The U.S. Army’s Deactivated Nuclear Power Plant Program

November 24, 2021, 2:30PMNuclear Newsthe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, Deactivated Nuclear Power Plant Program staff
The Sturgis is towed from the Galveston, Texas, pier to the shipping channel on September 25, 2018, as it heads toward Brownsville, Texas, for final shipbreaking and recycling. Over the past three years in Galveston, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been implementing the challenging and complex effort to decommission the MH-1A—the deactivated nuclear reactor that was onboard the Sturgis vessel.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, is home to the North Atlantic Division’s Radiological Health Physics Regional (RHPR) Center of Expertise, which is leading the decommissioning of Army reactors.

From 1956 to 1976, the Army’s nuclear power program operated several small nuclear reactors to confirm the feasibility of their meeting military power needs on land. Three Army reactors were deactivated in the 1970s and placed into safe storage awaiting future decommissioning.

Demolition of High Flux Beam Reactor exhaust stack completed

March 16, 2021, 12:04PMNuclear News

Workers use the MANTIS to demolish the High Flux Beam Reactor's exhaust stack, a prominent part of the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Source: DOE EM

Work crews have demolished the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) exhaust stack at Brookhaven National Laboratory, on Long Island, N.Y., the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) reported last week.

The 320-foot-tall red-and-white stack was decommissioned and demolished under the direction of the DOE, with oversight by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Demolition work: Removal of the stack started in early January using a concrete chimney demolition system called the MANTIS. Work crews dismantled the stack down to its base, about 36 feet above ground, before fully demolishing it in late February.

The next steps for the project are the cleanup of soils, the removal of the below-ground stack infrastructure, and verification that cleanup goals have been met. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education will conduct independent verification of the stack cleanup, according to the DOE.

The first rail shipment of the stack’s debris to off-site disposal will involve 65 intermodal waste containers loaded onto a 10-railcar train. About 45 additional containers are expected to be shipped as part of the second and final waste shipment.