- A fire at a US Ecology radioactive waste dump in Nye County, NV has left the EPA radiological team doing air and ground testing for radiation. No gamma radiation has been detected so far, according to Rusty Harris-Bishop, spokesman for the EPA Region 9 office.
- It is unclear how the fire — which closed 140 miles of state highway and two schools — started on Sunday. The fire was put out Monday and no injuries were reported, according to Bud Marshall, southern Nevada regional supervisor for the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
- The radioactive waste that burned had been deposited to the 80-acre site "sometime in the 30 year-period before 1992, when facility operator US Ecology stopped accepting such material," according to The Associated Press.
Radioactive waste is a concern in many parts of the United States due to potential health risks if the waste were to ever be exposed. Recently, the Michigan DEQ announced its intention to allow the US Ecology plant on Detroit's border with Hamtramck to increase hazardous waste storage from 64,000 gallons to 666,000 gallons. "These are the worst, nightmare chemicals of American industry. This should be in some isolated place; not in the middle of a city like this," said Ed McArdle of the nonprofit Sierra Club’s Southeast Michigan group, in response to the announcement.
There are also growing concerns over a fire at Missouri's Bridgeton landfill reaching the adjacent radioactive West Lake Landfill. Officials wrote up disaster plans for the town as parents prepared to take their children out of school, however the fire may not pose as much of a risk as many believe.
It has been proven by the incident in Nevada that fires at these radioactive sites can happen without warning, therefore the EPA should take time to develop up-to-date national guidelines and disaster plans that can be implemented in case of an emergency. In the meantime, Nevada officials will look at the overall stability of the waste site as part of their investigation, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.