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Nuclear Waste Cleanup a Few Years Off, Corps Says

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Workers found this piece of ordinance at Mallinckrodt's St. Louis Downtown Site during its excavation. It was turned over to the bomb squad for disposal. (Corps of Enginners photo.)

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – The cleanup of radioactive waste sites in St. Louis city and county continues, but is still several years away from completion.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a five-year review Tuesday of the agency's efforts to remove contamination from the nation's early atomic weapons program.

Project manager Jackie Mattingly says they were not surprised to find that they still have work to do, both at the site near downtown and the locations in North County.

"This is sort of a unique five year review in that there are still ongoing response actions being conducted at all of these sites," Mattingly said. "We were mandated by law to go ahead and conduct this review because it's been five years since the response action was undertaken."

Mattingly says the federal government budgets $50 million per year for the radioactive cleanup in the St. Louis area. They hope to finish by 2011.

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