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01-053
For Release: July 9, 2001

Sally V. Harrington
Media Relations Office
216/433-2037
Sally.V.Harrington@nasa.gov


Information Line Will Keep Public Informed and Involved

The public's interest and involvement in NASA Glenn's Plum Brook Reactor Facility Decommissioning Project is important to Glenn Research Center and the Plum Brook Decommissioning Team. A new vehicle available to them is the Decommissioning Information Line, a toll-free number at 1-800-260-3838.

The Information Line provides an overview of the project, the status of the project and information about upcoming events. It also provides an opportunity for members of the community to request copies of informative fact sheets or leave their name and address so they can be included in future informational mailings. They may also leave comments or questions for a member of the Decommissioning Team, which will be responded to within 48 hours.

The Information Line is just one of many ways Glenn has made information about its plans for safely decommissioning the closed Reactor Facility at Plum Brook Station available to the public. Other ways to learn about the Decommissioning Project are listed below.

  • A Website at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/pbrf provides links to What's New, Background, Documents and Records, Frequently Asked Questions and a glossary to name a few.
  • A Community Information Bank is located in the library on the campus of Bowling Green State University - Firelands in Huron, OH with hard copies of the information on the Website.
  • Fact sheets are available on subjects including a history of Plum Brook Station, the Decommissioning Project, transporting low-level radioactive waste, an environmental assessment that was conducted, and success stories about other decommissioning projects completed or in progress at other sites.
  • A Community Workgroup, which meets quarterly and is open to the public, is a vehicle for disseminating information on the Decommissioning Project while giving the community an opportunity to raise questions and concerns as well as provide input into the project. Members of the Workgroup include health and public safety professionals and representatives of local Erie County educational, environmental and minority communities.
  • Community Information Sessions have been held annually in the fall with another planned for October 2001, and an open house at Plum Brook Station was held in October of 1999.
  • Speakers, who can give a talk including a videotape or slide presentation about Plum Brook and the Decommissioning, are available upon request.

NASA submitted a Decommissioning Plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and is awaiting approval. In the meantime, several steps are being taken to prepare the Reactor Facility for decommissioning. Continuous air monitoring equipment has been set up and surface water and silt (sediment deposits in surface water) samples continue to be taken to establish background. In early June, Decommissioning staff members went through rigorous health and safety training. On June 25 pre-decommissioning work started. This work involves removing loose equipment and other material from the Hot Cells, areas used to perform experiments when the Reactor Facility was operational between 1961 and 1973. The material will be surveyed and packaged for eventual shipment off site.

With public safety as its number one priority, Glenn has selected the safest and most thorough approach in order to reduce residual radiation levels so that the Reactor Facility site will be safe enough to use for any purpose in the future. Glenn will ensure decommissioning is accomplished in a manner that fully protects workers, the surrounding communities and the environment.

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