The US Department of Energy plant was built to produce enriched uranium for the nation's nuclear weapons program during the Cold War and, in later years, supported commercial nuclear reactors. One of three such plants in the United States, it operated from 1954 to 2001, when it commenced decontamination and decommissioning, which continues today.
In the past five years, five students in the nearby Scioto Valley Local School District have been diagnosed with cancer; three of them have died, Chandler said. Her cousin, Luke, who grew up near the facility, died years ago of leukemia. She wonders whether it is a cancer cluster.
On Monday, Zahn's Corner Middle School in Piketon was closed because enriched uranium had been detected inside the building and neptunium-237 had been detected by an air monitor next to it.
"As the crow flies, the school is less than two miles from the DOE property boundary," Chandler said.
The Northern Arizona University scientists working with the community published their own technical memorandum on April 27 that included sample results taken within a 5-mile radius of the nuclear plant. The report found enriched uranium inside Zahn's Corner Middle School. It also detected neptunium in water and sediment samples from a private property adjacent to the construction site and enriched uranium, neptunium and plutonium on private properties and streams and creeks within the Piketon vicinity.
This report, combined with the Department of Energy's annual survey, prompted the school district to close the middle school. https://edition-m.cnn.com/2019/05/14/health/ohio-middle-school-radioactivity-bn/index.html?r=http%3A%2F%2Fphplist.amisdelaterremp.fr%2Flists%2F%3Fm%3D2620%26uid%3D75e1735479f6cbddc8e2920cbb1d56f8%26p%3Dview%26pi%3DViewBrowserPlugin%26fbclid%3DIwAR1ON6wzRlQjGdHhEM_G_0BCsPw2VK0vVFjYvnLc_fb_wC9FebX3KV1sR9g