USA disposal of ‘Special Nuclear Material’

UMEC nuclear waste dump in Parks Township will be excavated

 The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 defines Special Nuclear Material as “plutonium, uranium-233, or uranium enriched in the isotopes uranium-233 or uranium-235.”

According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Special Nuclear Material is only “mildly radioactive” but can include fissile material — uranium-233, uranium-235 and plutonium-239 — that, in concentrated form, can be the primary ingredients of nuclear explosives.

By Mary Ann Thomas, Dec. 22, 2015 After finding more complex radioactive contamination than expected in 2011 at the nuclear waste dump in Parks Township, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday it will stay the course for a $350 million project to dig up and remove 36,000 tons of waste.

The Corps shut down the cleanup four years ago after unearthing more highly radioactive nuclear materials that required special handling, escalating cleanup costs.

The defunct Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. and successors, the Atlantic Richfield Co. and Babcock & Wilcox disposed of uranium, plutonium and other hazardous materials at the 44-acre, Armstrong county, site from 1960 until the early 1970s. With plants in Parks and Apollo, those companies produced fuel for Navy nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants and other government entities.

The Corps will release its request for proposals from contractors and likely name a new cleanup company in 2017. The contractor will develop new plans and start digging again in 2018. The waste will then be shipped out of state.

The project is expected to finish between 2026 and 2028  :


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