Un Chernobyl acá a la vuelta

un-chernobyl-aca-a-la-vuelta

Seis provincias de la Argentina son depósito de más de 6 millones de toneladas de residuos radiactivos. Los desechos se apilan al aire libre y contaminan aguas y tierras. Córdoba capital alberga tambores con restos de uranio. En Malargüe, la basura atómica se acumula a 10 cuadras del centro de la ciudad.
Tres centrales construidas -dos en funcionamiento pleno- y siete yacimientos de uranio formalmente abiertos aunque sin actividad extractiva. Planes para la construcción de al menos una central más, además de proyectos para la instalación de reactores de baja potencia con vistas a un eventual aporte al tendido eléctrico nacional.
De esa forma puede sintetizarse la realidad de una Argentina nuclear que a lo largo de distintos gobiernos no ha hecho más que vanagloriarse de una capacidad que, a los ojos de los defensores de la generación atómica, la coloca en una posición de referencia en términos regionales.
Pero, como ocurre en el grueso de las historias construidas para solventar una grandeza siempre en entredicho, existe una historia no contada. Y que debe exponerse como el “lado B” de una apuesta tecnológica cuyo aporte real a la matriz energética a lo largo de décadas con total certeza merece tildarse de simbólica.
Sucede que, incluso operando a su mayor potencia, las centrales de Embalse -hoy en situación de parada técnica por mantenimiento y extensión de su vida útil- y Atucha I y II, representan apenas el 7% de toda la electricidad que se genera en el país. Lo no dicho es el peligro sanitario y ambiental generado por toda la estructura desarrollada durante décadas para abastecer la aventura atómica fronteras hacia adentro.
En ese sentido, un trabajo de la organización BIOS Argentina al que accedió Adelanto 24 expone que, producto de las explotaciones de uranio llevadas a cabo desde 1955 a la fecha, en territorio nacional se acumulan más de 6,3 millones toneladas de residuos radiactivos distribuidos entre las provincias de Salta, Chubut, Córdoba, San Luis, Mendoza y La Rioja.
A estos desechos, apilados a cielo abierto, hay que sumarle unos 153.000 metros cúbicos de residuos nucleares líquidos. Sin tratamiento alguno, puede ubicarse basura atómica -por poner un ejemplo concreto- a poco más de 10 cuadras de la iglesia principal de Malargüe, en la provincia de Mendoza.
La investigación de BIOS Argentina, titulada “Peligro, residuos nucleares: una historia de engaños, ocultamiento y abandono”, expone referencias de la Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) en las que el mismo organismo reconoce que los residuos sin tratar “constituyen fuentes potenciales de repercusión química y radiológica, tanto para los trabajadores de la industria como para los individuos del público que resulten expuestos, si los mismos residuos se dispersan en el ambiente”.
Entre los sitios que irradian, BIOS Argentina menciona al yacimiento Los Gigantes, que operó entre 1982 y 1990 a sólo 33 kilómetros de Villa Carlos Paz, en la provincia de Córdoba. Sólo en ese área yacen en la actualidad más de 2,2 millones de toneladas de residuos de uranio y otras 1,6 millones de toneladas de estériles -rocas separadas durante la extracción, algunas de ellas radiactivas- “expuestos a las inclemencias del clima y afectando los afluentes del río San Antonio y el lago San Roque”.
“Estos cursos son fuente de agua potable para Villa Carlos Paz, Cuesta Blanca, Icho Cruz, tala Huasi, Mayu Sumaj y San Antonio de Arredondo”, especifica la organización.
Un caso escalofriante es el de Dioxitek SA, compañía que a partir de 1982 comenzó a procesar dióxido de uranio en Rodríguez Peña al 3200, dentro del barrio Alta Córdoba de la ciudad homónima.
Durante décadas, esta instalación fue centro de acopio y manipulación de tambores de uranio provenientes del puerto de Bahía Blanca, en la provincia de Buenos Aires, previa importación. El traslado del material siempre tuvo lugar por rutas y a través de flotas de camiones.
Aunque fuera de operaciones, y mientras se continúa discutiendo el traslado de la operatoria de Dioxitek SA a la provincia de Formosa, lo concreto es que en pleno corazón de Córdoba hoy continúan enterradas unas 57.600 toneladas de residuos. “Se trata de residuos radiactivos de baja actividad, donde permanecen sin membrana ni sistema de contención, compuestos por uranio y otros materiales radiactivos derivados del uranio como radio 226, radón 222 y plomo 210”, puntualiza el trabajo.
Hay más: en el yacimiento Sierra Pintada, departamento mendocino de San Rafael, los desperdicios nucleares suman más de 1,7 millones de toneladas. El grueso de ellos se encuentra distribuido en alrededor de 5.340 tambores desvencijados y a la intemperie. La explotación, abandonada por la CNEA en 1997, mantiene en alerta a los habitantes de la zona hasta el día de hoy.
En esa dirección, BIOS Argentina resalta que “el estado de abandono en que ha quedado la explotación les preocupa a los habitantes por augurar un futuro siniestro para los cultivos y el turismo: el desagüe con residuos radiactivos y otros compuestos tóxicos, vertidos sobre napas y acuíferos del arroyo El Tigre, confluyen en la cuenca del río Diamante. Es el agua de la cual toman diariamente y con la que riegan sus fincas”.
“El Complejo Minero Fabril de San Rafael lleva acumuladas dos millones cuatrocientas mil toneladas de colas residuales, un millón de toneladas de material estéril, seis millones de toneladas de marginal, unos cinco mil tambores de residuos sólidos radiactivos provenientes del complejo fabril de Córdoba, Dioxitek, ciento cincuenta y tres mil metros cúbicos de residuos líquidos, resultado de la neutralización de los efluentes ácidos del proceso, distribuidos en diques de evaporación, en un estado de abandono preocupante”, detalla la investigación.
Desde el inicio de la extracción de uranio en 1974 hasta el presente, los residuos generados en Sierra Pintada permanecen a cielo abierto y sin tratamientos de remediación. Lo mismo ocurre con la actividad para Malargüe: en esa locación, la basura atómica completa las 700.000 toneladas.

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