Tennessee officials have received reports that IMPACT Services Inc. has closed its waste processing operation at Heritage Center, and state workers are at the site this week to ensure the low-level radioactive materials are safe.
The company has about one million pounds of waste at Heritage Center, the former K-25 site in west Oak Ridge, said Tisha Calabrese-Benton, director of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of External Affairs.
She said IMPACT Services, which has a state license to possess radioactive materials, has people at the site, including a radiation safety officer.
Company officials have told state workers that about 60 to 70 percent of the waste can be returned to those who generated it. That could leave about 400,000 pounds or less of waste that have to be dealt with, Calabrese-Benton said.
Workers from the Tennessee Division of Radiological Health were at IMPACT Services on Monday and will likely be there again today, Calabrese-Benton said Tuesday morning.
“Our involvement is to make sure that the waste is appropriately secured and dealt with,” she said.
Calabrese-Benton said IMPACT Services’ license includes a $1.2 million financial assurance, and that should help the state deal with remaining wastes. She said it is too early to speculate on whether the amount would be adequate.
“We need to know exactly what the company’s plans are first,” she said.
She said state officials learned of IMPACT Services’ closure on Friday from other licensees.
The company would be required to notify Tennessee officials before filing for bankruptcy.
“It is my understanding that they have not filed for bankruptcy at this point, and they have not notified the state of intentions to file at this time,” Calabrese-Benton said.
Officials at IMPACT Services were not available for comment Tuesday morning and did not return a phone call seeking comment.