40°F
weather icon Clear

State to present investigation results on US Ecology fire

Officials will present findings from the investigation into the October industrial fire at the US Ecology site at meetings in Amargosa Valley and Beatty on Monday.

Nye County Emergency Management Director Vance Payne said the Nevada Division of Emergency Management (NDEM) had asked Nye County officials to coordinate town hall meetings.

Caleb Cage, chief of Nevada Division of Emergency Management, Pete Mulvihill, chief of the Nevada Fire Marshall’s Office and Jon Bakkedahl, supervisor of the Nevada Radioactive Material Program will provide a summary of the investigation to the public. Officials will also have a question-and-answer session following the presentation.

Payne on Thursday said that he was “anxious” for the meetings.

“A lot of hours went into that investigation, but most important is that the state of Nevada will allow the public to interact with the information,” Payne said.

Bakkedahl said officials will discuss the emergency phase, the investigation phase and the current up-to-date repairs as well as future plans for quoting and hiring contractors for repairs to the site.

“We are planning on being transparent on the steps taken to this point and answer questions about our processes and the goals of our program to analyze, engineer and repair the site,” Bakkedahl said in an email. “Finally, the site has gone through several steps of repairs; currently the cap has received all interim repairs and continues to have frequent site inspections.

In a press release on Dec. 30, officials said that the industrial fire at the state-owned radioactive waste disposal site located on U.S. Highway 95 approximately 12 miles south of Beatty was caused by a chemical reaction between rainwater and sodium metal in the trench area where low-radioactive waste had been buried.

Officials said the investigation had found corrosion of the steel drums containing the metallic sodium allowed packaging fluid to seep out, leaving the metallic sodium exposed to the underground elements. Heavy rainfall seeped into the ground and reached the metallic sodium through a compromised cover causing the fire.

The 80-acre industrial site in Nye County consists of a 40-acre low-level radiological waste storage site and a 40-acre active chemical processing facility. The site was operated by US Ecology and its predecessor, Nuclear Engineering Co. from 1962 through 1992.

The meetings will take place at the Amargosa Valley Community Center, located at 821 East Amargosa Farm Road in Amargosa Valley from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Beatty Community Center, located at 100 A Avenue South in Beatty from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Both meetings are scheduled for Monday.

The meetings are free and open to the public.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Small Business Saturday returns in Nye

Nye County will celebrate another year of Small Business Saturday, with Nye County commissioners formally declaring the event in 2019.

 
Nye County commissioner faces charges related to CARES Act

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo turned himself in to authorities on charges he voted on CARES Act programs while he was benefiting from them.

Angel Trees out in Pahrump community

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas season is officially upon the community, bringing with it the opportunity for residents to help spread a little holiday cheer by participating in the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree program.

California Lottery

Because of early holiday deadlines at the Pahrump Valley Times, winning lottery numbers for the Wednesday night drawing of the California Super Lotto were not available but will be published in the Wednesday Dec. 2 issue with the results of Saturday night’s Super Lotto.

Turkey divan makes Thanksgiving leftovers divine

One of the best things about the Thanksgiving holiday is enjoying the wonderful leftovers. Now, I don’t know about your post-turkey-day turkey, but mine usually has no legs, or thighs but lots of leftover breast. If that happens to your turkey too, then you’re going to love this week’s recipe, Turkey Divan. We’ve got turkey, broccoli and mushrooms smothered in a cheesy creamy sauce, topped with crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs to make a classic casserole.

Pahrump’s Community Christmas Tree Lighting to be held virtually

The Thanksgiving festivities are at an end and the community is now turning its attention to the Christmas season, which for the town of Pahrump always includes the placement and lighting of the enormous Community Christmas Tree.

COVID surge leads to adjustments in Pahrump Justice Court operations

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to swell in the Silver State, Pahrump Justice Court is taking action now to curb any potential spread of the disease in its courts, which were shut down for two weeks earlier this year after an employee tested positive for the virus.

Murder suspect convicted in jury trial

The man arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of a child more than three years ago, was found guilty following a jury trial this week.