Tuesday, September 20, 2016

FLORIDA: Sinkhole causes radioactive water to leak into aquifer!

   About 980 million liters of radioactive water has leaked into Florida's main underground source of drinking water, officials in the US state say.
   The leak occurred after a huge sinkhole opened up under a phosphate fertilizer plant near Tampa, damaging the stack where waste water was stored.
   The water contained phosphogypsum, a slightly radioactive by-product from the production of fertilizer.

   The phosphate company Mosaic said the leak posed no risk to the public.

   It added the contaminated water had not reached private supplies and the firm was recovering it using pumps.

  "Groundwater moves very slowly," senior Mosaic official David Jellerson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

   However, Jacki Lopez, Florida director of the Center for Biological Diversity, told Reuters news agency: "It's hard to trust them when they say 'Don't worry,' when they've been keeping it secret for three weeks."

   The sinkhole - about 45ft (14m) in diameter - at Mosaic's New Wales facility in the town of Mulberry was discovered by a company worker on 27 August.

   The sinkhole later caused the waste pond to drain, and the contaminated water has now seeped into the aquifer.

   Aquifers are massive underground systems of porous rocks that hold water.


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