By: Katherine N Probst and Michael H McGovern
67 pages, no illustrations
Decades of US nuclear weapons production have exacted a heavy environmental toll. The US Department of Energy estimates that cleaning up waste and contamination resulting from production activity will cost over $150 billion. Yet even once that money is spent, these sites will need long-term attention to assure protection of human health and the environment. In the authors' words, "stewardship" refers to the institutions, information and strategies which will be needed to ensure protection of people and the environment, both in the short and the long term, after the DOE finishes its cleanup of the weapons complex. Probst and McGovern make a case for establishing a formal programme of long-term stewardship for contaminated sites. The legacy of environmental damage is considerable; hazardous waste disposal, radioactive waste, and contaminated facilities are among the problems that will remain after DOE cleanup efforts are complete. Stewardship planning, they say, must start now. This report details the requirements of a successful stewardship programme and discusses the daunting technical and political challenges facing such efforts. It articulates the issues to be tackled, including the institutional home for key stewardship functions and concludes with the authors' suggested next steps.
and strategies needed to ensure protection of people and the environment
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