A company that stored 1 million pounds of scrap radioactive material in Tennessee filed for Chapter 7 and the question now is who will now “mind the store?”
Impact Services Inc. “shut its doors” after filing for Chapter 7 liquidation May 24 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman Meg Lockhart.
Impact Services is a radioactive waste processing facility that provided decontamination services to low-level radioactive component parts and scrap from commercial nuclear reactors, according to its website.
Lockhart said members of the department’s Division of Radiological Health went to the site on May 21 and the company had a radiation safety officer there. Lockhart said the scrap radioactive material was secure and the company was trying to decide its options.
Filings in the bankruptcy case say the company does not believe the current storage and processing of the low-level radioactive waste currently poses a threat of “imminent and identifiable harm to the public health or safety.” The document went on to say the material could pose a threat if not handled properly.
The company said about 60 to 70 percent of material can go back to the generators, Lockhart said.
“If that is the case, it would leave about 400,000 pounds that would need to be addressed,” she said.
Lockhart said it is too early to speculate on future plans for the facility. The state and a bankruptcy trustee have planned a conference call to discuss the next steps.
The state holds a $1.2 million surety bond to cover the liabilities when a facility abandons their responsibility to maintain the site in a safe condition, Lockhart said.
The Tennessee Valley Authority does not use Impact Services as a contractor for its low-level radioactive waste, such as plant parts and disposable suits and cleaning materials, said TVA spokesman Ray Golden.