Army Corps to detail cleanup of Parks NUMEC nuclear site
The Army Corps of Engineers will present details on Thursday on a long-awaited cleanup of the nuclear waste dump along Route 66 in Armstrong County.
A materials and processing building the size of a football field has been built on the 44-acre site in Parks for handling radiologically contaminated dirt and debris, which will be shipped to Clive, Utah.
In June, the corps and its contractor, Cabrera Services Inc., plan to begin excavation on two of 10 trenches dug in the 1960s for disposal of radioactive and chemical waste generated from the former Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. nuclear fuel plant in Apollo.
The Apollo plant and a plutonium plant next to the Parks Township waste dump were razed long ago. The waste dump, the last vestige of the nuclear operations, is owned by one of NUMEC's successors, BWX Technologies.
The $170 million cleanup is expected to take eight or 10 years as work crews remove an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils and debris.
"Safety is our first priority," said Bill Lenart, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District.
Recently, the corps and its contractor built a 150- by 400-foot materials and processing building, a one-eighth-mile road for truck access to Route 66, and a water treatment plant. A live gas line was rerouted from the waste dump this spring.
A public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Parks fire hall will examine:
• Work completed on the site.
• Safety preparations.
• How the corps will excavate and handle the nuclear waste, monitor and test the site, and communicate with residents.
"We are afraid that this stuff going to leak out," said Mary Anne Walerski, who lives near the dump on Kiskimere Road.
"I want it to be over," she said. "Go ahead and do it. But why do our worries have to be stretched over this amount of time?"
Corps officials said safety issues are driving the duration of cleanup project. They plan to excavate the nuclear materials in small, one-foot lifts and closely monitor the excavation areas and entire site.
Township Supervisor Bud Shannon said he is happy with the corps work on the site so far.
"When it's done, there won't be a stigma anymore," he said. "It will be good for the county, without us being a part of the so-called 'nuclear legacy.'"Additional Information:
Who: Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District
What: Public meeting on the cleanup of the nuclear waste dump in Parks Township
When: 7 p.m., Thursday
Where: Parks Township Volunteer Fire Department Hall, 1119 Dalmatian Drive, Parks Township
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.