FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — The effort to dismantle the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor has received $10 million in additional funding.
University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and U.S. Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) jointly announced the funding to dismantle SEFOR in southern Washington County, according to a news release from Womack’s office.
“Decommissioning and dismantling SEFOR has been a top priority for the University of Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas communities,” Womack said.
SEFOR was decommissioned as a 20-megawat sodium-cooled nuclear test reactor in 1974. The university took possession of the facility in 1975 and has been the caretaker of the site since, the news release states.
The Department of Energy previously awarded the university funding to begin dismantling SEFOR. The first phase of the cleanup was completed in September 2017, the news release states.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which passed on March 23, 2018, provided crucial final funding to complete the effort to decommission and dismantle SEFOR, the news release states.
“Finalizing this project was a long time coming, and I can think of no better example of public servants who put the needs and safety of their constituents at a higher priority than Rep. Womack and Sen. Boozman,” Steinmetz said in the news release.