Cleanup at nuclear weapons plant could cost $3 billion
Department of Energy report states that the cleanup of mercury contamination at a nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge could cost between $1 billion to $3 billion.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the report outlines the technology plans for mercury cleanup at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, which used mercury during the Cold War to develop hydrogen bombs.
The DOE says that mercury seeped into soils and leaked into local waterways. It also noted that mercury has the potential to mobilize during efforts to deactivate and decommission the plant’s old buildings. Another concern is the presence of methylmercury, the most toxic form of the metal, in a nearby creek.
The DOE wants to locate a research laboratory near the creek to conduct field studies on mercury.