Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Fernald to hold last tour for public

Uranium sites to be gone after this year

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CROSBY TWP. - The public's last chance to tour the Fernald site while it's being cleaned up will be June 10.

By the end of this year, all four remaining uranium-production complexes on the site will be gone.

"After this year, the site becomes very boring," said Jeff Wagner, spokesman for Fluor Fernald, the contractor overseeing the cleanup.

There will be a grill-out at the site at 5:30 p.m., with the tour starting at 6:30.

Tour buses will drive near the four remaining production complexes, but visitors will not be allowed to go inside the buildings. The buses also will drive close to the two earthen-berm silos that contain 8,900 cubic yards of radioactive waste.

When workers begin removing, treating and packaging the waste from those silos next year, it will not be safe for the public to be near them, Wagner said.

Many former Fernald employees are expected at the June 10 cookout and tour.

Those wanting to attend need to sign up by calling 648-5883 or by e-mailing Visitors must be at least 18 years old. They will be asked to fill out a short registration form after arriving.

Before being shut down in 1989, the Fernald plant operated for 37 years, producing 500 million pounds of uranium metal products that were used at other federal sites for the production of nuclear weapons for the nation's defense program. The cleanup of radioactive waste on the site is to be completed in 2006.


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