Alaska’s lone nuclear power plant to be decommissioned

radiation sign

(Creative Commons photo by Cornelius Bartke)

FAIRBANKS — An Army Corp of Engineers team is planning the formal decommissioning of the only nuclear power plant built in Alaska.

The Daily News-Miner reported Tuesday that Fort Greely’s SM-1A plant provided steam and electricity to the Army post near Delta Junction off and on between 1962 and 1972.

It was one of eight experimental projects to test the use of small nuclear power plants at remote installations.

The Army Corps of Engineers team says it’s expected to take about 10 years to plan, contract out and clean up the site.

One particular challenge of decommissioning the site is that the steam plant previously powered by the nuclear reactor is still in use, although today it’s powered by a diesel-fired power plant.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with soldiers assigned to the 49th Missile Defense Battalion at Fort Greely near Delta Junction on Aug. 19, 2017.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with soldiers assigned to the 49th Missile Defense Battalion at Fort Greely near Delta Junction on Aug. 19, 2017. The soldiers guard the ground-based interceptor missiles at the base. (Public domain photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro/U.S. Navy)

 

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