Nuclear Irradiator for Agriculture Being Built on Oahu

A facility that will use nuclear radiation to kill insects found on agricultural produce has broken ground at a location selected to minimize danger to local citizens.

The irradiator will treat fruits and vegetables for fruit flies. It now is being built at an agricultural research center in Kunia, a central Oahu location that is considered safe from earthquakes and is far from Honolulu, its airport and the ocean.

The nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, representing the community group Concerned Citizens of Honolulu, challenged the site originally proposed for Honolulu International Airport less than eight feet above sea level.

Potential threats included tsunami, storm surge, hurricanes, earthquakes, airplane accidents, deliberate airplane strikes, and the proximity of the site to highly populated downtown Honolulu and to tempting terrorist targets, such as the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.

These events could cause significant releases of radioactive material from the irradiator, threatening public health and safety and the environment, Concerned Citizens alleged.

Pa’ina Hawaii, LLC, a fruit company, plans to irradiate produce for export using the radioactive material cobalt-60.

Pa’ina is building its food irradiator far from Honolulu because Earthjustice attorney David Henkin convinced the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the site originally proposed violated the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires examination of reasonable alternatives.

Full article here: Oahu Plant Pest Irradiator Located Safely

One Response

  1. Do we really want to bring radiation and Food together?
    Any long term studies of this elsewhere?

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