Behind its idyllic, tranquil façade and illusions of peace, harmony, and vibrant wholesomeness, Concord hides its dirtiest little secret. The Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) have designated a nuclear waste dump of catastrophic proportions located at 2229 Main Street, Concord, the location of the former Nuclear Metals Incorporated, more recently known as Starmet Corporation as a nuclear superfund site.
A fully functioning, legal nuclear waste process and dump site as recent as 2001, researcher and ecologist Ed Ericson confirms this forty-six acre depleted uranium Superfund site is located adjacent to the Thoreau Day Camp and Thoreau Club and across the street from the Assabet River. Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency have determined that “The soil, more than a mile from the nuclear dump is radioactive. A 1993 epidemiological study found the town’s residents suffered higher rates of cancer than the state average.”
Thinking of sending your son or daughter to the Thoreau Day Camp, in order to give your child the chance to experience nature and participate in activities in a safe and supportive environment, better think twice or wait ten years because that is how long the Environmental Protection Agency estimates it will take to clean up the site to “acceptable” levels of radioactivity (EPA). According to the USNRC, Depleted uranium, or DU, has a half-life of nearly 840 million years, a relatively short span in geologic terms, but seemingly forever compared to the human race.
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the State of Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency have been negotiating with the failed, bankrupt corporation to begin the long tedious process of cleaning up the area and according to those agencies an agreement has been reached (USNRC). “In April 2004, the state reached an agreement with the U.S. Army to remove the more than 3000 drums of depleted uranium and other materials from within the facility. Between October 4, 2005 and February 27, 2006, Envirocare of Utah removed 3,800 barrels of low level radioactive material, and 317 tons of depleted uranium via truck to Clive, Utah.”
According to the official Town of Concord website, at a recent Annual Town Meeting the citizens of Concord overwhelmingly approved a plan to change the Concord zoning by-law to allow developers to build homes on the 46 acre Nuclear Metals/Starmet Superfund Site. Regulators have convinced the townsfolk that by cleaning up the site to a “residential standard”, they will get a “better cleanup”, a “cleaner clean”. New meetings with the concerned citizens were set up last November to announce a plan to tear down the five existing contaminated buildings left on the property. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notes that presently there is a “uranium plume flowing down gradient toward the Assabet River.”