A slightly different take on this issue…
Key points being,
But before any construction begins, the EPA must approve the project. Their approval depends on how the radioactive material is being used, in what amounts, and if any health risks are possible to construction workers or the public, according to a statement provided to WUSF.
After obtaining EPA approval and completing construction, it would then be up to FDOT to oversee a study including the environmental, health, and safety consequences of using the hazardous waste in roads.
Phosphate mining, like all mining is highly regulated. It is also critical to being able to feed the 8+ billion people on earth.
Key points from the article;
Researchers say humanity could only produce half the food it does without phosphate and nitrogen
So finding a way to safely use the waste byproduct is important. Some are even looking to extract the rare earth minerals in the waste.
How is the phosphogypsum incorporated into the road material and what is the percentage? It seems to me that they should have a plan by now for those test roads. Glass is now incorporated into asphalt roadways and its successful but glass is inert. I’m not overly concerned about radioactivity because I rarely go to Florida these days and if I lived there it would mostly concern me if the road in front of my house was paved with it. I’m interested in seeing how they expect to conduct a valid environmental test in one year.
All good questions, @jtsanders. I hope the EPA will give it the attention it deserves.
It would be interesting to compare the radioactivity of the road to the soil in a Uranium mining area like Moab, Utah. I’d guess the road’s health danger would be pretty low as long as it doesn’t become breathable dust.
Compare the radioactivity to that of a large granite building. Granite is a low grade uranium ore. Walk around the federal district in DC with a Geiger counter and watch it go off. Radioactivity is all over the place. The question is whether it is high enough to pose a health threat. The granite buildings in DC are not a health threat btw.