Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tracking Nuclear Radiation StLouis Missouri

 Conclusions This paper reports radionuclide analyses of the 287 surface soil, dust and sediment samples, collected to test whether significant, off-site dispersal of radionuclides has occurred from the West Lake Landfill site in Bridgeton, MO.

radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is an atom that has excess nuclear energy, making it unstable. Wiki

Levels of 210Pb in key samples were well above background activities, and were significantly out of secular equilibrium with other members of the uranium decay chain. This is strong evidence that the 210Pb originated by decay of short-lived, fugitive radon gas that escaped the landfill.

The use of the unsupported 210Pb marker was an important element of our analysis, allowing the identification of waste-impacted areas. 210Pb activities were highest in areas known to be contaminated with wastes from the Mallinckrodt uranium processing wastes. 

Radon soil headspace test and in-situ pore-volume radon activities for soil samples were widely variable, with too few samples available to directly relate these activities to the presence of uranium or uranium processing wastes in soils and sediments.

Some individual samples had very high ratios of radon in headspace to soil masses. Given the importance of radon releases from soils to air as a vector for public exposure to radioactivity, increasing the density and frequency of radon measurements around the West Lake Landfill should be an important priority. 

If the West Lake Landfill fire were to intrude upon areas with buried uraniumprocessing wastes, radon emissions may increase further. 

Isotopes of uranium and thorium reach high levels in sediments around Coldwater Creek. More disturbingly, indoor dusts in homes adjacent to Coldwater Creek have potentially higher levels of uranium and thorium than those found in sediments at known disposal sites. 

After reviewing the 287 environmental sample results, the most effective method for tracking uranium-processing wastes was to monitor unsupported 210Pb, as well as uranium and thorium in sediments and house dusts.

Analysis of 287 soil, sediment and house dust samples collected in a 200 km2 -zone in northern St. Louis County, Missouri, establish that offsite migration of radiological contaminants from Manhattan Projectera uranium processing wastes has occurred in this populated area. 

Specifically, 48% of samples (111 of a subset of 229 soils and sediments tested) had 210Pb concentrations above the risk-based soil cleanup limits for residential farming established by the US Department of Energy at the Fernald, OH, uranium plant, which handled and stored the same concentrated Manhattan Project-era wastes; the geographical distribution of the exceedances are consistent with water and radon gas releases from a landfill and related sites used to store and dispose of legacy uranium wastes; and offsite soil and house dust samples proximal to the landfill showed distinctive secular disequilibrium among uranium and its progeny indicative of uranium ore processing wastes. 

The secular disequilibrium of uranium progeny in the environment provides an important method for distinguishing natural uranium from industrial uranium wastes. In this study, the detection of unsupported 210Pb beyond expected atmospheric deposition rates is examined as a possible indicator of excessive radon emissions from buried uranium and radium containing wastes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hazardous Waste Escapes in Flood

The Bridgeton and Westlake Landfills have flooded and the toxins are escaping, a perfect example of places that natural Phytoremediation Projects can be used in wet areas

Local StLouis Resident and Clean Energy Pioneer of the Set The Pace Energy Funding Byron Delear was on the scene to document the contaminated water overflowing into the public sewers.

Video today from the radioactive West Lake Landfill. It is obvious that this is West Lake because of the radioactive signs on the fence. Clearly, water is running off of the landfill, which studies from the NRC say contains uranium, thorium, and radium on or near the surface, and into drainage troughs and sewers. Like Bill Otto said yesterday, there is absolutely no way anyone should ever take seriously any claims made by the EPA, DOE, or Republic Services that radioactive material is not moving off site. Anyone with any common sense or background in environmental sciences has known this to be true, but now here's video evidence of one mode of transport in real time.

