News Service


Scott Wendt, Nuclear Engineering, (515) 294-0539
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University officials today submitted a plan to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for decommissioning its 10-kilowatt teaching nuclear reactor. The detailed plan now will be reviewed by NRC, a process that could take 6 to 12 months, said Scott Wendt, manager of the ISU nuclear reactor. NRC approval is required for decommissioning work to begin. Once the NRC approves the plan, decommissioning can be scheduled and then carried out.

"Engineers (from Duke Engineering & Services, Bolton, Mass.) have finished their investigation and characterization work and have come up with a plan to remove the reactor and restore the area," Wendt said. "There is a slight chance that we could get the work scheduled and begun by this summer."

Decommissioning work is expected to take nearly six months, according to the plan. This will include time to train workers before they do the actual deconstruction of the reactor, which itself is expected to take about three weeks, Wendt said. After decommissioning is completed, the NRC will review the work before releasing Iowa State from its license.

Iowa State's 150-ton teaching reactor was operable from November 1959 to May 1998. It was one of the first teaching reactors to be operated by a university in the U.S.

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