Latest News

Public Information Meeting

USEPA will host a Public Information Meeting for Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held at Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street Room 204, Acton, MA. If you have any questions or special needs, please contact Sarah White, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, at 617-918-1026 or white.sarah@epa.gov. The latest site update can be accessed here.

NMI NTCRA Construction Completion Article Published

ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com recently published an article about the clean up of Starmet Corporation’s contaminated buildings as part of the NMI NTCRA. Find the 22FEB17 published article link here or download this pdf.

NTCRA Building Demolition Complete

The work under the Building NTCRA is now substantially complete with all demolition and off-site disposal of building debris finished. Placement of a liner cover over the demolished building sites to prevent rainwater infiltration prior to the start of the final remedial action is also complete, as shown in the August 2016 aerial photo. An updated photo log for July and August 2016 demolition activities can be found here. More photos on building demolition can be found on NTCRA Progress.

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12 AUG 2016 Aerial photo looking west showing liner placed over former building sites.

Site Overview, Looking North-west, 16 JUN 2015

June 2015 Site overview looking northwest.

Building Demolition Nearing Completion

Building E Mezzanine Demolition

Building E Mezzanine Demolition

Demolition of Building A, the final building structure to be demolished, began last week and is approximately 50% complete. Building E demolition is complete and placement of liner over the slab is nearly complete. For a summer demolition update, see Demo Progress 24JUN – 7 JUL 2016.

Buildings Demolished

Buildings B, B4, C and D have been completely demolished. The liner has been placed over the former Building D location and demolition continues towards the south end of Building C. The demolition crews have removed about half of Building E and are continuing demolition this week. Building A will be the final building removed. For more photos on demolition, see NTCRA Progress.

3JUN16 Aerial

Building Demolition Continues

Building demolition continues onsite with Building D demo nearly complete. The crew will be approaching Building C demo this week and the liner/cover crew will be mobilizing next week. April progress can be viewed on this slideshow.

Phase 3 Demolition Resumes Today

NMI demo starts 4 19 16

Phase 3 Demolition began today, 19 APR 16, at the north end of Building D around 11:30 am. Work will continue with the excavator and grapple and move on to Buildings C and A.

NMI demo continues 4 19 16

Burn Bar Used to Reduce Size of Large Equipment

A burn bar, or thermal lance, heats and melts steel in the presence of pressurized oxygen to create very high temperatures to cut large pieces of machinery. On site, the burn bar was used for size reduction for the pressure tank and 1,400 ton press as seen in the Burn Bar 2016 movie.

Ramping Up to Complete Building Demolition

Currently, we are completing a sub-slab investigation program, which involves drilling holes through the concrete floor slabs, and then collecting soil samples below the buildings. This information will be used to refine the scope and estimated cost for the next phase of work. The next phase of work will be the Remedial Action, during which the slabs and impacted sub-slab soils will be removed.

Our demolition contractor, Charter, is expected to re-mobilize to the site in late March 2016 to perform the final utility decommissioning and other preparations prior to building demolition. Building demolition is planned to commence in mid-April 2016, and is expected to continue through August 2016. After demolition is complete, the building foundations will remain in place and an impermeable cap will be installed to minimize water infiltration until the Remedial Action. To see the progress photos of the buildings ready for demolition, see NTCRA Progress.

Once building demolition activities are in full swing, up to 12 trucks will leave the site daily. Work is planned for weekdays, with truck traffic scheduled between 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM, to avoid rush hours and the period when school buses are active.

Solid Progress Made for Data Collection to Support EPA’s Groundwater NTCRA

Fall and winter RI/FS activities included the installation and sampling of 25 groundwater monitoring wells to further delineate the 1,4-dioxane plume associated with the site. de maximis and its subcontractor, Geosyntec, met with representatives of EPA, MassDEP and the community groups in December 2015 to discuss the investigation results and next steps. Three additional monitoring wells were installed in January 2016, as shown on the figures illustrating the locations of and monitoring data for the investigations (NMI GW Figures).

