Over fifty years ago the federal government conducted major nuclear weapons testing 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Each detonation sent deposits of toxic radioactivity into the air, some even seeping into the land. Such flow has caused massive groundwater contamination. Since the last test cycle of the Plowshare program in 1991, the Nevada National Security Site has been storing nuclear warheads under its facility for more than twenty years. Due to the population boom here in Nevada and our current water crisis, there has been many interest in accessing how much damage the tests actually did to the groundwater and aquifers at the site. The ill manner in which the government has shown to clean up the test site. Not only did the government not conduct studies about the devastating effect of “the downwinders” but they also did not take in account of toxic waste absorbing into rocks and sediments.
Such storage had resulted in “toxic radioactivity released in to the aquifers” (Vartabedian), which many Nevada’s can call solely their only water supplies. Federal government has refused to take this predicament and place it on high importance. To the federal government, the clean up process is at the bottom of their national clean up list. Because Nevada legislators have not urged for compensation or replacement water, the public officials have not considered taking any action. The Department of Energy refuses act upon its own research findings. Whether or not a lot of people know about the urgency of cleaning up Nevada’s aquifers, there are many problems with radioactivity in the groundwater that will effect many Nevadans. There are growing concerns and resolutions to eradicate this pressing issue.
Though many contractors have researched the effects of the contamination, no one has stepped up to offer an solution. Studies have shown that in the recent years radioactive particles are traveling in the water rapidly beneath the test site. Nye County permanently have uninhabitable land due to contamination. In 2007 Nye County created the Nye County Water District Board to conduct its own research (Whaley). It was founded that there were enough rights to the water flowing under the site to provide every Nevadan with water. With such evidence it is easy to see why a clean up needs to take place. With “50% of Nevada controlled by the Government” it is hard to get productive land to jump start Nevada economy (Vartabedian). Allowing Nevada to exercise eminent domain over federal land for certain renewable energy projects could save our budget and produce much needed revenue.
This proposal is valuable for the simple fact that we do not know how long it will take for the water to reach Southern Nevada or the Oasis Valley. The problem is no one is constructing a way to figure out when the water to reach these populated areas, but only that it is indeed tainted. Many skeptics suggest that it is...