The money, part of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion (£534 billion) stimulus package – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – is aimed at accelerating the environmental cleanup work and creating thousands of jobs across 12 states.

Mr Chu, announcing the funding last Tuesday (March 31), said: “These investments will put Americans to work while cleaning up contamination from the cold war era.

“It reflects our commitment to future generations as well as to help local economies get moving again.”

The money will be focussed on soil and groundwater clean up, transporting and disposing of waste and cleaning and demolishing former weapons complex facilities.

The Department of Environment’s Office of Environmental Management is managing the projects and funding.

It is responsible for the risk reduction and cleanup of the environmental legacy from the nation’s massive nuclear weapons program.

The clean up is described as one of the largest, most diverse and technically complex environmental programmes in the world.

The 12 sites are Washington ($1.961 billion/£1.4 billion), South Carolina ($1.615 billion/£1.1 billion), Tennessee ($755 million/£512 million), Idaho ($468 million/£317 million), New Mexico ($384 million/£260 million), New York ($148 million/£100 million), Ohio ($138 million/£94 million), Utah ($108 million/£73 million), Illinois ($99 million/£67 million), Kentucky ($79 million/£54 million), California ($62 million/£42 million), Nevada ($44 million/£30 million).

For full details about the state allocations and sites go to the following the Department of Energy link.

David Gibbs

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