Linking legacies: Connecting the Cold War nuclear weapons production processes to their environmental consequences
Description: In the aftermath of the Cold War, the US has begun addressing the environmental consequences of five decades of nuclear weapons production. In support of this effort, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to describe the waste streams generated during each step in the production of nuclear weapons. Accordingly, this report responds to this mandate, and it is the Department`s first comprehensive analysis of the sources of waste and contamination generated by the production of nuclear weapons. The report also contains information on the missions and functions of nuclear weapons facilities, on the inventories of waste and materials remaining at these facilities, as well as on the extent and characteristics of contamination in and around these facilities. This analysis unites specific environmental impacts of nuclear weapons production with particular production processes. The Department used historical records to connect nuclear weapons production processes with emerging data on waste and contamination. In this way, two of the Department`s legacies--nuclear weapons manufacturing and environmental management--have become systematically linked. The goal of this report is to provide Congress, DOE program managers, non-governmental analysts, and the public with an explicit picture of the environmental results of each step in the nuclear weapons production and disposition cycle.
Date: January 1, 1997
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