Lack Of Funding May Halt Cleanup At Former Radioactive Site

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Project managers with SEFOR say they're in the last phase cleaning up the once radioactive site.

However, cleanup efforts may be put on hold because of a funding issue. Officials from the University of Arkansas and Energy Solutions who are heading the decommission project had to tell community members they are still about $8 million short of funding that they need in order to complete the final phase of the project.

"We`ve done well and we need not to let it sit here for very much longer," Mike Johnson with the University of Arkansas, said.

Johnson said they only have a year left on this phase.

"We don`t want to lose our team and have to start over, in getting people tuned into this and people we have contracts with and that sort of thing," Johnson explained.

Johnson said a top priority is making sure the site is safe.

"We have to handle it in a very special way special equipment it has to be hauled away and we don`t want anything leaving the sight that we aren`t aware of.... it`s all very expensive," Johnson said.

He said safety comes at a price they're not willing to negotiate.

If the government doesn't respond with needed funding, Dean Wheeler with Energy Source said, "Well the reactor will end up staying in ground inside the containment building on site until we get the funding to remove it. It`s not a huge liability by it is a liability it`s a radioactive component."

Once the deadline expires, the site will go into safe store mode.

"We`ll have the equipment that we need if the funding does come fairly quickly we can turn things back on and get things started without much of a delay," Wheeler explained.



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