0
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Actually, we do not need

Actually, we do not need Georgia EPD to monitor water, soil, vegetation and air because Southern Nuclear is already doing it as a requirement of the Vogtle operating permit. The results are sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and are available for study as public records.

my.voice
4816
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my.voice 02/02/12 - 06:36 pm
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"The U.S. Department of

"The U.S. Department of Energy will not honor its 2010 offer"

Imagine that!

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 02/02/12 - 07:12 pm
0
0
Tea Partiers (spoken in

Tea Partiers (spoken in broken English per Treasure of the Sierra):

“Radiation monitoring, we don’t need no stinken radiation monitoring; de free market will take care of gamma rays.”

faithson
5157
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faithson 02/02/12 - 07:23 pm
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Yea right, we don't need

Yea right, we don't need government...

Pu239
284
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Pu239 02/02/12 - 08:19 pm
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RM1...you do know that H3
Unpublished

RM1...you do know that H3 occurs naturally don't you?

I don't understand what has everyone so up in arms....all you have to do is put up yellow and magenta barriers and no zoomies can cross...it's one of those unwritten rules of radiation/contamination. Kind of like you can't swing at an 3-0 pitch if you are ahead by 10 runs....

Pu239
284
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Pu239 02/02/12 - 09:20 pm
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BJ have you ever read the
Unpublished

BJ have you ever read the papers regarding the effects of gamma rays on man in the moon marigolds?

KSL
129324
Points
KSL 02/02/12 - 10:39 pm
0
0
And radon is in the rocks

And radon is in the rocks under houses in Edgefield county.

KSL
129324
Points
KSL 02/02/12 - 10:45 pm
0
0
That would be natural radon

That would be natural radon dangerous to health.

KSL
129324
Points
KSL 02/02/12 - 10:42 pm
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Yeah, right, we don't need

Yeah, right, we don't need informed posters either.

atom.girl
19
Points
atom.girl 02/03/12 - 07:50 am
0
0
Oh!SoutherncCompanyismonitori

Oh!SoutherncCompanyismonitoring!It'sownpollutionanddDOE'sandreportingtocivilianregulators.Whataracket!

REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 02/03/12 - 08:35 am
0
0
Atom Girl, Have you been to

Atom Girl, Have you been to the Space Bar lately?

nevertoolate
291
Points
nevertoolate 02/03/12 - 09:21 am
0
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Southern Company's Health

Southern Company's Health Physics Department at Plant Vogtle is beyond reproach~they have a VERY good group of people out there and they do an AWESOME job at monitoring EVERYTHING. I know, I worked out there for 10 years so I am one of the so-called informed posters. Their number one safety concern is for public safety and the environment. atom.girl, they do NOT report to civilian regulators, they report to the NRC, INPO, AEA, IAEA just to name a few. The people who work out there take their jobs and their extensive continuing training very seriously and their efforts are apparent.

allhans
23641
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allhans 02/03/12 - 10:29 am
0
0
TEA Partiers ??? How off the

TEA Partiers ??? How off the wall can you get.

Clean Water
11
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Clean Water 02/03/12 - 12:37 pm
0
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Everyone made good comments!

Everyone made good comments! And yet there is radiation in the Savannah River from the Nuclear Industry. The radiation exist in the fish.
When radiation exist in the water it effects everything. There are many peope that drink water from the Savannah River. Many of these people are children. The people that suffer the most are people that live below the Nuclear Sites, Barnwell, Allendale, Bamberg Counities and every one who gets ther water from the river. The employees that work in the Nuclear Industry have been effected also. This is about jobs not lives.

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