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Shpack Landfill

The Shpack Landfill is located about 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Boston in the towns of Norton and Attleboro, Massachusetts. The landfill began operating in the 1960s as a landfill for both industrial and domestic wastes. The landfill was closed under court-order in the mid-1960s. In the late 1970s a concerned citizen who detected elevated radiation levels at the site contacted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It was confirmed that there was radioactivity present that was above acceptable limits and probably originated from activities performed by Texas Instruments (formerly known as M&C Nuclear, Inc.). The landfill contains wastes that are contaminated with high-enriched uranium, low-enriched uranium, natural uranium, depleted uranium, radium and various chemicals. Macroscopic amounts of high-enriched uranium and other radioactive materials were removed during a 1980’s survey by Oak Ridge personnel. The site was part of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The FUSRAP Program was transferred to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 1997 in accordance with the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY 1998.

 

Shpack Landfill

Norton, Massachusetts

ALSO KNOWN AS: Metal and Controls Nuclear Corp.

Texas Instruments, M&C Nuclear 


TIME PERIOD:
1960-1965; Residual Radiation 1966-July 2006


FACILITY DESCRIPTION: DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website:

The Shpack Landfill began operating as a private landfill in the early 1960s and received both industrial and domestic wastes. The landfill was closed in 1965 under court order. In 1978, a concerned citizen who had detected elevated radiation levels at the site contacted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Commission investigated the site and confirmed the presence of radioactivity in excess of natural background levels for the area. Exactly when these contaminants were deposited at the site is not known. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined that the Texas Instruments plant (see Metals and Controls Corp.) of Attleboro had used the landfill to dispose of trash and other materials. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded that the contaminants probably resulted from this waste stream.


DISCUSSION:

Residues and waste containing uranium (enriched to > 90%), thorium, and radium have been detected in the soil and groundwater of the site. Radiological surveys taken in the late 1970s revealed extensive contamination at the landfill.

The site was turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers in 1997. The US EPA Waste Site Cleanup website projects the cleanup to be completed in 2009.


INFORMATIONAL SOURCES:

The sources of information used in this evaluation included:

--DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website

 --USEPA Waste Site Cleanup and Reuse in New England; Shpack Landfill

 

EVALUATION FINDINGS:


Documentation reviewed indicates that there is a potential for significant residual contamination outside of the period in which weapons-related production occurred.

PERIOD OF POTENTIAL RESIDUAL CONTAMINATION

1966-present

 

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