June 4, 2012
By: John Clark
A financially troubled nuclear waste company is reportedly filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy , which has raised many questions over how the firm intends to dispose of its thousands of pounds of radioactive waste.
IMPACT Services, the nuclear waste company which is headquartered in east Tennessee, has started the process of smoothly transitioning responsibility over the nuclear waste to a solvent company, according to a recent report from the Knoxville Business Journal.
The company, however, has taken active measures to assure the public that there are no safety concerns with the company’s bankruptcy filing.
And, according to Meg Lockhart, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Environment an Conservation, the radioactive waste at the facility, which amounts to roughly a million pounds of toxic substances, is secure and IMPACT’s nuclear license may be “transferred to an otherwise qualified applicant.”
Remarkably, a company that oversaw a million pounds of nuclear waste only employed about 50 workers during the peak of its productivity, which goes to show how automated much of the process is.
The company officially closed its doors last Friday and is no longer accepting new waste at its plant. In its Chapter 7 filing, the company appears open to the possibility of a sale of its assets, although sources are not sure how the how the bankruptcy filing will play out.
In its unique bankruptcy filing, the company took painful measures to make sure the bankruptcy court understood that the radioactive waste was safely contained.
In its filing, IMPACT noted that its waste is only “low-level radioactive waste” and that it did not believe that “the current storage and processing of low-level radioactive waste currently poses a threat of imminent and identifiable harm to public health or safety.”
The general manager of the company, J.R. Biggs, also told the court that a select crew of IMPACT employees spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that the site was in a “safe storage condition” before the company officially closed.
According to Biggs, the company’s “full intent was to remain good stewards up until the end, and protect the environment and the public from any hazards.”
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