Kos: “The Environmental Legacy of the Cold War: Progress, Problems, and the Big Picture”

Page van der Linden has written a short piece for Daily Kos about one very real aspect of the Cold War that the general public has forgotten. It’s not what to do with all the nuclear bombs that were built, but the remains of the manufacturing process. Tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste is stored at the huge Hanford plutonium processing facility, and that waste has been slowly leaking into the groundwater in Washington state.

Ms. van der Linden has some good news, though: despite the sheer scale and the daunting technical and safety complexity of the project, the cleanup has begun to accelerate. Very encouraging.

We’ll be piecing together the history of the Cold War for at least the next hundred years. Some topics such as the Indian Ocean base at Diego García; the fate of the U.S.S. Scorpion (did the Soviets sink it?) and the Soviet submarine K-129 (did it try to nuke Honolulu or Pearl Harbor?); and the Extremely Low Frequency Transmitter (ELF) site near Clam Lake, Wisconsin. Heck, we’ll probably be picking up pieces of the story for the next few hundred years, and some just won’t be known.

President Obama has been doing the right thing in pursuing a new nuclear weapons reduction treaty with Russia. The less nukes, the better. They serve no good purpose, and cannot make anything in this world better. They only exist to destroy.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.