Fernald-Radioactive Cleanup

Contractor says it is ready to go, government says not yet

The federal government says it isn't ready to start removing radioactive wastes from concrete silos near Cincinnati for truck shipments to Nevada for disposal. The contractor handling the nearly one million-dollar-a-day cleanup of radioactive wastes at the Fernald site says it's ready to start removing the wastes from one of three silos. But the Energy Department is facing the prospect of lawsuits by Nevada and Ohio over the project. Department spokesman Gary Stegner said today the government isn't ready to allow the silo cleanup to begin until an agreement can be reached for the destination of the waste. The Energy Department wants to send the waste to its Nevada test site, 65 miles north of Las Vegas. But, Nevada is threatening a lawsuit to block the shipments. Ohio is threatening a lawsuit if the silo wastes are temporarily stored at Fernald.