Daniel Bullen, Nuclear Engineering, (515) 294-6000
Scott Wendt, Nuclear Engineering, (515) 294-0539
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Iowa State University's plan to decommission its teaching nuclear reactor. Work to dismantle and remove the 10-kilowatt teaching reactor can now begin.

Workers from Duke Engineering & Services, Bolton, Mass., will prepare for the work beginning on June 5. Actual demolition is scheduled to begin June 12.

"The actual demolition and removal of our reactor is one of the later stages of the decommissioning process," said Daniel Bullen, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of Iowa State's nuclear engineering program. "If all goes according to schedule, reactor demolition and waste shipment will be completed by the middle of August."

The demolition process is expected to last 6 to 8 weeks. After demolition and shipment of wastes, the NRC will need to approve the final report, a process that could be completed by October or November, Bullen said. After decommissioning is completed, the NRC will review the work before releasing Iowa State from its license.

Iowa State's 150-ton teaching reactor was operable from November 1959 to May 1998. It was one of the first teaching reactors to be operated by a university in the U.S.

- 30 -
Iowa State homepage

University Relations, online@iastate.edu
Copyright © 1999-2000, Iowa State University, all rights reserved