Primary Source Report-RB

  1. Title: Waste Atomic Research Found Containing Stream in Jersey

Location: NY Times online archive June 8, 1983 page 28. This is behind a paywall, but NJIT offers a NY Times subscription free of charge to active students. (https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1983/06/08/issue.html?auth=login-email)

Description: This source provides a first-look and reaction to the situation in Wayne. At the time of the article’s writing, the radioactive isotope deposits were still newly discovered, which provides perspective into the initial reaction concerning the deposits by the media.

2) Title: Record of Decision For The Wayne Interim Storage Site

Location: EPA website, https://semspub.epa.gov/work/02/82201.pdf

Description: This report details the cleanup efforts the radioactive site in Wayne as of the early 2000s, and provides a synopsis of future planned cleanup efforts for the site. This primary source can provide my argument/analysis with an understanding of the federal perspective regarding the cleanup.

3) Title: Record of Decision For The Wayne Interim Storage Site

Location: Department of energy website, https://www.lm.doe.gov/Wayne/NJ_16-3.pdf

Description: This report details the initial status of the site, as the measures initially taken in response to the discovery of the site. This source details the perspective of cleanup teams during the middle of the cleanup of the radioactive site as well as details the conditions of the site at that current time.

Primary Analysis (Source #1):

The first source listed is a NY Times article from 1983 giving an overview of the site and its history. It gives brief background information on the town, a description of the mining site, and states that nuclear materials have been found polluting the area. It then discusses past and present actions of the state (NJ) and what led to the incident in the first place. It then has a section implying misaction on the part of the state, partially given credence by a nuclear physicist based in New York. This article shows that the public at the time was upset with the actions the state was taking, as they went so far as to hire an outside advisor.

In fact, the town of Wayne was so outraged at the handling of the site that they hired a nuclear physicist to give them private consultation on the matter. In fact, “Dr. Resnikoff said that the state’s report on cancer was ‘absolute hogwash,’ because it examined cancer rates for the entire town, not just the neighborhoods near the brook.” These citizens were so concerned that they also formed their own organization, the “Concerned Citizens of Wayne,” an organization created and led by Wayne resident Geroge Yasenchock. This organization dug up state and W.R Grace documents on the history of the site. There was a clear desire by the residents to learn more about the site and its past. Finally, worthy of notice is that half of the source is dedicated to the perspective of the town and its residents, and uses language clearly indicating that something is wrong with the way the site was handled. Such examples include using words such as “mishandled” and “mismanaged.”