Kersting studied water samples drawn from wells--a mile south of the site of a massive 1968 underground bomb test. She found traces of plutonium in the water that exactly matched the unique chemical signature of the element deposited at the bomb test site.
Kersting's find has disturbing implications. She says that at several Department of Energy facilities around the country, plutonium was dumped by injecting it directly into groundwater. "What people need to worry about," she says, "is how we're going to clean up the plutonium, and if it is moving at all these sites."
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