School closed due to radiation
A middle school in Pike County, Cincinnati, has been closed after officials announced that enriched uranium had been detected within the building.
The school closed on Monday, May 13th, after the district's school board sent a letter to parents informing them of the detection of uranium within the building and neptunium 237 in the air outside the school. "It is the position of the Board that any level of contamination on or near our school is unacceptable," Brandon Wooldridge, president of the district's board, wrote.
The school grounds are within four miles of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which is currently in the process of being decommissioned. "Enriched Uranium and Neptunium are currently identified as contaminants of concern by the U.S. Department of Energy on the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant property," the board wrote. "We agree with the Pike County Health Department that the U.S. Department of Energy must take appropriate actions to ensure radiological contaminants are not being released from the site."
The Portsmouth plant enriched uranium from 1954 until 2001, supplying the U.S nuclear weapons program and commercial nuclear reactors.