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Contamination concerns raised over upcoming demolition at West Valley Demonstration Project

Experts and activists contend plans to demolish the most radioactive building don't provide enough safeguards.

WEST VALLEY, N.Y. — Contractors are in the homestretch of clearing the West Valley Demonstration Project of buildings. 

Fifty-one of 55 structures have been taken down, and the most contaminated of them all — the Main Plant Processing Building — is scheduled for demolition this fall.

How hot are its five stories of reinforced concrete? A trio of activists said it “could be one of the most radioactive buildings in the country.”

The demolition might be welcome news, but the manner in which contractors plan to bring the building down is causing concern, even alarm, in some quarters.

Plans call for an open-air demolition of the building. Some experts and local activists want it “tented.” That is, enclosed by a temporary cover to reduce the amount of radioactive dust and debris that can escape into the environment.

“You’re dealing with a significant quantity of dangerous material which is dangerous in microscopic quantities,” said Robert Alvarez, a senior advisor to the Department of Energy in 1990s, told Investigative Post 

For more on this story, please visit the Investigative Post website.