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Scotts Contracting International Atomic Agency: Treatment of liquid effluent
from uranium mines and mills

This is from the intro paragraph: "Don't let it into the Food Chain"

Treatment and control of liquid effluents are required throughout the uranium production and reclamation cycle. Effluents generated during uranium mining and processing contain radioactive and non-radioactive elements and compounds that, if not properly contained, can contaminate drinking water resources or enter the food chain, potentially harming the environment and endangering the health and well being of human populations. Accordingly, regulatory standards have been established that set maximum levels of contaminants that can be released to the environment. The objective of effluent treatment and control is to ensure that these limits are met so that uranium mining operations and reclamation sites do not endanger
surrounding populations.

So I dug out some Phytoremediation Research Articles

Clean Up the Environment. I Raskin, ed. Wiley Interscience, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York, NY

  • As in the case of treating heavy metals, phytoremediation has been proven to be most effective and at a more advanced stage of development for treating readily available contaminants and therefore to treat wastewater, surface water and groundwater contamination, including the hydraulic control of tritiated groundwater. 
Soil-adsorbed radionuclides have been more difficult to treat, and success in soil treatment at this stage depends on the development of specific amendments and treatments that can increase the rate of transfer of the radionuclide into plant-available forms, without further dispersing radionuclides into the environment.


Metal hyperaccumulation in plants - Biodiversity prospecting for phytoremediation technology

Majeti Narasimha Vara Prasad, Helena Maria de Oliveira Freitas

Full Text


The importance of biodiversity (below and above ground) is increasingly considered for the cleanup of the metal contaminated and polluted ecosystems. This subject is emerging as a cutting edge area of research gaining commercial significance in the contemporary field of environmental biotechnology. Several microbes, including mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal fungi, agricultural and vegetable crops, ornamentals, and wild metal hyperaccumulating plants are being tested both in lab and field conditions for decontaminating the metalliferous substrates in the environment. As on todate about 400 plants that hyperaccumulate metals are reported. The families dominating these members are Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cyperaceae, Cunouniaceae, Fabaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lamiaceae, Poaceae, Violaceae, and Euphobiaceae. Brassicaceae had the largest number of taxa viz. 11 genera and 87 species. Different genera of Brassicaceae are known to accumulate metals. Ni hyperaccumulation is reported in 7 genera and 72 species and Zn in 3 genera and 20 species. Thlaspi species are known to hyperaccumulate more than one metal i.eT. caerulescence = Cd, Ni. Pb, and Zn; T. goesingense = Ni and Zn and T. ochroleucum = Ni and Zn and T. rotundifolium = Ni, Pb and Zn. Plants that hyperaccumulate metals have tremendous potential for application in remediation of metals in the environment. Significant progress in phytoremediation has been made with metals and radionuclides. This process involves rising of plants hydroponically and transplanting them into metal-polluted waters where plants absorb and concentrate the metals in their roots and shoots. As they become saturated with the metal contaminants, roots or whole plants are harvested for disposal. Most researchers believe that plants for phytoremediation should accumulate metals only in the roots. Several aquatic species have the ability to remove heavy metals from water, viz., water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes(Mart.) Solms); pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata L.) and duckweed (Lemna minor L.). The roots of Indian mustard are effective in the removal of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn and sunflower removes Pb, U, 137Cs, and 90Sr from hydroponic solutions. Aquatic plants in freshwater, marine and estuarine systems act as receptacle for several metals. Hyperaccumulators accumulate appreciable quantities of metal in their tissue regardless of the concentration of metal in the soil, as long as the metal in question is present. The phytoextraction process involves the use of plants to facilitate the removal of metal contaminants from a soil matrix. In practice, metal-accumulating plants are seeded or transplanted into metal-polluted soil and are cultivated using established agricultural practices. If metal availability in the soil is not adequate for sufficient plant uptake, chelates or acidifying agents would be applied to liberate them into the soil solution. Use of soil amendments such as synthetics (ammonium thiocyanate) and natural zeolites have yielded promising results. Synthetic cross-linked polyacrylates, hydrogels have protected plant roots from heavy metals toxicity and prevented the entry of toxic metals into roots. After sufficient plant growth and metal accumulation, the above-ground portions of the plant are harvested and removed, resulting the permanent removal of metals from the site. Soil metals should also be bioavailable, or subject to absorption by plant roots. Chemicals that are suggested for this purpose include various acidifying agents, fertilizer salts and chelating materials. The retention of metals to soil organic matter is also weaker at low pH, resulting in more available metal in the soil solution for root absorption. It is suggested that the phytoextraction process is enhanced when metal availability to plant roots is facilitated through the addition of acidifying agents to the soil. Chelates are used to enhance the phytoextraction of a number of metal contaminants including Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn Researchers initially applied hyperaccumulators to clean metal polluted soils. Several researchers have screened fast-growing, high-biomass-accumulating plants, including agronomic crops, for their ability to tolerate and accumulate metals in their shoots. Genes responsible for metal hyperaccumulation in plant tissues have been identified and cloned. Glutathione and organic acids metabolism plays a key role in metal tolerance in plants. Glutathione is ubiquitous component cells from bacteria to plants and animals. In phytoremediation of metals in the environment, organic acids play a major role in metal tolerance. Organic acids acids form complexes with metals, a process of metal detoxification. Genetic strategies and transgenic plant and microbe production and field trials will fetch phytoremediaition field applications.The importance of biodiversity and biotechnology to remediate potentially toxic metals are discussed in this paper. Brassicaceae amenable to biotechnological improvement and phytoremediation hype are highlighted.
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) has been used to examine its capability as a renewable resource to decontaminate heavy metal polluted soils (Linger et al. 2002). Metal accumulation in different parts of the plant was studied (i.e., seeds, leaves, fibres and hurds), and the highest concentrations of all 80 examined metals (i.e., Ni, Pb, Cd) are found in the leaves.
  "Hemp shows a phytoremediation potential of 126 g Cd ha/1 vegetation per period. 
Linger P, Mu¨ssig J, Fischer H & Kobert J (2002) Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) growing on heavy metal contaminated soil: fibre quality and phytoremediation potential. Industr. Crops Protect. 16: 33–42 See Vote Hemp - Phytoremediation with Hemp

