Miner Editorial | When it comes to shipping radioactive materials, somebody needs to know
It has been happening for months. It has been happening in our backyards. On our roads. In proximity to our schools.
The federal government hasn’t told anyone they are doing this either.
Radioactive materials, specifically plutonium, have come into proximity of our children as the government has shipped it through Kingman on the way to Nevada.
Plutonium is a radioactive, silver metal that can be used to create or destroy. It is a radiological hazard and must be handled with specialized equipment and precautions. Animal studies have found that a few milligrams of plutonium per kilogram of tissue are lethal.
The Kingman Daily Miner editorial board isn’t worried about this element exploding as it is transported. We are worried that no one was told that there was a material being shipped through our town that can kill everything it comes in contact with.
That people have to have specialized training and handling equipment to get near it.
That a miniscule amount is toxic and lethal.
If something were to ever happen to these shipments, Kingman would be unable to properly respond. Especially when no one, not the mayor nor the police chief nor the fire chief, knows that the shipment is coming through the area.
There would be no way to respond to an accident with plutonium. The federal government would likely not be forthcoming when it comes to containing the problem, and if none of our safety officials know there is plutonium in the mix, they could easily come into contact with these radioactive materials.
The Daily Miner editorial board understands that there is a national security risk to telling others these shipments are happening. That the more people who know about something, the easier it is for someone who is looking to cause harm to find that information.
However, these are our homes that are at risk.
It is our water, our children, our health that is being put at risk, and we have a right to know. The federal government should never hide that from us.
We, as citizens, have a right to know what is putting us in danger.