South Carolina environmental regulators estimate it will cost $35 million to clean up a former uranium processing plant in Barnwell County which the state forcibly shut down 15 years ago.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said the former Starmet CMI site presents a potential danger due to uranium contamination in its soil and the aftereffects of 18,000 radioactive material drums which were once stored improperly.
The Starmet site operated roughly seven miles southwest of Barnwell for nearly 20 years until DHEC ordered it shut down in 2002. At the time, the agency said the site posed an “imminent threat” to public health — particularly 550,000 gallons of uranium-contaminated water and radiation doses above safe levels detected at the property boundary. [Read more…]