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Hot Mess: States Struggle to Deal with Radioactive Fracking Waste



Thanks to Jie Jenny Zou and Center for Public Integrity for this comprehensive look at fracking pollution and official corruption. The lack of strong leadership protecting the people of America from fracking and dangerous/deadly gas/oil delivery infrastructure from the Obama administration is par for his pathetic course!

Typical of NY's Cuomo and his failure to act until dragged by public opinion, the pollutors and frackers were allowed to dump contaminated waste in NY with nary a peep from Cuomo & Co!
"seven New York landfills have accepted at least 460,000 tons of solid fracking waste since 2010" - and now "New York is mulling new rules. In February, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced proposed regulations requiring landfills to install radiation monitors and lower the radioactivity of disposed waste. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comments through the summer."

Cuomo is proposing radiation monitors and the DEC is "mulling" new regulations?? Well there's a bold strategy and action to end the out of state pollution of NY! No wonder "Lacking confidence in the state, several New York counties have banned fracking waste disposal".

Cuomo is also stalling and failing to shut Indian Point - a politician who betrays the people to benefit big-money as his preferred course time after time after time! We almost defeated Cuomo and his brand of corruption with candidates Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu - Zephyr is now running for office!


You are right.... Indian Point and ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN.... it takes 40 years or more to completely shut down a nuclear plant. We really do not have time to do so... before the Climate Crisis hits us full force... All the INSTABILITY in ECONOMIC SYSTEMS, POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND THE CLIMATE ITSELF.... will bring about our final breath as a species, when there is no one to man them.
They might consider slavery again, to get SOMEONE to work in those hell holes... but, what ever TPTB DO, they won't do the right thing and begin shutting them down now....


"Geologists have long known soil and rock contain naturally occurring radioactive materials that can become concentrated through activities like fracking"

How does fracking concentrate radioactive materials in waste? Fracking may bring up radioactive material from depth but if this material is the same as the bedrock at the surface, how does this "concentrate" radioactive material?

Careless dumping of fracking waste, including millions of gallons of wate water, is a serious issue; but if one lives on rock that has radioactive minerals present, the waste, unless from bedrock with a greater radioactive content, will not increase the ambient radioactivity.

And if one is worried about radioactive rock, don't live on granite or granite-derived soils and if you do, make sure that your house is well-ventilated at all times.


Fracking is a close second behind coal for the most polluting energy source we have ... if we hope to address climate change before it's too late, fracking has to go ~ renewables are the only path to our future ... that said, had no idea about radioactive waste as part of the fracking process ...


In other words, the industry is skirting their responsibility in order to maximize their profit long enough for them to suck the wells dry, get out of the business, then take their profits to the Grand Cayman Islands. Such civic minded people....


40 years to shut one down? Even if thats half right, we really are in trouble :confused: (there may be a partial pun in there).


The article said radioactive materials can become concentrated by activities "like" fracking. Some people think in situ leach mining--in which lixivants are injected in conjunction with oxidants to bring up metals like uranium or copper--is "like" fracking, and in situ recovery mining of uranium does indeed concentrate uranium. Fracking would probably not be an effective mobilizer of uranium, but chemically, it could be a mobilizer for radium--which has a lot of chemical characteristics in common with calcium.

Fracking may bring up radioactive material from depth but if this material is the same as the bedrock at the surface, how does this "concentrate" radioactive material?

By chemical reaction, fracking fluids can selectively liberate certain elements or compounds from the groundmass, Then concentration could potentially occur at the surface where the return fluid is filtered, partly recycled, and sometimes put into evaporation ponds--activities which are all routinely part of the fracking process. Radium would be of particular concern because it has several water-soluble forms and decays to radon gas, making both mobile, and potentially ingestible (radium accumulates in bones like calcium) and both undergo alpha decay with accompanying gamma emissions. Different locations, different rock formations, and different fracking fluid formulas would have varying potential for radium extraction, but it's something which should be tested for and monitored.


"The current estimate by the United Kingdom's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is that it will cost at least £100 billion to decommission the 19 existing United Kingdom nuclear sites.[7] Due to the radioactivity in the reactor structure, decommissioning takes place in stages. The plans of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for decommissioning reactors have an average 50 year time frame. The long time frame makes reliable cost estimates difficult. Cost overruns are common even for quick projects."
From Wikipedia
"Nuclear decommissioning"


Thanks for your reply. I hadn't considered leaching of bedrock by the fluids going into the ground. Remiss of me.


Doh! :frowning:


Yepper... that's right... So, if we are all going to, well not all, but maybe a very few humans, Survive the Climate Change cataclysm.... then we better get to work on decommissioning these monsters... once a few more of them melt down, we are all screwed... and any children may look like Herman Monster....
I don't mean to sound flippant, but I get like this in light of how absolutely stupid our leaders have been over the .... well, last few thousands years, really, but mostly the last 7 decades.... or so...