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University of Nevada Reno will decontaminate campus building tainted by radiation

Sept. 11, 2020
$12 million federal allocation will enable the school to begin decontamination of the Facilities Services Building, where low levels of radiation were detected in 2016.

The University of Nevada, Reno has secured $12 million in federal money it will use to start decontaminating a campus building that was once used to test radium.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Department of Interior is providing $12 million to the school to start the decontamination of the school’s Facilities Services Building.

The building was vacated and the 30 employees working there were relocated after low levels of radiation were detected in 2016. From 1920 to 1954, the U.S. Bureau of Mines used the building to test radium-226.

Denise Baclawski, the associate vice president of facilities services, says the process could take 27 months, though the exact process has not yet been settled.

The school hopes to get the building to a point where it can be safely occupied. But it’s possible that the building will need to be demolished if the decontamination process requires going deep enough that the building is destroyed.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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