Jharkhand to assess impact of radioactive waste spillover

July 8th, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, July 8 (IANS) Jharkhand will soon send a team of experts to villages located near the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) site in Jamshedpur to assess possible effects of radiation after reports of uranium waste spilling into village water bodies. “We will send a team to assess radiation that may have taken place after flash floods in the state,” Chief Minister Madhu Koda told reporters here Tuesday.

During flash floods last month, radioactive uranium waste dumped into a tailing pond of UCIL in Jadugoda of Jamshedpur reportedly spilled over into nearby village ponds, wells and fields, and destroyed crops as well.

While UCIL authorities admit that radioactive waste is flowing into villages, they maintain that it would not pose any health threats to villagers.

“We are monitoring the situation. Our scientists are taking samples from villages,” P.V. Dubey, UCIL spokesperson had told IANS last month.

“There will be no negative impact on human beings. The waste has been neutralised by the large amount of water,” he added.

Residents of nearby villages have stopped using water from their ponds and wells, fearing health problems. Villagers have also complained that the nuclear waste had destroyed a large amount of crops.

“The waste that spilled from the tailing pond has destroyed our crops. If this continues, there might not be any crops in the coming years,” said Kannhu Murmu of Tilaitand village.

Some experts also feel that the radioactive waste would also have a harmful impact on the soil.

“The waste will get mixed with soil and in the long run would pose health-related problems to both human beings and animals,” said Nitish Priyadarshi, a geologist here.

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