Environmental Impact Statement To Be Prepared for HFBR

November 1997

Following the detection of tritium in the groundwater south of the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) and the discovery of a leak in the reactor's spent fuel pool, the HFBR was placed in stand-by mode. While BNL addressed tritium contamination and groundwater issues, Congress directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the effect that the HFBR had on the environment.

DOE began the EIS process. Scoping meetings were held on December 10, 1997 at BNL, on January 10, 1998 at the Longwood High School, and on January 15, 1998 at the Shoreham-Wading River Library. However, before the document was completed, then Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson, citing the lenght of time the EIS would take to complete, a limited budget, and the availability of other neutron research facilities, announced on November 16, 1999 that the reactor would be permanently closed.