According to a report by the General Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish), the Ezeiza Atomic Center (CAE) does not know under what conditions their area is or what waste contaminants are there nor what type of waste deposited there.
"In 1999 -explains the report- a uranium contaminated waste within the premises of the CAE industry was detected." This is an area of 600 square meters called Camp 5, located 50 meters from a residential area. The National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), responsible for the realization of activities related to the use of nuclear energy, the contaminated material removed and subsequently deposited it in industrial drums in the field of chemical plants.
However, the report adopted last year and conducted between 2006 and 2008, states that "the current situation of the property is unknown, as to restrictions on use, site conditions and type of disposal of waste generated from the remediation tasks implemented."
From an analysis on the safety guide of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on remediation of areas contaminated with radioactive material analysis, the AGN understood that "there was no such remediation plan or deadlines, waste management, environmental monitoring, post-remediation actions, nor institutional control mechanisms."
Neither was there "an intervention of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority", the Watchdog of everything related to the radiological and nuclear safety, and no record of a public information program to reach stakeholders and the CAE neighbors.
Among other activities, in the Ezeiza Atomic Center most radioisotopes used in the health field produce and manage radioactive waste across the country.
Water Quality and Natural Resources
In the area of the Ezeiza Atomic Center periodic discharges of natural uranium in waters of the Arroyo Aguirre was recorded, it was not monitored by the dependence.
While there were no traces of contamination in groundwater, even still after two surveys conducted in No. 5452 case, which began in 2000 and filed with the Federal Court No. 1 of Lomas de Zamora, the audit notes that "it cannot weigh the potential environmental impact because the CAE does not conduct environmental monitoring of their facilities."
Contamination of drinking water by uranium can be of two types, radiation or chemical and the presence of this element in the water at unusual levels can cause serious health problems such as cancer or deformities. However, according to the report, in the country, "there is no standard of radiation protection for drinking water," which determines baseline levels of radioactivity of uranium.
The CNEA sent the Executive Branch a strategic plan for Radioactive Waste Management, which "was not formally approved or sent to the National Congress," the Watchdog said. Even, the report adds that "no evidence has been made or the fund for the management and disposal of radioactive waste is operational."
Moreover, as stated by the CNEA, in a report sent to Congress in 2006, it was "necessary to advance the safety re-evaluation of the area of waste management" CAE and claimed that "if the above measures were not taken as essential "could not guarantee" solid and enduring form of management of spent fuel and radioactive waste." However, the auditors did not obtain documentary evidence of that reassessment of security.
During the year and a half it took for the preparation of the report, in the center there were six changes of officials responsible for responding to the comments of the AGN. In addition, auditors listed the limitations to its work: "Failure in the documentation obtained, questions never answered or answered incompletely and inconsistent information."