Regulators OK plan to monitor radiation at Army training site
Federal regulators have approved a radiation monitoring plan for an Army installation on Hawaii island that previously used depleted uranium.
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HILO >> Federal regulators have approved a radiation monitoring plan for an Army installation on Hawaii island that previously used depleted uranium.
The plan approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to test sediment in the Pohakuloa Training Area could go into effect in six months, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday.
The depleted uranium — a dense radioactive metal alloy — was contained in spotting rounds used in the 1960s as part of a weapons program. The rounds didn’t explode on impact.
Training area spokesman Eric Hamilton said 140 kilograms, or about 300 pounds, of depleted uranium were used in Hawaii, but it’s not known how that amount was distributed between Pohakuloa and Oahu’s Schofield Barracks.
According to the Army’s plan, “most, if not all, of the 140 kilograms” of depleted uranium fired at Pohakuloa and Schofield remains in radiation control areas, where the spotting rounds were fired. The control areas make up 5 percent of the impact area and are still in use, Hamilton said.
The regulatory commission is accepting requests for a hearing or petition to intervene in the monitoring plan decision by April 10.
Minor quake shakes islands
Minor shaking was felt across the state Friday morning after a moderate earthquake struck between the Big Island and Maui, but no damage was reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude-4.7 temblor was recorded at about 26 miles deep and centered about 15 miles off the northwest coast of the Big Island.
The quake caused no change in activity at any of Hawaii’s active volcanoes.