European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 7 1999, Page 6

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 7, 1999, Darmstadt, HessePages stars and stripes tuesday december 7, 1999 Panama upset by . Explosives left behind by John Rice the associated press Escobal Panama for about 70 years . Servicemen trained with artillery in the Panama Jungle blasting away at Hills in the rain Forest and leaving an occasional Dud shrouded beneath the Trees. Of All the properties the unite states is turning Over to Panama this year that unexploded Ordi Nance Udo in military Slang is the one Panama is least eager to accept. Three firing ranges Empire Balboa West and Pina with total of 37,300 acres were turned Over to a reluctant Panama in july. Panama has continued to Squab ble with . Officials about who if anyone should clean up the7,700 acres that remain off limits because of unexploded artillery shells. If they had started 10 years ago they could have cleaned up everything except perhaps some Small areas insists Manfredo Amador Panama s negotiator for the Issue. The fight is one of the few that has created bitterness during the . Pullout from the canal zone which will culminate with the Han Dover of the canal itself on dec. 31.amador claims the . Side dragged its heels and did much less Here than it did to remove hazards at decommissioned fir ing ranges in Hawaii and califor Nia. . Officials say they have done All they can to clean up the ranges without destroying the rain Forest and endangered Ani Mals they had been bombarding for several decades. What remains off limits is Only 2 percent of the area the United puerto Rico nuclear museum too hot for some residents the associated press Rincon puerto Rico puerto Rico s first museum devoted to nuclear Energy is too hot for some it s inside an old reactor dome parts of which Are still radioactive. For More than 30 years the Pale Green dome has stood off Lim its to the Public an incongruity nestled amid Palm Trees and surf ing beaches. To residents the shuttered . Government run Plant was a perplexing Symbol of the secrets of the nuclear age. Puerto Rico state Power officials Hope to change a that. They predict their museum once it opens Early next year will draw 100,000 visitors annually to Rin con a Mecca for surfers and win Ter tourists on puerto Rico s West coast. They insist there s no safety threat but have yet to win Over ecologists. We want to prove we have nothing to hide by opening the museum to the Public said Angel Luis Rivera the project s supervisor. The dome once housed an experimental reactor known As Bonus for boiling nuclear super Heater it operated from 1964 to 1968, when it was shut Down be cause it could t produce Energy cheaply enough rumours swirled about the 16-megawatt reactor latin Amer Ica s first Over the years Resi Christmas special dents and local press reports suggested that a radiation leak forced the now with routine inspections planned by . Officials they say they feel comfortable opening the facility to the , chief of the Power com Pany s environmental division said museum workers will be exposed to 10.6 Mil Irenis of Radia Tion a year an amount Only slightly stronger than a single Chest a Ray. He insisted visitors will be exposed to five times less radiation than Federal standards allow about the same As standing outside in the tropical has t ased popular suspicions about the dome parts of which Are still contaminated bycesium-137a radioactive mate rial that was a byproduct of the re actor process and will be off limits to museum goers. Parts of onus basement also Register slightly higher Levels of radioactivity and Are closed to the Public. Sandra Rios of the Rincon ecology league insisted the Public needs More assurances before the museum is opened. We re not being exposed to ce-sium-137 on a sunny Day she said. Huston Baltimore Jik Phil Adi i phia Washington Dallas Chicago pfc walk Houston Phoenix a Taitl los Angeles san i Vancisco $4o9 s420 $489 $495 f hot line 069-69593979 Belgium 0800-73195 states is returning to Panama under the 1977 canal treaty they technology exists to guar Antee 100 percent removal of Udo without destroying the area s environment w. Lewis Anselem Leader of the . Negotiating team on the Issue said in speech last year. . Officials say cleanup would mean stripping away the Forest creating increased erosion an Silt into the canal and Imp riling the habitat of endangered Spe insists that even if there were cuts in the Forest the vegetation covers it very Quick air Force col. Dave Hunt director of treaty implementation for the . Military said Ameri can troops did everything we could to find unexploded said the search was complicated by Iron bearing rocks in the area that set off Metal detectors. Even so we found 6,600 items of Udo. We dug a Hole and blew it up for people in this Rural town near the Atlantic coast it s a neighbourhood Issue. You can t Hunt you can t do anything because it s dangerous. More dangerous than a Viper said Daniel Ortega who was Chat Ting with friends on the porch of local restaurant. But some people still venture past the warning signs around the Pina Range a few Miles away to collect scrap Metal from the old residents suspect it was one of those collectors who brought out an unexploded Shell eight years ago and left it in a vacant lot in town where children sometimes played. I was there. They were play ing and i heard the explosion said Georgina Magallan. Her6-year-old son Luis Carlos was killed by the blast. My son Wouldhave been 14 on july 17," she primary school teacher Magallan now helps teach children about the dangers of the explosives though it was never prove that the device that killed her son came from the range.. Officials admit there have been seven confirmed deaths duet explosives from the ranges All due to scrap Metal or souvenir dealers. With the ranges now turn Dover to Panama they say the panamanian government is responsible for them. Amador disputes that. He say there is no time limit to the treaty clause in which the United state promised to clean up the ranges insofar As May be also suggests some private companies have shown greater skill at removing explosives than the . Army. Holland 08004 22144 Allty 8004 15480 Spak 900943967u.k. 0800-897275. Dan 440-z575 Civ 0882172981

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