Issued 1/8/98
Contact: Mona S. Rowe, or Kara Villamil

Image of empty pool


Brookhaven Lab Completes
Pump Out of HFBR Spent-Fuel Pool

Tritium Leak Stopped,
Other Remediation Actions Completed


Upton, NY - Water from the spent-fuel pool of the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) was pumped out on December 30, 1997, marking completion of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) tritium remediation project - ahead of schedule and under budget.

The project started in January 1997, when BNL discovered tritium contamination in monitoring wells immediately south of the HFBR, a research reactor on the BNL site. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services have confirmed that the contamination, which is confined to the BNL site, poses no danger to BNL employees or to the public.

Since January 1997, DOE and BNL have taken the following actions:

The HFBR was already shut down for routine maintenance when the tritium contamination was discovered a year ago. The reactor has remained shut down, and DOE has begun a formal environmental review that will help determine its future.

- 30 -


The spent fuel pool of the High Flux Beam Reactor at Brookhaven National Laboratory,
which was emptied of all water and sediment ahead of schedule and under budget.