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“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast

# 14 Mainstreaming Nuclear Waste

Nuclear Information and Resource Service, May 14, 2007
Title: “Nuclear Waste in Landfills”
Author: Diane D’Arrigo

Environment News Service, May 14, 2007
Title: “US Allows Radioactive Materials in Ordinary Landfills”
Author: Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service, February 4, 2008
Title: “US Company Seeks Permit to Import Nuclear Waste”
Author: Sunny Lewis

Student Researchers: Derek Harms and Cedric Therene

Faculty Evaluator: Noel Byrne, PhD

Radioactive materials from nuclear weapons production sites are being dumped into regular landfills, and are available for recycling and resale. The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) has tracked the Department of Energy’s (DOE) release of radioactive scrap, concrete, equipment, asphalt, chemicals, soil, and more, to unaware and unprepared recipients such as landfills, commercial businesses, and recreation areas. Under the current system, the DOE releases contaminated materials directly, sells them at auctions or through exchanges, or sends the materials to processors who can release them from radioactive controls. The recycling of these materials—for reuse in the production of everyday household and personal items such as zippers, toys, furniture, and automobiles, or to build roads, schools, and playgrounds—is increasingly common.

The NIRS report, “Out of Control on Purpose: DOE’s Dispersal of Radioactive Waste into Landfills and Consumer Products,” tracks the laws, methods, and justifications used by the DOE to expedite the mandatory cleanup of the environmental legacy being created by the nation’s nuclear weapons program and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. One of the largest and most technically complex environmental cleanup programs in the world, the effort includes cleanup of 114 sites across the country to be completed by the end of 2008.

The DOE has unilaterally chosen allowable radioactive contamination and public exposure levels to facilitate “clean-up” of these sites. Pressure is increasing to allow clearing radioactivity from control in order to legalize the dispensing and disbursing of nuclear waste.

In 2000, the Secretary of Energy banned the commercial recycling of potentially radioactive metal. However, the ban does not apply to the disposal, reuse, or recycling of metal equipment, components, and pipes, or of other materials.

Seven sites of importance were investigated for the NIRS report: Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Rocky Flats, Colorado; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Mound and Fernald, Ohio; West Valley, New York; and Paducah, Kentucky. Of these, Tennessee is said to be the main funnel that pours nuclear weapon and power waste from around the country into landfills and recycling facilities without public knowledge. “People around regular trash landfills will be shocked to learn that radioactive contamination from nuclear weapons production is ending up there, either directly released by DOE or via brokers and processors,” says author Diane D’Arrigo, NIRS’s Radioactive Waste Project director.

EnergySolutions, the company that operates the only private low-level radioactive waste disposal business in the US, disposes of more than 90 percent of the low-level radioactive waste generated in the US. It operates waste processing and disposition facilities in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Utah. The company also operates low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities, vaults, and landfills on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee.

Amazingly, as the DOE struggles through desperate and irresponsible measures to “disappear” this nation’s nuclear waste by the end of 2008, EnergySolutions has applied for a license in Tennessee to process nuclear waste from Italy.

This application marks the first time in the history of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that a company has asked to dispose of large amounts of foreign-generated low-level radioactive waste in the United States.

In February 2008, Bart Gordon, the Tennessee Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Science and Technology, asked the Northwest Interstate Compact of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management to withhold licensing that he says would put the US on a path to becoming “the world’s nuclear garbage waste dump.”

In an understatement, Gordon argued, “The US already faces capacity issues and other challenges in treating and disposing of radioactive waste produced domestically. We should be working on solving this problem at home before taking dangerous waste from around the world.”


The nuclear power and weapons industry and the government agencies that promote, oversee, and regulate nuclear activities are trying to save money by allowing large amounts of man-made, radioactively contaminated materials and property to be redefined as not radioactive. They don’t want to pay to try to isolate nuclear waste, including metal, concrete, asphalt, plastic, soil, equipment, and buildings, so they have developed ways to send the waste to regular landfills or even into commercial recycling that could end up in daily-use items the public makes contact with regularly.

This story is increasingly important as old nuclear weapons sites and power reactors close and the companies seek relief from responsibility and liability for the long-lasting nuclear waste they generated. It is especially dangerous as new nuclear power and weapons facilities are proposed, which will dramatically increase the amount of waste generated that could get into the public realm.

Although the US federal agencies have not generally allowed nuclear waste to be released from controls, they are still working on it. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have proposed rules in the wings, likely to emerge at any time. NRC is encouraging case by case releases of nuclear waste. The DOE has procedures to allow some radioactive waste out of controls but claims to be preventing radioactive metal from getting into the commercial metal market. A programmatic environmental review could overturn that prohibition, and internally DOE has many loopholes to let nuclear wastes out.

The story wasn’t covered much in the mainstream news. One notable exception was the investigative team led by Demetria Kalodimos on Channel 4 WSMV, Nashville’s NBC affiliate, who reported on the story and did over twenty follow-ups in the Nashville area (see for links). Public awareness led to legislative attention and a commitment by the landfill operator who was taking nuclear waste to stop taking it. Kalodimos received three journalism awards for reporting and following up on the story herself.

The community is not satisfied with this voluntary commitment, because the Tennessee State Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) still allows nuclear waste to be released from controls. TDEC licenses companies to import nuclear waste from around the country and world for “processing,” including incineration and metal melting and reuse.

The report identified TDEC and Tennessee as leaders in releasing nuclear waste out of control.

The situation has worsened since last year. One of the processors is proposing to import a huge portion of Italy’s nuclear power waste to burn, process, melt and dump in the US (Tennessee and Utah).

Action against this can be taken by contacting your state governors to oppose it and by supporting federal legislation that would prohibit the US from importing foreign nuclear waste.

Citizens can also contact their state officials to find out if their state is allowing nuclear waste into the solid waste streams in their communities.

Contact for more information.

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