Since January, the technical team has been working with EPA, MassDEP and the Acton Water District to design and implement a shutdown test of the Assabet 1A and 1B production wells. This test is planned to start the week of March 14. The resulting data will help to define the capture zone of the Assabet wells, which will assist in the selection of an effective location to install and test a pumping well. That test data will be a key component for the design of the system that will be installed to cut off the flow of contamination from NMI. In summary, solid progress has been made to collect the data necessary to design the Groundwater Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) selected by EPA in September 2015 as part of the necessary remediation for the site.

Installation of monitoring well 32, September 2015.

Installation of monitoring well 32, September 2015.

Acids, Oils, Caustics, and Depleted Uranium Shipped Off-Site for Disposal

By the end of 2015, all Depleted Uranium, corrosive mixed wastes, mixed waste organics, mixed waste metals, Sonedyne wastes, equipment oils and pit sludges previously stored on site during the NTCRA were all shipped off-site for disposal with EnergySolutions.

Four trucks staged for transport, December 2015.

Four trucks staged for transport, December 2015.

Loading acid overpack prior to shipment off-site.

Loading acid overpack prior to shipment off-site, December 2015.

Stage 1 of Building Demolition Complete

Stage 1 of the building demolition began this fall as part of the Phase 3 Construction Submittal and is now complete, including demolition of Butler buildings B1, B2, and B3, Tank House, pump house 2, acetone shed, hydrogen peroxide shed, gas cylinder shed, and exterior compaction dumpster. The remaining slabs are being placed under temporary cover for the winter. For more demolition photos, see NTCRA Progress.

Tankhouse demolition, November/December 2015

Tank house demolition, November 2015

Butler building B3 demolition, November 2015

Butler building B3 demolition, November 2015

EPA Announces Completed Record of Decision

EPA provided a news release 1OCT2015 announcing the completed Record of Decision (ROD) for the Nuclear Metals Site, Inc. The ROD generally includes the following components:
• Excavation and off-site disposal of approximately 82,500 cubic yards of contaminated materials.
• In-Situ stabilization of depleted uranium contaminated soils in the Holding Basin using apatite injection.
• Extraction and ex-situ treatment of groundwater for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and 1,4-dioxane.
• In-situ treatment of depleted uranium and natural uranium in groundwater.
• Long-term monitoring to monitor the effectiveness of in- and ex-situ treatment.
• Institutional Controls to prevent disturbance of the Holding Basin area, prevent the use of Site groundwater, and address potential vapor intrusion risks.

Additional Groundwater Investigation for 1,4-dioxane Commences

USEPA (EPA) approved the Groundwater Investigation Work Plan on 27AUG15 for further delineation of the contaminant 1,4-dioxane. The investigation will include installation of additional monitoring wells, comprehensive groundwater quality monitoring to define the extent of the 1,4-dioxane plume and water level monitoring. EPA is considering accelerating this portion of the proposed remedy and performing it as a Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) rather than as part of the overall remedy. Crews mobilized to the site and began well installation today, 1SEP15.

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Crews beginning installation of MW-35, adjacent to Main street.

Fall Shipping Campaign Complete

The site completed the second shipping campaign of 2015 on 31JUL with a total of 40 intermodal containers shipped containing 731,930 pounds (366 tons) of waste for disposal.

Loading activities on 29JUL15 in Building D for off-site shipping campaign.

Loading activities on 29JUL15 in Building D for off-site shipping campaign.

Shipping Campaign Underway

The latest shipping campaign for off-site waste disposal began 20JUL 2105. As of noon 27JUL15, 21 intermodal containers with 450,380 pounds (3,317 tons) were shipped off site.

Rooftop Systems Removal Nearing Completion

Dismantling and removal of the rooftop systems prior to building demolition is nearly complete. Units that cannot be dismantled safely will be demolished during the Phase III Building Demolition. For additional photos, see NTCRA Progress.

Building C Rooftop Removal, 16 JUN 2015

Building C Rooftop Removal, 16 JUN 2015

Site Overview, Looking North-west, 16 JUN 2015

Site Overview, Looking northwest, 16 JUN 2015

Shipping Campaign Complete

Sixty-four (64) intermodal containers with waste totaling 1,384,970 lbs or 692.5 tons were shipped off-site during the May/June 2015 Shipping Campaign that ended yesterday, 2 JUN 2015. Another shipping campaign is projected to occur later this year before building demolition begins.

