University cleanup of former radioactive site nearly done

Tuesday, May 27th 2008, 3:10 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  - University of Arkansas officials say that a $3 million, 5-year cleanup of a former burial site for low-level radioactive waste is nearly complete.

The rural Washington County site was used between 1964 and 1984 for the burial of scintillation vials - used in research experiments in which scientists measured radioactivity using photo cells to detect flashes of light.

The university for years monitored the site, but in 2003, the school learned that the site was out of compliance with a groundwater protection standard involving the compound 1,4-dioxane. That discovery led to the cleanup, which has been paid for by 1-time money set aside in the university's budget.

The university learned in a letter May 13 that the state Health Department has signed off on the project.

The university now awaits a review by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, which regulates chemical disposal.