The public can participate via teleconference at a meeting between U.S. Army officials and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff about the Army’s plans for dealing with, or not dealing with, depleted uranium shells left at U.S. Army firing ranges at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island’s Saddle area and at Schofield Barracks on O`ahu. But you’ll have to get up early.
The meeting will take place in Rockville, Maryland, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST (3 a.m.-10 a.m. HST) on March 24. On the agenda is the Army’s proposed “pre-license amendment application submission” for a permit after the fact to have DU at the sites; participants will “discuss various topics related to the Army’s approach to add the remaining sites containing depleted uranium from the Davy Crockett munitions to Source Materials License No. SUC-1593…. The NRC staff understands that the Army intends to provide drafts of specific portions of its license amendment application for discussion.” The NRC says it will release “All handouts and specific portions of the Army’s draft license amendment application that the Army plans to discuss at this meeting” in a “public meeting announcement in advance of this meeting.”
The Davy Crockett was a tactical nuclear artillery piece deployed during the Cold War; it was designed to lob nuclear bombs at massed Soviet armor in the event of a war in Europe. Those nuclear shells were never fired, but to approximate their weight, practice shells of depleted uranium (DU) were used at sites such as Pohakuloa, and remnants of those shells have been found on the firing range there. Some members of the public claim to have taken elevated Geiger counter readings at sites such as Mauna Kea State Park, and suspect that dust from pulverized DU at Pohakuloa may be to blame. The Army has denied that the shells constitute any danger to the public.
Members of the public who wish to participate in the meeting via toll-free teleconference should contact Amy Snyder at
or e-mail her at email@example.com. The docket number for the meeting is 04009083.