Rainwater contamination discovered at SRS processing plant

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

(WRDW/WAGT) – Leaking rainwater has caused some contamination in the reprocessing plant at SRS.

The Department of Energy says the rainwater leaked through an “expansion joint at a location where previous rainwater intrusions had occurred”. The leak has resulted in a radioactive hot spot on the floor.

The DOE says the roof of H-Canyon Reprocessing Plant at SRS is degraded, and the water and contamination have flowed into what the DEO says are the clean parts of the plant.

The leak happened on December 2, 2018, and was included in a December 17th report. The DOE says the “Radiological Protection Department performed surveys of the area and found 80,000 disintegrations per minute beta-gamma contamination and no detectable alpha contamination.”

“It is shocking to learn that rainwater is leaking into the aging H-Canyon facility, yet another indication that the state of the facility is degraded and in need of significant, costly repair and upgrades or closure,” said Tom Clements, director of Savannah River Site Watch, in a press release. “The rainwater leakage and radioactive contamination issue comes on the heels of a series of operational problems and on-going concern about the status of the H-Canyon radioactive air exhaust tunnel, all underscoring concern about the state of the facility and if merits continued operation,” added Clements. “Concern is growing about a significant radiation event at the H-Canyon, especially in case of an earthquake,” said Clements.

No worker exposure has been reported following the leak and hot spot.

SRS Watch says they want the DOE to share the status of rainwater leakage at the facility with the public.