North Las Vegas, Nevada - New jobs are going to be created over the next three years to clean up a Nevada test site. The announcement was made by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
The cleanup is part of $6 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is designed to focus on environmental cleanup work. The initiative aims to create thousands of jobs across 12 states.
The program awarded $44 million to the Nevada Test Site. The funding will be allocated to identify waste characteristics within the soil at three corrective action sites. In addition, workers will install groundwater monitoring wells to provide additional data on groundwater contamination.
Three large facilities and two smaller structures will also be removed.
The facilities that will be demolished include an engine maintenance assembly facility in Area 25, the Pluto Disassembly Facility, the Reactor Maintenance Assembly and the Disassembly Facility and two ancillary structures used in Test Cell C.
Those areas are filled with contaminants, which include asbestos, lead, mercury, cadmium, oil, PCBs, batteries, light bulbs and low-level radioactive waste.
These toxic items can cause serious illnesses such as cancer, and can even lead to death.
If disturbed or damaged, asbestos can break down, potentially becoming airborne. Airborne asbestos can work into the soft tissues of the lungs, heart or the abdomen. When inhaled, asbestos can cause an array of illnesses, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.