The University of Arkansas received a $10.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to fund clean-up of former nuclear reactor site SEFOR.
SEFOR was deactivated in 1974, and this funding will aid its demolition and the site’s return to grassy field.
Mike Johnson, Associate Vice Chancellor for the U of A, said this is the second phase of three to completely rid Arkansas of the low risk radiation contamination site.
Johnson said, “We will have removed everything on the surface we will take it down three feet below the surface, we will have done full testing and categorization of everything.”
The up-keep of the site has cost the university a pretty penny. Johnson explained, “We have been spending 40-45 thousand dollars a year for the last six years.”
And if the site isn’t demolished, Johnson said it is important to demolish the site now to avoid any issues. “Staying how it is will continue to suck money out of the University of Arkansas on a continuing increasing string, and at some point that reactor will corrode and at some point be breached,” Johnson said.”If we let it sit there medal, concrete..it deteriorates over time. If you do the math it’s 51 years old.”
The whole project and demolition is expected to be completely done by the first of January 2018.