Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
Nuclear Metals Inc.
On June 26, 2007, EPA was notified by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass. DEP) that a fire had occurred at the former Nuclear Metals (now Starmet) facility in Concord, Mass. The property at 2229 Main Street is about 46 acres and includes five interconnected buildings, a tank house and a gas cylinder storage hut. The area where the fire occurred was known to contain residual levels of depleted uranium contamination as well as drums and other containers of unidentified process waste and raw materials.
As a result of the fire, the Mass. DEP requested air sampling assistance from EPA to determine if radioactive materials had been released into the environment. Following consultation with Massachusetts public health agencies, in July 2007 EPA performed a thorough inventory of the hazardous materials stored in the entire facility. Hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants at the site that posed a threat of release into the environment included flammable liquids (including methanol and acetone), toxic compressed gas cylinders (including cylinders of silicon tetrafluoride, tungsten hexafluoride and boron trifluoride), caustic liquids (including nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid), flammable metal powders (including copper powder and nickel powder), and other hazardous substances that are either water reactive and/or heat and moisture sensitive (including phosphorous pentoxide). In addition, the radiation screening performed on the containers of these various materials indicated varying levels of radioactive contamination.
EPA's evaluation concluded that the hazardous materials posed a risk of fire, a risk of accelerating a fire due to chemical reactivity or explosion, and/or a risk to personnel involved in firefighting or response activities. On Nov. 21, 2007, the Concord Fire Dept. requested EPA assistance with removing the hazardous materials from the Starmet facility, concluding that the continued existence of these materials within the facility constituted an imminent threat to public health and safety. EPA performed removal work of the hazardous materials beginning in Jan. 2008, and concluded in Sept. of that year.
Location: Concord, MA
Start date: 01/07/2008
End date: 09/25/2008
Contact: Claudia Deane (firstname.lastname@example.org)