The effects of different cadmium concentrations [17 mg(Cd) kg-1(soil) and 72 mg(Cd) kg-1(soil)] on Cannabis sativa L. growth and photosynthesis were examined. Hemp roots showed a high tolerance to Cd, i.e. more than 800 mg(Cd) kg-1(d.m.) in roots had no major effect on hemp growth, whereas in leaves and stems concentrations of 50 - 100 mg(Cd) kg-1(d.m.) had a strong effect on plant viability and vitality. For control of heavy metal uptake and xylem loading in hemp roots, the soil pH plays a central role. Photosynthetic performance and regulation of light energy consumption were analysed using chlorophyll fluorescence analysis. Seasonal changes in photosynthetic performance were visible in control plants and plants growing on soil with 17 mg(Cd) kg-1(soil). Energy distribution in photosystem 2 is regulated in low and high energy phases that allow optimal use of light and protect photosystem 2 from overexcitation, respectively. Photosynthesis and energy dissipation were negatively influenced by 72 mg(Cd) kg-1(soil). Cd had detrimental effects on chlorophyll synthesis, water splitting apparatus, reaction centre, antenna and energy distribution of PS 2. Under moderate cadmium concentrations, i.e. 17 mg(Cd) kg-1(soil), hemp could preserve growth as well as the photosynthesis apparatus, and long-term acclimation to chronically Cd stress occurred. Additional key words: acclimation, chlorophyll fluorescence, phytoextraction, quenching, tolerance. 
  • Conclusion Hemp is a Cd-tolerant plant, with strong resistant roots and the capability for long-term acclimation. These characteristics endorse hemp as a key candidate for phytoextration approaches. 
  • For plant survival, the control  of cadmium transport to stems and leaves is highly critical. 
  • When Cd concentrations in leaves exceed a threshold, PS 2 is influenced in a complex manner, chlorophyll synthesis, water splitting, Calvin cycle enzymes and regulation of energy distribution of PS 2 are effected. 

