TDEC aims to clean up former American Nuclear site

CLINTON – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has committed to cleaning up the former site of the American Nuclear Corporation in South Clinton.

TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young and Director of Remediation Steve Sanders announced the State’s commitment to the project during a workshop last week with members of the Anderson County Commission and County Mayor Terry Frank. Representatives from Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s office also attended.

TDEC is a regulatory partner with the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Following their review of the ANC timeline and a site visit on September 3, 2021, TDEC reached out to EPA. There was some delay following the site visit, as legal clarification was needed. However, once that occurred, officials from the EPA were on the ground performing initial screening at the American Nuclear site – located off Blockhouse Valley Road in South Clinton – for approximately 3-and-a-half days during the week of September 12, 2022; they arrived Monday and left Thursday. The EPA will conduct sampling across the entire site and TDEC will review the results.

The EPA and TDEC will identify equipment and resources needed to remediate the site. The initial survey information will inform the larger evaluation to occur as soon as possible based on the availability of external resources (i.e., equipment) that will be needed.

According to Young and Sanders, Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly have provided TDEC new funding of approximately $22 million that will enable remediation of eligible sites/projects in Tennessee.  

Once sampling and equipment needs for the ANC site are finalized, there will be three (3) potential paths forward: (1) EPA continues funding beyond site characterization to full clean-up; (2) TDEC may collaborate with another federal entity; and (3) Site cleanup and mitigation utilizing State dollars under the Governor’s conservation and cleanup initiative.

“We were very excited about hosting Deputy Commissioner Young and Director of Remediation Sanders for a workshop with Anderson County,” County Mayor Terry Frank said. “The news they gave us for clean-up of the American Nuclear Corp. site was far more than I could have hoped for. We are thankful to the EPA, to Governor Lee, the General Assembly, and TDEC for the progress so far, and we look forward to a continued partnership with TDEC on this exciting project. This advancement is the result of a great working relationship with TDEC and Anderson County, and we look forward to accomplishing great things.”

“I think the news from TDEC was better than what we could have hoped for,” County Commission Chairman Josh Anderson agreed. “The only thing that’s kind of unknown is whether the EPA will fund it (the cleanup) federally or will it be the State. I appreciate Mayor Frank getting everybody in the same room together. That’s been a long time coming,” Anderson said.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the state’s presentation and I’m very excited about the news from TDEC,” said District 1 County Commissioner Tracy Wandell, whose district includes the American Nuclear site. “I’m looking forward to the future and next steps.”

Tyler Mayes, newly elected District 1 county commissioner, said: “TDEC’s announcement is a huge answered prayer for the people of District One and Anderson County. Hard work and perseverance by our former and current leaders have brought us to this point.”

The American Nuclear Corp. site is located off Blockhouse Valley Road in South Clinton. Its history dates back to an incident that occurred on February 20, 1969, when significant and unacceptable levels of radioactivity were detected in water samples collected from a nearby river during quarterly water sampling by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  During its brief existence, the company was repeatedly cited for not complying with state and federal regulations concerning the handling of radioactive materials. Some cleanup began in 1974, and the state of Tennessee took control of the site in 1980.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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