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May 05, 1955 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-05-05

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i- -- L 7i1MJ ..IA.AMJL !yAVOW,.


Atomic Wastes Create Big Problems

New Red Air Bases Change
Formosan Straits Picture

Methods of disposing atomic
wastes is an increased problem
brought about by the new appli-
cations of atomic energy.'
To control the waste from ra-
dioactive materials used on the
University campus, the Radiologi-
cal Safety Department headed by
Prof. Gerald M. Ridenour, out-
lined a complete program of con-
trol procedure.
The objective of the department
is tq protect the isotope user, his
associates and the community as
a whole.
o This is -accomplished by a series
of steps, according to Prof. Riden-
our. First of these steps is the re-
qtiirement that all radioactive ma-
terial to be used on the campus
m'ust first go through the radio-
logical Safety Department, located
in the School of Public Health.
Materials Checked
Here it is monitored to check
hazards which might have been
incurred through the handling of
the package during transportation'
to the University.
The radioactive material can go
to a number of laboratories, such
as the University Hospital, phys-
ics, natural science, pharmacology,
or chemistry departments, and the
Engineering Research Institute,
the Fission Products laboratory,
or the Medical School. ,
The physical set-up for the use
of the material and the qualifica-
tions of the user are approved ' by
the safety department to be sure


that facilities and workers are
protected from the material.
Danger of radiation from these
materials is lessened by proper de-
sign of laboratory or working area
facilities. This prevents direct ra-
diation effects or ingestion of ra-
dio-active material on the worker
or his immediate associates.
Safety Techniques Used
In these departments the use of
personal monitors, shielding, and
cleanliness techniques and safety
preventatives are also employed.
After the radioactive materials
are used, any waste, liquid or solid,
from the operation comes back to
Radiation Control Center again.
In this way ,the department has
complete control of the material
flow through the University from
its receipt to ultimate disposal.
When the waste reaches the of-
fice, it is ready for waste classifi-
cation. There are two broad cate-
gories: short-time decay for ma-
terial that will decay out to a safe
level in a short time, and long-
time decay for material which re-
quires a long time to decay before
it is safe.
Short-time decay wastes can be
stored in bottles or vessels in a
storage area. The volume of ra-
dioactive material is not large be-
cause the material is spread in
small volume throughout.
If the decay period is very short,
the department just lets the ma-
terial decay out. Then it is dis-
posed in a harmless form into san-
itary sewers if it is a liquid. If a

. 1

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solid, the material is thrown out
in land fill operations or may be
Long-time material can take up
to fifty or more years to decay. If
this were stored, it would gradually
pile up until it became a nuisance.
The Atomic Energy Commission
has burial grounds throughout the
country for the disposal of this
long-time material.
The solids are packaged and
taken by a special truck to the iso-
lated burial grounds. They may
also be disposed in the ocean.
Liquid To Solid
Liquid long-time waste can be
made into a solid by mixing them
with concrete and then disposed.
One operation that we will soon
have here according to Prof. Rid-
enour, is that we will be able to
take care of heterogeneous types
of wastes in one operation. It is
difficult to treat these wastes with
one chemical process, he points
It has been discovered that these
wastes can be treated by means of
ion-exchange resins which take
out all the chemical ions.
When the ions are taken out to
the extent of their capacity, these
materials are reduced to a more
compact form. These resins are
disposed of by burial or by mixing
them with concrete. This whole
operation is time consuming and
costly, but is necessary because
these materials, cannot be treated
with one chemical.
Isotope Determines Treatment
The type of treatment for the
isotope depends upon the chemi-
cal nature of the isotope con-
cerned. This. has proved to be a
big problem as well as the prob-
lem of reducing the volume.
It follows that the smaller the
volume of material, the easier it
is to handle, and the cheaper it
is to treat.
Another problem that the Radi-
ological Safety Department must
handle is that of keeping the ra-
dioactivity level of the environ-
ment at a point where it is not go-
ing to affect anyone.
"We have adequate control of
the situation by the specific con-
trol of each step as the material
goes through the University," Prof.
Ridenour says. "We also have con-
tinuously recording monitoring
machines that will detect any
slip-up in control operations im-
He continued, saying that radi-
ological material can get into the
surrounding environment in two
ways, via the air and sewage.
Machines Add Protection
Continuously recording air and
sewage monitoring machines that
will detect the escape of even sub-
dangerous levels of activity into
the environment protect the Uni-
versity surroundings from radia-
tion danger from thesc wastes.
Prof. Ridenour continued saying
that the University will soon have
many more of these monitors to
insure adequate control with the
beginning of the operation of the
reactor and other projects on the
North Campus.
In addition, the University has
cooperated with the State Board
of Health and State Stream Con-
trol Committee in maintaining
correct operations for the disposal
of the wastes.
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... both Marx and bassoon


