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Army Corps of Engineers finds no excessive radioactive levels at Florissant, Mo., elementary school

Nov. 10, 2022
Jana Elementary was shut down last month amid fears that the site was contaminated by nuclear material.

Tests at Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Mo., have shown no evidence of excessive radioactive contamination at the school, federal authorities say.

The campus was shut down last month after fears that nuclear material from a nearby creek had made its way into the school. 

ABC News reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began testing the interior of the elementary school and the soil around it in late October, days after the school board closed the campus.

A private firm had found levels of radioactive isotope lead-210 on the kindergarten playground that were 22 times the expected level. Tests also had detected concerning levels of polonium, radium and other materials inside the building. 

The Corps said preliminary results found no evidence of radioactive material above what would be naturally occurring.

“From a radiological standpoint, the school is safe,” Col. Kevin Golinghorst, St. Louis District commander for the Corps of Engineers, said in a news release. “We owe it to the public and the parents and children of Jana Elementary School to make informed decisions focused on the safety of the community, and we will continue to take effective actions using accurate data.”

Corps spokesman J. P. Rebello said the agency took nearly 1,000 samples and measurements throughout the school and grounds and found no radioactive material above levels found in nature. Golinghorst noted that 53 of the samples were taken from soil on school grounds.

Students from Jana Elementary will continue to take virtual classes for the next month, then will be reassigned to other schools. It hasn’t been determined when Jana Elementary will reopen.

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