Radioactive waste on Olympics site

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To summarise, documents submitted for planning approval reveal that the ground below the Olympics Media Centre in Hackney is still producing so much methane from the decaying refuse it contains that special precautions should have been taken to protect the expected 20,000 visiting journalists and media. In a bid to prevent a rubbishing of the Olympic brand London 2012, bosses have been at pains to play down the issue of the radiation hazard and its poor management.

Excavations at the Main Stadium site were virtually completed before any radiation monitoring or protection measures were introduced, despite the site’s history as a high-risk unregulated private landfill. When radiation was detected in the excavations in November 2007, no action was taken and the information was not made public. Olympic spin-doctors are also keen to play down the fact that more than 7,000 tonnes of radioactively contaminated material has now been reburied on the Olympic site.

The authorities appear to have colluded to place the problem outside regulatory control. They did this by claiming higher activity material was to be mixed with lower activity material, thus reducing its average radioactivity to below the legal threshold – a process of dilution.