Nuke Waste Derived
Fertilizer (True!) Banned
By Washington State
From Danila Oder <>
Food Irradiation Project, OCA

Below is a news release drafted jointly by the Washington State Departments of Agriculture, Ecology and Health.
Contact: Ted Maxwell (360) 902-2026 WSDA Mike Louisell (360) 902-1813 WSDA
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) today issued a statewide stop-sale order to Siemens Power Corporation of Richland regarding the unauthorized distribution of an unregistered, hazardous waste-derived fertilizer. The product is an ammonium hydroxide solution that is a waste material from the production of nuclear reactor fuel.
WSDA is taking this action after discovering that Siemens Power Corporation has been distributing the waste product for use as a fertilizer since 1996. The stop sale and distribution order is issued under WSDA's authority to prohibit distribution of unregistered fertilizers in the state.
"The material is not registered as a fertilizer in Washington and has not gone through our review process" says Bob Arrington, assistant director of the state Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Management Division. "This material is considered 'waste-derived' under fertilizer law and must be reviewed not only by WSDA, but by the departments of Ecology and Health.
There is some uncertainty regarding the extent of radioactive material in the product. "To the best of our knowledge, the level of uranium in the product is below the allowable release limit as established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission," said John Erickson, director of radiation protection, DOH.
"From what we have learned from DOH and Ecology, there is no known health concern related to uranium at or below that level," Arrington said. However, WSDA has reason to believe that there may be other hazardous constituents in the material, which would come to light if and when the material undergoes the review process for registration. Until that happens, the material cannot legally be distributed as a fertilizer in this state.
Under the 1998 Fertilizer Regulation Act, all waste-derived fertilizers must be reviewed by the Department of Ecology to ensure that they do not violate state restrictions on disposal of hazardous wastes. By failing to apply to the state for review of its product, Siemens bypassed that mandatory review.
"We supported the fertilizer law two years ago to make sure the public knows about these waste-derived products," said Greg Sorlie, Ecology's statewide manager for hazardous waste. "Even if there is not imminent threat, we are concerned that such a product has been sold and used without our knowledge."
Approximately 390,000 gallons of the material has already been distributed from Siemens since 1996. WSDA is currently following up on the distribution to determine where the product went. If you have purchased or are holding any of this material WSDA requests that you contact its fertilizer registration staff at 360-902-2025.
Note to editors: For technical information regarding this issue please contact John Erickson (360) 236-3210 at Department of Health and Miles Kuntz (360) 407-6748 at Department of Ecology.
From Brasscheck <
20 years ago or so, I wrote away for information about being an intern at an "agricultural research center" in Oklahoma.
When I got the information, I almost fell out of my chair. The deal was they were diluting nuclear waste with fertilizer for free distribution to farmers. Kerr-McGee was the beneficiary of this contribution to agricultural science.
I never followed up on this. Maybe someone out there knows if that facility in eastern Oklahoma is still operating and if they are still in the "agricultural research" business.
"He who knows best knows how little he knows."
- Thomas Jefferson

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