Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "radioactive waste" ...

  • Dallas' Evil Genius

    In recent years, Texas has shifted responsibility for the disposition of radioactive waste from state agencies to a private entity, Waste Control Specialists (WCS), owned by billionaire Harold Simmons, a major Republican donor.
  • Failures in the Golden State

    The Department of Toxic Substances Control oversees or has some part in regulating everything from nail polish ingredients to oil refineries, radioactive waste to metal recycling in California. At the heart of our series is the story of a department that’s divided, dysfunctional, and ineffective in fulfilling its mission to protect public health and the environment of the Golden State. We sifted through hundreds of pages of reports, memos, reviews, manifests and legal claims. We also analyzed thousands of records in the department’s hazardous waste tracking system to find out that more than 40% of the hazardous waste manifests in the DTSC’s database contain inaccurate information or are missing key details. Our reporting has held leaders accountable at the DTSC and compelled state lawmakers to call for an investigation of the department, including a legislative hearing this month (January 2014). Through a series of public records requests, we found out some of the department’s top leaders were investing in companies the DTSC oversees. Our reporting into the potential financial conflicts of interest prompted an investigation into deputy director Odette Madriago by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Ms. Madriago resigned from her position six weeks after our report aired. The FPPC investigation remains ongoing.
  • Radioactive Waste Leaking into Ground Water

    The Asbury Park Press found that millions of gallons of radioactive water have leaked from nuclear power plants in the U.S. since the 1970s, threatening water supplies in New Jersey and other states. But the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has never fined a violator. The Press also found that major leaks have increased in recent years, nearly all nuclear power plants have leaked radioactive titrium, most plants hvae had more than one titrium leak, and esseentially all plants have leaked or spilled radioactive material.
  • Radioactive Dumping

    "Tennessee, for nearly 20 years, had been allowing low level radioactive waste to be disposed of in 5 ordinary trash landfills, strategically located throughout the state without public knowledge, with out a public hearing and in violation of NRC regulations."
  • What the atomic age left behind

    This series described a 10.5-million-ton pile of nuclear waste polluting the Colorado River. The waste was left over from decades of milling uranium ore, first for atomic weapons and later for nuclear fuel. For decades, the pile of toxic and radioactive waste leaked into the river, which provides the drinking water for more than 20 million people in three western states. It was the largest of the dozens of piles of tailings and the only one that hadn't been moved away from major rivers in the United States. And for a while, it appeared it would stay put, contaminating the river for centuries.
  • Making White Elephants Fly

    The American Prospect reports that "aging nuclear power plants are going on the auction block -- with yet another big dose of consumer subsidy." The story sheds light on the privatization of nuclear plants at "clearance prices" in the era of energy deregulation. Enormous capital costs have made nuclear power expensive and uncompetitive.
  • Fateful Harvest: The True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry, and a Toxic Secret

    Wilson's book tells how "toxic heavy metals, dioxins and radioactive wastes are being recycled as fertilizer on farms, yards and gardens nationwide." The author profiles a small farming town - Quincy, Washington - and depicts the local government and community controversial reactions to the use of the unsafe fertilizer. The main finding is that "some large, polluting industries saved millions of dollars in hazardous-waste disposal costs through the fertilizer loophole, while the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) looked the other way."
  • Hot asphalt

    Los Angeles Times Magazine looks at the potential health hazards that residents of Shoshone, California, may face, if 127 California becomes the state's busiest transportation route for nuclear radioactive waste. The story reveals the concerns of local environmentalists that radioactive waste shippers are inevitably going to be in accidents. The reporter also cites property owners, who find that the converting the highway into a waste tract will have bad effect on local businesses.
  • Nuclear Waste Is Good for You

    The Texas Observer looks at a paradoxical effort of the state of Texas to sell a nuclear dump to the public school students of Sierra Blanca. The story details how the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority has led students on tours of nuclear plants and dumps in order to convince them that "a nuclear waste dump in their town will be safe and beneficial." The report points to financial benefits received by various entities in Sierra Blanca as part of the promotional process for the projected waste dumpsite.
  • The Right to Answers

    The Riverfront Times reports on the contaminants found in Weldon Springs. Uranium deposits left from the 1940's have been linked to sicknesses in the area and an increasing number of infant deaths. The damage to this area started in 1941, when chemists were trying to find ways to refine uranium. "The radioactive waste eventually wound up at the Weldon Springs site." The Department of Energy has made efforts to clean up the area over the last twenty years, but they say it is impossible to pump the ground water and remove the toxins. "Instead they plan to inject chemicals to neutralize the worst. . . . The air, soil and surface water may not be perfect, but they're a damn sight cleaner than they were in '86." In addition, the article details Father Gerry Kleba and his congregation at Immaculate Conception, as they endure the deaths of more young children and unite to learn more about prevention.