Data Reveals No Immediate Danger for Lake Superior Barrels

By KBJR News 1

February 1, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM CDT

(NNCNOW.com)-- The recovery of 70 barrels from the depths of Lake Superior was cut short, for safety concerns.

The project began in 2004 when several areas of Lake Superior, between the Lester and Knife Rivers, were identified as dumpsites for barrels that could pose health and environmental threats.

Spokespeople for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa say the barrels recovered are similar to barrels discovered in the 1990's.

In an investigation in the 90's barrels that were brought to the surface contained pieces of military munitions and other metal parts including ejection cup assemblies with inert charges inside the barrels.

In the latest round of barrel recovery, preliminary data from the 25 barrels pulled from the bottom of Lake Superior, again show no immediate cause for concern..

22 of the barrels contained ejection cup assemblies for cluster bomb devises, each barrel with 600 to 700 of the devises.

The difference between the 90's barrels and those recovered in this latest round are that the charges were active, causing safety and logistical concerns for those on the recovery team.

This discovery prompted the decision to stop the barrel retrieval before the team reached the 70 barrels that they'd planned for.

"That's what slowed the project down," said Frank Koehn, Public Relations with the barrels project. "Carefully examining the barrels and finding out what's in them."

No levels of radiation were detected at any point on any of the barrels collected.

Further analysis is underway and more information will be available soon.