he Army Corps of Engineers has found radioactive nuclear weapon waste in residential lots along a St. Louis County creek.
Coldwater Creek runs some 20 miles through St. Louis’ northern suburbs and was contaminated in the decades after the Manhattan Project’s activities in the region. The creek has flooded residential areas many times over the past seven decades, but the floodplain had never been tested for radioactive waste until now.
The corps announced last week that it has found thorium 230 — a radioactive isotope — in yards and public parks exposed to Coldwater Creek’s floodwaters. Officials say there is no immediate risk to residents. The positive results so far have been from samples taken 6 to 12 inches in the ground, in some cases showing levels two to four times the threshold for required cleanup.