To the Editor:
Community members have good reason to distrust the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in regard to the hauling of Bevatron debris through Berkeley streets to Richmond and Livermore landfills or the Nevada Test Site.
If dangerous radioisotopes were not used, as lab officials say, why did the lab install 20-foot-thick concrete shields in the Bevatron to protect lab employees? What kind of radioactivity were induced in these concrete shields and their metal reinforcements? If the lab is so sure the debris is nonradioactive why do landfill operators have to sign that they will not recycle Bevatron metals? An environmental impact review is called for to reveal this information.
Is it a coincidence that tritium (low-level radiation) was found at the Amito Reservoir, 1.5 miles from the lab’s tritium facility, above the Claremont Hotel in census tract 4001 (includes top of Panoramic Hill) and that the number of breast cancer cases in that census tract from 1988 to 1990 was 18 cases, more than twice the expected rate in the Bay Area? Yet the lab and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tell us those at the Lawrence Hall of Science only 360 feet (110 meters) away from the tritium stack, not to be concerned.
The community needs comprehensive data on the Bevatron debris so an informed decision can be made regarding the advisability of hauling the waste on our streets and highways.
Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste