Nukewatch: All Lake Superior mystery barrels should goAn official with Nukewatch in Wisconsin says all of the Department of Defense munitions barrels dumped during the Cold War into Lake Superior should be removed.
By: By Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
An official with Nukewatch in Wisconsin says all of the Department of Defense munitions barrels dumped during the Cold War into Lake Superior should be removed.
A week after the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe released a preliminary report saying there are live explosives in 22 of the 25 barrels they raised last summer, Nukewatch researcher John LaForge says it’s time for the Department of Defense to clean up their mess.
“That’s rather a no-brainer, considering the size of the military budget and how much is larded into it for various projects,” he said. “Here’s a direct threat to the largest body of fresh water in the hemisphere. You’d think there’d be plenty of money to investigate the potential threat to this drinking water.”
Red Cliff says the water intake for Duluth is about two miles from the nearest barrel dump site, but LaForge says it may be closer than that. He also says Red Cliff’s report on the barrels that says no significant radiation was detected could be wrong, too, since only gamma radiation can be detected through the metal drums.
“This is something that has been warned of by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1990, after their survey found some radiation coming off four different barrels — warning that they need to test for alpha and beta rays as well,” LaForge said.
A 2008 “Health Consultation” by the federal Public Health Service calls the lone report of radiation “unexplainable” and says the only way to be sure there isn’t radiation is to raise all 1450 barrels for testing.
The DoD ordered the 55 gallon drums from its Twin Cities Honeywell munitions plant secretly dumped into Lake Superior near Duluth between 1958 and 1962.