Four trucks loaded and ready to leave NMI site, 28 MAY 2015.
Four trucks loaded and ready to leave NMI site, 28 MAY 2015.

Shipping Campaign Ongoing

Intermodal Transit Photos 5-14-15 011 Intermodal Transit Photos 5-14-15 003The most recent shipping campaign is ongoing. Shipment totals through the end of this week (15 May 2015) include 20 Intermodal Containers shipped and 426,040 lbs or 213 tons. Shipping will continue the next couple of weeks.

Rooftop Systems Removal Ongoing

Rooftop-Packaged E-69

Mechanical Exhaust Unit on the northwest side of Building D rooftop, facing north
30APR15

In preparation for building demolition, the rooftop systems are being dismantled and removed as shown here on the northwest side of Building D. The mechanical exhaust unit has been sprayed with lock down agent on the exterior and interior of the unit and the intake and exhaust have been sealed. The unit has also been wrapped in plastic wrap in preparation of its removal.

EPA working on Action Memorandum for New Non-Time-Critical Removal Action

EPA is working on an Action Memorandum for another Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA), which will address 1, 4-dioxane in groundwater. EPA, MassDEP, and Respondents have been working together to identify the key elements for the design of the NTCRA for 1,4-dioxane in groundwater, which generally includes further delineation of the extent of 1,4-dioxane above regulatory limits in overburden and bedrock groundwater, performance of an “aquifer pump test” in order to obtain necessary hydrogeologic data for system design (e.g., locations and pumping rates for extraction wells to capture the 1,4-dioxane plume), and performance of one or more treatability studies to evaluate potentially applicable technologies to remove 1,4-dioxane from the extracted groundwater.  Further delineation is likely to occur later this spring, before the Action Memorandum is issued.

Material Staged for Next Off-Site Shipment

Building D- Overview with former offices

Building D- Overview with former offices

Due to weather complications, schedule issues, and container availability, the scheduled off-site shipping campaign moved from April to early May. As shown in the above photo, interior walls and material are staged for disposal.

Interior Building Demolition Near Completion

Building A- Second floor

Building A- Second floor

Interior building demolition is essentially complete with the removal of the non-structural walls. Initiating HEPA vacuuming of the surfaces to remove dust and adding an application of “lock down agent” to further control dust. Anticipate building demolition to begin Summer 2015. For more progress photos, see NTCRA Progress.

Work Resumes as Snow and Ice Thaws

Work resumes in the previously closed buildings as the snow and ice thaws and Spring approaches Concord. The site is gearing up for the next shipping campaign, due to start in early April 2015.

Work in Buildings, A, B, and C on Hold Due to Snow

Approximately 4 feet of snow, more in some areas, covers the rooftops in Buildings A, B, and C. In the interest of worker safety, work is suspended in these areas pending rooftop snow removal. The contamination reduction zone has been moved to Building D and work will continue in Building D and E. See NTCRA Progress for more snow photos.

Aerial view of NMI site on Friday, 13 FEB 2015.

Public comment period draws to a close

Public comments on the Proposed Cleanup Plan will be accepted through 14 JAN 2015.  See the USEPA news release for more information.

High Hazard Work Continues

High Hazard Work continued during December 2014 and January 2015. Decontamination and clean-out progressed, especially in the former Hydrofluoric Acid area as shown. To see more photos of progress, go to NTCRA Progress.Bldg Former HF Area

Public Hearing on 10 DEC 2014

The Public Hearing on the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site will be at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, also at the Concord Town Hall Meeting Room, 22 Monument Square, Concord, MA.

Public Review and Comment Period Extended

USEPA issued a news release today to announce the extension of the public review and comment period. Public comments on the Proposed Cleanup Plan will be accepted through 14 JAN 2015. USEPA will also hold a formal public hearing, where oral comments will be accepted on the Proposed Plan, on Wednesday, 10 DEC 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Concord Town House, 2nd Floor, 22 Monument Square, Concord, Mass.

Recent Shipping Campaign Complete

Thirty-two (32) Intermodal containers were shipped off-site during the recently completed eight-day shipping campaign that ended Wednesday, 12 NOV 2014. This week, approximately 12,000 gallons (three tankers) of RCRA nonhazardous water from the FRAC tank will be loaded and transported of US Ecology in Idaho.

