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Happenings

  • POTW exhibit at WSU through April 5, 2013
  • POTW exhibit in Portland May 3 - June 14, 2013

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Radioactive Waste from Albany, OR

Established in 1943, the Albany Research Center (ARC) investigated approaches for developing strategic mineral resources and other metallurgical activities research. From 1948 to 1956 thorium was melted, machined, welded and alloyed at the site for the Atomic Energy Commission. Later the facility worked with both thorium and uranium for the Energy Research and Development Administration.

During its years of operation the ARC performed decontamination efforts at the process buildings and surrounding areas to prevent uranium and thorium contamination. Inadequate records were kept of these efforts which prompted a radiological survey of the area in 1984. This survey identified around 2,600 cubic yards of material as contaminated. This waste was transported to the Hanford facility for disposal between July 1987 and January 1988.

Subsequent surveys identified additional areas needing removal which took place between August 1990 and April 1991. These areas were primarily buildings but also included a PCB-contaminated lime pit used to segregate heavy metals from waste residue. This mixed PCB-radioactive waste was removed from the pit and shipped Hanford. In total, approximately 2,977 cubic yards of soil (from an area of 7,236 square yards); 400 cubic yards of building debris; and 67 cubic yards of equipment transported from the Albany Site to Hanford.

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