Adding fuel to the flames, no. Pouring oil on nuclear waste, yes. Over at Hanford, America's largest besoiled n-dump, scientists have begun injecting veggie oil into the ground to counter the effects of 80 square miles of toxic groundwater next to the Columbia River.
Experts hope that the oil cure-all - similar to what was used to help clean up the chromium-filled California site made infamous in the Julia Roberts movie "Erin Brockovich" - works as good as last fall's Hanford experiment: injecting molasses into the toxins below. Reports the AP:
State officials who have long pressured the federal government to clean up Hanford, call the cooking oil a good idea.
"We support these tests, they're actually pretty inexpensive," said John Price, project manager of environmental restoration for the Washington Department of Ecology. "We'd like to see them scale up to a full system, beyond just tests, sooner rather than later."
The earlier molasses shots have had good results, said Mike Truex, senior program manager for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. But while the syrup might have to be injected every couple of years, a 1,500-gallon injection of vegetable oil, mixed with 50,000 gallons of water, could work for up to seven years.
Who knew, notes the AP, the answers to ridding the Hanford nuclear reservation of wastewater might be in the kitchen?