Shipping Continues This Week

Shipping resumed Monday, 3 NOV 14, with 24 more intermodal containers shipped through the following Monday, 10 NOV 14 for a total of 250 containers shipped.

Feasibility Study Report Available

The Feasibility Study Report for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site is complete and available to download. Individual components of the 3 NOV 2014 EPA approved report can also be found on the RI/FS Related Documents page.

EPA Releases the Proposed Remedial Action Plan

EPA has released the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund site. Full report is available to download.

Public Meeting and Hearing Dates Announced

The Public Meeting on the proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site will be at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at the Concord Town Hall Meeting Room located at 22 Monument Square, Concord, MA.

The Public Hearing on the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Nuclear Metals, Inc. Superfund Site will be at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, also at the Concord Town Hall Meeting Room.

Meteorological Tower erected, Air Monitoring Stations complete

The Meterological Tower has been installed in the northeast parking lot, just north of the Cooling Water Pond. All four of the Air Monitoring Stations have been installed and are operational. Air Monitoring will proceed pursuant to the Air Monitoring Plan approved by EPA on 29 JUL 2014.

North Air Monitoring Station

Meteorological Tower

Latest Off-Site Shipping Campaign Complete

A total of 32 additional containers have been shipped off site via four rail cars from 28 July to 6 August 2014. Material consisted of interior building debris for a estimated total of 385,000 lbs. The next shipment of off-site waste is scheduled for this fall.

Aerial View of NMI Site

Aerial flyover performed this month for a view of the rooftop systems to be dismantled and removed. For more photos, visit NTCRA Progress.NMI Aerial Photo looking East_June 2014

 

Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment Complete

EPA provided conditional approval of the Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment on 14 May 2014. The final comments have been incorporated into the documents and the document, tables and figures, and appendices are now available here under Ecological Risk Assessment.

Rooftop Walkway Installed

Completed installation of walkway system on rooftops of Buildings A, B, and C to provide safe access for building maintenance and rooftop system investigations.Roof Walkway System Building A

Shipping Resumes

An additional eight containers were shipped off-site for disposal on Wednesday, 16 APR 2014.

EPA Approves Remedial Investigation Report and Human Health Risk Assessment

EPA provided approval on 2 APR 2014 for the Remedial Investigation Report and Human Health Risk Assessment. Click here to download the reports and appendices.

Shipping Campaign Complete

The site completed another shipment of waste containers off site for disposal on 19Mar 2014. This round, a total of 32 containers were shipped. Twelve empty containers have been staged on site to be loaded for the next shipping campaign. A total of 186 containers (including 2 tankers) have been shipped to date.

Front view of container shipped on 19 Mar 2014.

Front view of container shipped on 19 Mar 2014.

Off-Site Shipment of Waste Resumes

Shipment of waste off-site for disposal resumed this week with 21 containers shipped as of Friday, March 14, 2014.

Building Clean-out Continues

The clean out of the Laboratory and second floor of Building A is now complete. The combustible walls in both Buildings A and B have been removed. The utility clean-out in Building B continues. See NTCRA Progress for photos showing Building C before and after clean-out.

Building Stabilization Activities Continue

Work inside the NMI buildings continues, such as removal of interior vacuum lines from buildings A, B, D, and D; removal of non-structural combustible walls in Buildings A and B; removal of interior utilities such as electrical conduits, process piping, non-process piping and ductwork; and removal of remaining equipment. See NTCRA Progress for photo of Building C Utility Removal.

Tank House Work Complete

The scope of work for the Tank House and Wastewater Treatment Area Work Plan was completed on January 29, 2014. See NTCRA PROGRESS  for progress photos.

High Hazard work has been suspended pending evaluation of findings from the initial work preparations.

Building Stabilization activities continue. Expecting off-site shipping to resume early spring 2014.

Work Staged to Begin in the New Year

While the site will be closed over the holidays (with security in full force), crews have begun implementation of the High Hazard work by setting up work zones and preparations to begin demolition work after the first of the year.

