Radio Active Hazard Affecting Stanislaus River, National Forest.

Oye. Look at what’s been found in my own backyard.

Union Democrat: The U.S. Forest Service has re-leased a plan for fixing an abandoned uranium mine near Kennedy Meadows that is leaking radioactive material into a nearby creek.

The plans, released Friday, call for putting radioactive dirt and rock back into the pit from which it was hauled, the former Juniper Uranium Mine.

While the mine was active, it produced about 500 tons of uranium ore, which was shipped to Utah for processing. E.H. Valk, of Wisconsin, ran the mine starting in 1956 and Garn L. Moody, of Utah, took it over in 1963.

In 1986, the U.S. Forest Service took over the mine and it was deemed a potential hazard. Access to the mine site was blocked in June 2003 after tests showed the site was releasing harmful amounts of radiation.

The mine’s hottest spot releases about 11 millirems per hour. A millirem is the measurement used for calculating levels of radiation. An average chest X-ray emits 10 millirems per hour.

My favorite part is this little part where they try to play down the fact that the radioactive material is leaching into a local river that is now the main water source for 1/2 million homes:

Also, about a quarter-mile of Red Rock Creek, which feeds into the south fork of the Stanislaus River, has been contaminated by the uranium. The contaminated sediment will be removed and put in the mine before the mine is filled in.

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