Phytoremediation of heavy metals: Recent techniques Chhotu D. Jadia and M. H. Fulekar* Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Life Sciences, University of Mumbai, Santacruz (E), Mumbai - 400 098, India. Accepted 19 December, 2008

The pollution of soil and water with heavy metals is an environmental concern today. Metals and other inorganic contaminants are among the most prevalent forms of contamination found at waste sites, and their remediation in soils and sediments are among the most technically difficult. The high cost of existing cleanup technologies led to the search for new cleanup strategies that have the potential to be low-cost, low-impact, visually benign, and environmentally sound. Phytoremediation is a new cleanup concept that involves the use of plants to clean or stabilize contaminated environments. Phytoremediation is a potential remediation strategy that can be used to decontaminate soils contaminated with inorganic pollutants. Research related to this relatively new technology needs to be promoted and emphasized and expanded in developing countries since it is low cost. In situ, solar driven technology makes use of vascular plants to accumulate and translocate metals from roots to shoots. Harvesting the plant shoots can permanently remove these contaminants from the soil. Phytoremediation does not have the destructive impact on soil fertility and structure that some more vigorous conventional technologies have such as acid extraction and soil washing. This technology can be applied “in situ” to remediate shallow soil, ground water and surface water bodies. Also, phytoremediation has been perceived to be a more environmentally-friendly “green” and lowtech alternative to more active and intrusive remedial methods.


Phytomining: Plant biomass containing accumulated heavy metals can be combusted to get energy and the remaining ash is considered as ‘‘bio-ore’’. 

This bio-ore can be processed for the recovery 

An advantage of phytomining is the sale of energy from combustion of the biomass (Anderson et al., 1999). According to a field experiment conducted by Meers et al. (2010), cultivation of energy maize in the Campine region in Belgium and the Netherlands could result in the generation of 30000–42 000 kWhel+th of renewable energy per hectare. By assuming the substitution of coal powered power plant, this would imply a cut of up to 21 tons ha1 y1 CO2. Processing bio-ores contributes less SOx emissions to the atmosphere because of their low sulfur contents

Thus phytomining is an environment- and ecofriendly option as compared to the conventional extraction methods.

 However, the commercial viability of phytomining depends on many factors like the efficiency of phytoextraction and current market value of the processed metals. Phytomining has been commercially used for Ni and it is believed that it is less expensive than the conventional extraction methods. Using Alyssum murale and Alyssum corsicum, one can grow biomass containing 400 kg Ni ha1 with production costs of $250–500 ha1 . Considering Ni price of $40 kg1 (in 2006, Ni metal was trading on the London Metal Exchange at more than $40 kg1 ), Ni phytomining has become a highly profitable agricultural technology (crop value = $16 000 ha1 ) for Ni-contaminated or mineralized soils (Chaney et al., 2007). The enforcement of more strict legislation for limiting environmental pollution would make bio-based mining more attractive (Siddiqui et al., 2009).

Phytoremediation Bridgeton Landfill Radio Interview Lonnie Clark

I was honored to share the Phytoremediation project with the listeners of The Age of Fission with Lonnie Clark.

This was my first every Radio Interview I was a little nervous, thankfully Ms Clark made the interview easy-peasy who mentioned all the information that I have been submitting to Republic Services, EPA Superfund, MO Government Officials, and anyone else who could lend the people being affected by the nuclear radiation of the Bridgeton and Westlake Landfills.

Lonnie Clark
December 31 at 10:23am
I am looking for people who are interested in sharing your stories, your information, or whatever else you believe is pertinent on my radio show, The Age of Fission on
I am highlighting the plight of the people of St. Louis every Monday on my radio show from 8 am - 9 am pst(that is 10 am - 11 am your time). My idea is to interview average citizens and the activists from your community so that we can get the word out about the harm that is being done to the residents living near Coldwater Creek and the West Lake Landfill.
Please call me (and yes, even this holiday weekend, the only time I will be unavailable will be on Friday after3pm (your time). Today, Sat, Sun, plesae give me a call or Skype or PM on FB.
My info:
Lonnie Clark
The Age of Fission Radio Show
Skype: lonnie.clark7
UCY.TV :: Age of Fission

US Map Nuclear Radiation Hotspots

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