Morning Briefing - April 18, 2019
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April 18, 2019

EnergySolutions Wraps Up On-Site Cleanup of Ark. Reactor

By ExchangeMonitor

EnergySolutions said Thursday it has finished on-site remediation of the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR) near Fayetteville, Ark.

“The application of the EnergySolutions Decommissioning Management Model at SEFOR produced results that exceeded our expectations,” EnergySolutions Chief Nuclear Officer John Sauger said in a press release. “A site that pioneered research for reactivity control in fast neutron reactors has now been restored to its natural state, the same goal we have for every project we complete.”

All of the waste, including contaminated equipment and debris from building demolition, has been removed from the site, most taken to an EnergySolutions disposal facility in Clive, Utah, company spokesman Mark Walker said by email.

The company is adding topsoil and doing grass seeding, and will file a final report on the decommissioning with the Arkansas Department of Health in a few weeks, he added.

Sampling done on-site and adjacent to the property indicated no evidence of radioactive material, according to an EnergySolutions video about the cleanup, which will be shown today in a fire hall in Strickler, Ark., near the SEFOR site.

The $25 million restoration project was conducted in phases since 2010 as Energy Department funds became available.

Built in the 1960s, the reactor was used by a group of utilities to glean data on design and operation of commercial-size sodium-cooled nuclear reactors. The University of Arkansas bought the unit in 1975 for calibration and testing of nuclear instruments, but only used the plant for a year before placing it into a safe-storage status.

The Energy Department became responsible for the site’s decommissioning under the 2005 Energy Policy Act.