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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- March 5, 2008
Date:3/10/2008

CONTACT:
Michael D. Hays, Ph.D.
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711
Phone: 919-541-3984
Fax: 919-685-3346
Email: hays.michael@epa.gov


ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, March 10, 2008

Funding cuts jeopardize cleanup of nuclear waste sites
Chemical & Engineering News

The Federal Government may need at least 20 years longer than previously planned and an additional $50 billion to clean up radioactive and hazardous wastes at nuclear weapons sites, according to an article [http://pubs.acs.org/cen/government/86/8610gov2.html] scheduled for the March 10 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS weekly newsmagazine.

The article, written by C&EN Senior Editor Jeff Johnson, cites a new U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) audit of its operations estimating that clean-up costs may reach $305 billion at about 25 sites where nuclear weapons materials were manufactured. Thats more than $50 billion above the Bush Administrations earlier estimate. The audit also indicates that it may take until 2062 to finish the cleanup job, over 20 years longer than originally scheduled.

Still, the clean-up budget proposed this year by the Bush Administration is $5.5 billion, one of the lowest since the massive remediation effort began in the 1980s. The budget cuts may be particularly hard felt at large cleanup sites such as Washington States Hanford Nuclear Site, the most contaminated nuclear site in the country, the article suggests. Some officials fear that the cuts could delay cleanup of Hanford and other sites indefinitely.

ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, March 10, 2008
DOE Falling Behind in Cleanups

This story will be available on March 10 at

Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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