University to dismantle nuclear reactor

April 6, 2006

University of Washington officials say an old nuclear reactor on its Seattle campus -- unnoticed by most students -- will be dismantled beginning Monday.

The reactor, which has been idle nearly 20 years, is tiny compared with power-generating reactors, The Seattle Times reported, noting it will cost $4 million and take six months to remove dangerous materials.

Students are upset, however, with the university's selection of LVI Services Inc., a New York-based environmental remediation and demolition service.

Some students wore hazardous-materials suits on campus to protest LVI's selection, saying the company has a questionable record with safety procedures and its treatment of workers, the newspaper said. Company officials had no comment.

The reactor was built for training and educational purposes in 1959 and became operational two years later. The demolition project's manager, Elizabeth Peterson, told the Times it is, perhaps, the world's only reactor housed in a glass building, which allowed students to look and see there was nothing to fear.

The reactor ceased operating in 1988, and its fuel rods were removed the next year. But still remaining are 1960s-style beakers, notebooks and control knobs, Peterson said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Team makes stride in explaining 30-year-old 'hidden order' physics mystery

Related Stories

How can we search for life on icy moons such as Europa?

November 24, 2014

Our solar system is host to a wealth of icy worlds that may have water beneath the surface. The Cassini spacecraft recently uncovered evidence of a possible ocean under the surface of Saturn's moon, Mimas.

'Hidden Treasure of Rome' project unveiled

September 16, 2014

For more than a century, hundreds of thousands of historical artifacts dating back to before the founding of Rome have been stored in crates in the Capitoline Museums of Rome, where they have remained mostly untouched. Now, ...

Debunking myths on nuclear power

December 31, 2013

It is the received wisdom that nuclear weapons and nuclear power are inseparable. Consequently, any country that builds a civilian nuclear power station is able to build an atomic bomb within a couple of years.

Recommended for you

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in 3-D

September 4, 2015

An international team of scientists has developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nanomaterials that possess superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions.

Secrets of a heat-loving microbe unlocked

September 4, 2015

Scientists studying how a heat-loving microbe transfers its DNA from one generation to the next say it could further our understanding of an extraordinary superbug.

Plants also suffer from stress

September 4, 2015

High salt in soil dramatically stresses plant biology and reduces the growth and yield of crops. Now researchers have found specific proteins that allow plants to grow better under salt stress, and may help breed future generations ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.