Zahn's Corner Middle School
Zahn’s Corner Middle School of the Scioto Valley Local School District closed Monday
  • The school grounds are within four miles of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which is in the process of decommissioning.
  • The site is 1,200 acres, has 415 facilities. Among them are three diffusion process buildings that are the size of 158 football fields, per the DOE.

CINCINNATI – An Ohio middle school has been closed after officials said enriched uranium was detected within the building.

Zahn’s Corner Middle School of the Scioto Valley Local School District closed Monday after the district’s 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.

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“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 in the process of decommissioning.

“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.”

 Middle School
Zahn’s Corner Middle School

The plant enriched uranium from 1954 until 2001, supplying the U.S nuclear weapons program and commercial nuclear reactors.

The site is 1,200 acres, has 415 facilities. Among them are three diffusion process buildings that are the size of 158 football fields, per the DOE.

The Pike County (Ohio) Health District hosted a public forum April 27 regarding the concerns raised in a technical memorandum released by Northern Arizona University that, according to Health Commissioner Matthew Brewster, included sample results taken from private properties, the middle school and state waters within a five-mile radius of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.

 

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