Some headway in the cleanup of American Nuclear superfund site?
There might be some light visible at the end of the tunnel concerning a longstanding problem dealing with radiation levels at a closed plant in the county.
After more than 50 years, it appears that progress might be made toward cleaning up radiation levels in water around the American Nuclear Corp. site at the end of Blockhouse Valley Road.
“This is absolutely phenomenal, excellent and outstanding news,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank told county commissioners at their meeting on Monday, Sept. 19.
She informed them of the results of a recent workshop meeting she attended with officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
The plant was built in the early 1960s by the late Jim Wilder, and went bankrupt a decade later. It used radioactive isotopes Cobalt-60 and Cesium-137 to make items for x-ray heads and other medical needs.
The problem began in 1968 when routine tests by Oak Ridge National Laboratory disclosed “significant and unacceptable” levels of nuclear radioactivity in a nearby river. Some cleanup was done in 1974, and the state of Tennessee took control of the site in 1980.