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Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeks public comment on Pickard Hall radiation

Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 9:05 p.m. CDT; updated 10:18 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 23, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission encouraged public comments on MU's request for an indefinite extension to clean up radioactive material in Pickard Hall, which houses the Museum of Art and Archaeology.

A public hearing was held Thursday evening in MU's Jesse Wrench Auditorium to address the details of radiation in Pickard Hall. Peter Ashbrook, MU's Environmental Health and Safety director, said the university has known about the radiation for decades.

Learn more about radiation regulations

Information on decommissioning:

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/decommissioning.html

Comments can be sent to:

Cindy Bladey, Chief

Rules, Announcements, and Directive Branch

Office of Administration, Mail Stop TWB-05-B01M

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington, D.C. 20555-0001

Or faxed to:

(301) 492-3446



On Nov. 17, 2009, the commission received information about radiation in the building that exceeded acceptable limits. The university has requested an extension for cleanup processes because of limited funds and the fact that the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The radiation was found in a few different locations, such as in the walls, the ground and the attic and underneath floorboards, said Christine Lipa, the branch chief of Materials Control for the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation and Decommissioning Branch. 

Although the commission deemed the dose of radiation stemming from the Nov. 17 inspections unharmful, the commission thought it was important to take the public's comments and questions into consideration. 

The commission is still reviewing MU's request. The review process will take a year from March 21, when the university first sent in the request for an extension. 

The commission will accept comments for review until July 5.


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