Schumer calls for more funding to remove nuclear waste in Lewiston

Apr 15, 2019

Nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project sitting on a storage site in Niagara County could soon be on the move.

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for more federal money to be allocated to help remove the radioactive material from the Niagara Falls Storage Site in Lewiston.

Credit Ryan Zunner/WBFO News

“I will push for an additional $250 million dollars in what’s called FUSRAP. That’s the federal program designed to clean up radioactive waste that the federal government created up. Make no mistake about it, this here wasn’t caused by private industry, it was caused by our military,” Schumer said in a visit Monday.

The Army Corps of Engineers originally agreed in 2015 to remove the nuclear material, but a lack of funding slowed down the process.

“It doesn’t take a nuclear physicists to know that storing WWII nuclear waste under ten feet of dirt for over 30 years is a bad idea. You don’t know what will happen. There’s only ten feet of dirt on top of it. It’s stored in concrete, and concrete can erode. No science has done the reaction," Schumer said.

The waste is a mix of radium, uranium, and plutonium from the former Lake Ontario Ordinance Works. The facility was used in America’s nuclear weapons program during World War II.