UA Radioactive Dump Site Soon to Become Green Pasture

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Officials say a site used by the University of Arkansas to dump low-level radioactive waste in the early 1970s near Fayetteville will soon become a grassy pasture.

Mike Johnson, associate vice chancellor for facilities, says state and university officials began planning to dismantle the four-acre dump in 2001, after monitoring wells showed contamination in the soil.  Johnson says some of the buried, clay-lined cells that housed waste slightly leaked into the ground.

He described the waste as a mix of chemicals, radioactive isotopes and lab waste like contaminated gloves.

Chain-link and barbed-wire fence that has surrounded the property for decades will be removed soon after the $4 million cleanup operation ends.  The university has no immediate plans for the property.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)