The Latest: Two energy giants forced to clean up uranium mess

Kerr-McGee and Anadarko to put billions into detoxing.


Few companies have done more to poison the West than Kerr-McGee, the energy producer that once operated 50 uranium mines on the Navajo Nation – sickening thousands of miners and residents with lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and other illnesses related to radiation. In 1997, California water district officials discovered that a Kerr-McGee plant in Nevada was also leaking perchlorate into Lake Mead and the Colorado River ("Cold War toxin seeps into Western water," HCN, 4/28/03).

At last, the company is being forced to make amends. On April 3, the Justice Department reached a $5.1 billion settlement with Anadarko Petroleum, the Texas oil giant that acquired Kerr-McGee in 2006 – the largest environmental contamination settlement in U.S. history. Though less than the $20 billion or so the government sought, the funds will help: $1 billion will clean up abandoned uranium mines around the Navajo Nation, and another $1.1 billion will go toward detoxing the Lake Mead site.

colm mckeon
colm mckeon says:
Apr 28, 2014 08:17 AM
You do realize perchlorate is naturally occurring and caused almost nonexistent thyroid tumors is animals exposed to exetrmely large doses during tests.
colm mckeon
colm mckeon says:
Apr 28, 2014 08:18 AM
Eric Neilsen
Eric Neilsen says:
May 04, 2014 04:56 PM
"Natural source of perchlorate can be found in the nitrate deposit in Atacama Desert in northern Chile, but most of the detected perchlorate originates from disinfectants, bleaching agents, herbicides, and mostly from rocket propellants.[10] Perchlorate is the breakdown product between perchloric acid and its salt such as magnesium, sodium, potassium and ammonium perchlorate. Except for potassium perchlorate, perchlorate salts are soluble in water and dissociate into the perchlorate anion and the cation from the salt. Because perchlorate salts are readily soluble in both aqueous and non-aqueous solutions, when these salts are solvated, especially ammonium perchlorate, can undergo redox reactions and release gaseous products and release gaseous products and contaminate water and ground.[10] In addition, perchlorate is of concern because of uncertainties about toxicity and health effects at low levels in drinking water, impact on ecosystems, and indirect exposure pathways for humans due to accumulation in vegetables.[4]"..... So since this isn't in Chile we can say it is probably NOT naturally occurring. And It came from industry. Colm do you care to be right or just "right"?