U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander on Tuesday questioned energy secretary nominee Ernest Moniz on whether the cleanup of mercury contamination in Oak Ridge would be a priority under his leadership, a press release said.
“One of the biggest cleanup problems we have from the Cold War era is mercury contamination of waterways in Oak Ridge,” said Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.
The release said Alexander also asked Moniz to support a planned water treatment facility.
Alexander was referring to about 200,000 gallons of mercury that arrived at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge during the 1950s and 1960s, when the United States was developing nuclear weapons as a defense against the Soviet Union. Alexander said it will cost billions of dollars to clean it up. [Read more…]