Safety Light Corporation Superfund Site

Safety Light Corporation (SLC), formerly known as US Radium Corporation, manufactured self-illuminated watches and instrument dials, smoke detectors, neutron sources, exit signs, and other merchandise containing radioactive materials, as well as military applications regulated under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Radioactive material included radium-226, strontium-90, cesium-137, polonium-210, carbon-14, krypton-85, and tritium. The site was divided into three OUs. KEMRON is responsible for OU-1 (on-site buildings and debris) and OU-3 (landfills, contaminated soils, sediment and surface water). Additional sites on OU-3 were identified that warranted removal actions to include the West Lagoon, East Lagoon, West Dump and East Dump. USEPA issued an Action Memorandum to address these areas and assigned KEMRON a TO implement the following activities: assessment, excavation, removal and disposal of discrete, buried high-activity, radiologically-contaminated items, soil and miscellaneous items; grading and capping with an engineered cover to prevent off-site migration of soils during a flooding event; secure adjacent areas of exposed soil with geo-fabric, stone and topsoil or an engineered cap to prevent off-site migration of soils during a flood event and arrange for post removal site controls including long-term maintenance of the cap.

The SLC buildings were in serious structural disrepair. KEMRON conducted repairs to structural damage of the buildings and general repairs on the roof and access points of the buildings prior to decontamination activities. Extensive pre-demolition planning was performed including the preparation of the radiation work permit (RWP) for working in high contamination areas involving tritium and other radioisotopes. KEMRON conducted repairs to structural damage of the buildings and general repairs on the roof and access points of the buildings in order to safely enter, assess and decontaminate all structures. Additionally, the previous contractor stored a variety of incompatible radioactive materials in the same containers. KEMRON segregated the incompatible materials in secure containers, arranged for and completed transportation and disposal.

KEMRON transferred files from various buildings to a central location for EPA. The files were then surveyed to see if any showed contamination due to radioactivity by START and PADEP.

Following decontamination and removal of all files, KEMRON demolished all building structures that included: an aboveground metal silo; 8×8 building; solid waste building; utility building; liquid waste building; multi-metals building; carpenter shop; butler building; elevated water tower; main building; tritium building; machine shop; and water tank. All utilities were de-energized, capped and removed. KEMRON was able to safely segregate a wide array of radioactive materials into proper storage containers prior to shipment offsite for disposal. Once all buildings and structures were decontaminated, KEMRON worked with US Ecology, Idaho, the disposal site, to obtain a permit exemption from the NRC allowing T&D of radioactive building materials and debris to the disposal site at a significantly reduced cost (70% reduction in disposal costs).

KEMRON and the assigned START contractor conducted an assessment of the higher activity radioactive material and discrete isotopic sources. A comprehensive air monitoring and data management program was established with all data compiled and submitted to appropriate regulatory agencies. Team member, Perma-Fix, supported KEMRON in the waste characterization and radiation monitoring activity throughout the task order. KEMRON conducted a removal effort along the perimeter of the West Dump area, consolidated the contaminated soils back into the disposal area footprint and installed an engineered cap consisting of geofabric, stone and top soil. Six out buildings within OU-1 were surveyed and emptied of their contents. Over 100 yards of material classified as Bulk Survey for Free Release (BSFR), 25 yards of Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW), 1 drum containing a radium needle, one drum containing cesium contaminated debris, 3,705 pounds of contaminated 2-R containers, 4,320 pounds of contaminated lead shielding, and 88 pounds of depleted uranium were identified, sampled, repackaged, removed and transported offsite for disposal.