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Environment

NIST Continues Boulder Cleanup

September 22, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 38

NIST reports that it has completed a number of actions to clean up the June 9 plutonium spill at its Boulder, Colo., labs and improve its safety training (C&EN, July 28, page 42). NIST says it has recovered most of the plutonium from the lab, and final decontamination will be done by Energy Solutions, a clean-up firm licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Test results from the City of Boulder revealed no plutonium readings above background in the city's sewer system. The Boulder facility has gotten rid of many unused, old, and excess chemicals and has improved its hazardous waste disposal program. It also has required all supervisors to meet with their staff and contractors to identify any safety training needs and protective equipment requirements. Finally, the agency has established its Blue Ribbon Commission on Management & Safety to examine how safety is implemented throughout NIST.

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