LYL Secretary Declares
Brownell Charges False
TOWRC ~a e



Fighting Attorney General Her-
bert J. Brownell's accusation that
the Labor Youth League is a
Communist-front organization is
part of Alita Letwin's job.
Mrs. Letwin, secretary of the
national LYL Student Council, is
currently visiting LYL organiza-
tions in the Midwest. She was in
town yesterday to examine the
campus organization.
"The LYL, under the Internal
Security Act of 1950, has just been
ordered to register as a Commun-
ist-front organization by the Sub-
versive Activities Control Board.
We are now appealing our case
before the Circuit Court of Ap-
peals," Mrs. Letwin said.
"We have been accused of sup-
porting policies advocated by the
Communist party," she continued.
"These include opposing armed in-
tervention in Korea and Formosa,
supporting a cease fire, seeking in-
ternational control of atom and
hydrogen bombs, and supporting
civil liberties.
Matusow Report
"Many organizations have tak-
en similar positions' on one or
more of these charges. Under the
McCarran Act, we could be ac-
cused on any one of these counts."
Mrs. Letwin claimed that the
Subversive Activities Control Board
had based its report on informa-
tion given by Harvey Matusow.
"Matusow later denied all of his
previous statements, but the Board
decided to ignore the denial," she
Mrs. Letwin, who graduated
from the University of Wisconsin
in 1954, became interested in
Marxian doctrine. as a college
freshman. She joined. the LYL,
serving as chairman of her local
organization for two years.
At present, she lives with her

Associated Press Foreign Correspondenti
TAIPEI (P)-Off the shores of
this island, the problem of Formo-
sa Strait is usually simplified into
the question of the future of Mat-
su and Quemoy.
The islands, however, are only
incidental to the main issue now
developing in the Pacific-control
of Formosa Strait and the air
above it.
Seventh Fleet Defense
Up to now the control of the wa-
ter barrier between Formosa and
the mainland has been in the
strong hands of the United States
7th Fleet, with an assist from the
Chinese Nationalist navy and air
force. The U.S. has used its control
to try to prevent war.
The Reds, on the other hand,
openly admit they intend, when
they can, to "liberate" Formosa.
Even in offering to open negotia-
tions with the United States, Chou
specifically reserved what he called
the Red Chinese "right" to per-
form this "liberation."
The reason the Communists
haven't carried out their bellicose
threat long before now is their in-
ability to cross the strait. But the
situation is now changing to a
degree where the U.S.-Chiang con-
trol of the straits can be chal-
lenged by land-based air power.
Post-War Activity
The changes in Communist ca-
pability near Formosa began some-
time after the Korean War ended.
It is obvious that by using new
jetworthy concrete strips complet-
ed or in final stages of construction
in the central coastal area, the
Chinese Communists could extend
their air threat to the whole of
Formosa Strait.
How does Matsu and Quemoy fit
into this picture?
They lie on the entrances of two
of the best central China harbors
-Amoy and Foochow. As long as
the Nationalists operate from them
the amount of shipping going into
these ports is limited. Clean them
out and jet fuel which now must
be smuggled expensively up the
coastline in junks or hauled labor-.
iously over bad roads can be
shipped in by small tankers. Ar-
mies anchored to defense posi-
tions off these islands would be
free for more aggressive mischief.
These, of course, are only the
military consequences which would
follow if the islands were lost. The
Chinese say the worst effect would
be on morale-that non-Commu-
nist Asiatics everywhere are get-
ting wary of Western retreats in

Asia and with their lifelong habit
of trying to stay on the winning
side are beginning to veer toward
communism. There is no doubt the
bloodless surrender of the Tachens
gave the non-Red parts of Asia a
But the real issue is control of
Formosa channel water and air.
From the U.S. viewpoint, if such
control can be maintained without
the offshore islands they can be
written off. No one can quite an-
swer the question whether these
islands are vital to such control.
Everyone agrees, however, that
channel control would be firmer
with the islands in friendly hands.
M+ IesI~~
O oT
On her special day send a
Hallmark Card to show
you care enough to send
the very best."
Chester Roberts
312Sougth State St.
31 outSteS.

lawyer husband in New York,
where the national LYL is housed.
On her current trip, she has vis-
ited Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison
and will end her 10-day tour in
Detroit today.
International Affairs
Discussing international affairs,
the 22-year-old Mrs. Letwin dem-
onstrated a serious interest in her
LYL work, only occasionally show-
ing her flashing smile. "We op-
pose German rearmament because
we feel it would be an: army aimed
at offensive and not defensive
measures. Even Chancellor Ade-
nauer has indicated this," she said.
"We also oppose intervention in
Formosa. Formosa has tradition-
ally belonged to the Chinese peo-
ple. It is 7,000 miles away and it
is hardly proper for us to be de-
fensive at that distance."
Mrs. Letwin pointed to the Ban-
dung conference as an "example
of the strength of the Asian and
African peoples. It is the first time
that representatives of three-fifths
of the world's population have
openly sought peace."
A history major, Mrs. Letwin
now devotes all of her time to her
LYL job. For relaxation, she plays
the bassoon and piano, skills ac-
quired at the New York High
School of Music and Art. Another
project entails working for the
national 18-year-old vote.
Joint Judic Council petitions
may be picked. up today.
The petitions may be obtain-
ed at 1020 Administration Bldg.
and are due there by 1 p.m.
Friday, May 13.
Five positions of one, year
each are available. Students
with no less than 60 credit
hours are eligible.


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