Clean-up Progresses

DSCF2052DSCF2121Photographs of Building C  as the clean out progresses. Staging of waste for shipment off site continues with shipment resuming early December.

Tank House Work Begins

EPA provided approval of the Tank House Plan,  RTC Tank House Work Plan 092413, 1 OCT 13 prior to the partial government shutdown. Decommissioning activities pursuant to the approved plan commenced on site this month.

More waste shipped off-site for disposal

Waste shipment continued for a brief period in late September and early October, shipping 16 intermodal containers off-site for disposal. Off-site waste shipment will resume again in mid-November.

Off-site waste shipments surpass the 2 million pound mark

Over 1000 tons in 114 containers have been shipped off-site for disposal as of Friday, August 9, 2013.

100th Container Shipped from NMI Site

As of Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, a total of one hundred containers packed with waste for off-site disposal were sent from the NMI site. Waste shipment off site will continue, although shipment off site will pause from mid July to early August while crews stockpile more waste material.

Over 1 million pounds of waste shipped off-site as of Friday, June 14th!

Four hundred and seventy-two tons of waste shipped off-site

As of Friday, June 7th, 2013, Fifty-two containers containing 945,280 lbs of waste have been shipped off site.

Off-site Waste Shipment Ongoing

As of Monday, June 3, forty-eight containers have been shipped offsite, or approximately 446 tons.

Truck hauling waste containers leaving scale house.

Truck hauling waste containers leaving scale house.

Same truck as above leaving site entrance.

Same truck as above leaving site entrance.

 

Shipment of Waste Continues

Twenty-four containers with 406,840 lbs of waste have been shipped off-site as of the close of last week, Friday, May 17th.

First Shipment of Waste Leaves the Site Monday, May 6th

First truck pulling out of the building loaded for waste shipment.

First truck pulling out of the building loaded for waste shipment.

Confirming truck weight while preparing to leave NMI.
Confirming truck weight while preparing to leave NMI.

Gross weight check on waste truck.

Gross weight check on waste truck.First waste disposal truck leaving NMI around 1 pm Monday, May 6, 2013.First waste disposal truck leaving NMI around 1 pm Monday, May 6, 2013.

Shipment Commences of Waste Materials/Building Contents

As part of the building demolition, shipment of waste materials from the building contents for off-site disposal will begin the week of May 6, 2013, in accordance with the EPA approved Phase 1 Construction Submittal. A maximum of six trucks per weekday will depart from the site, avoiding rush hours and school bus hours. Removal of the building contents is scheduled to continue through the end of 2013.

Phase 1 Construction Submittal Approved March 27, 2013.

See document>> Phase 1 Construction Submittal

Activities Continue Despite Snow

Grading activities continued during February, as well as excavation for truck scale foundation, despite snow accumulations. During major snowfall events on February 10th, March 8th, and March 19th, snow and ice were removed from driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and fire hydrants. This allowed for ready access for emergency vehicles and access and egress from buildings as needed. The Truck Scale installation was completed on March 15, 2013.

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Truck scale area during March 8th snow event

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Installation of truck scale, concrete pad placement.

 

Completing installation of the truck scale.

Completing installation of the truck scale.

 

Disposal Preparation

Continued radiological screening of Laboratory Package Material in preparation for disposal.

Tree Clearing

West Side of Butler Buildings Before OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tree clearing activities continued around west side of Butler Buildings (top left, before), on the southwest side of Building A (right, before) as well as in the Building A courtyard (bottom left, before). Also performed tree stump removal and completed removal of the interior fence south of Building A as part of the Site Management and Security Plan Addendum #1.

After photos:

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West side of Butler Buildings                                     SW corner of Building A

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South end of Building A                                                Building A Courtyard

Site Improvement Work

Mobilized to site last week to begin site improvement work. Started tree clearing on January 21, 2013 following worker site orientation and health and safety briefing. Clearing should continue the rest of this week.

Addendum 1 to the Site Management and Security Plan

Addendum 1 to the Site Management and Security Plan was approved by EPA on December 20, 2012. The Addendum covers site work necessary to implement the NTCRA, including some tree clearing, grading soils, moving a section of fence, installing a truck weigh scale and creating a waste container staging area.
See Document >>

Last updated on May 11, 2017