Even With Permanent Cap, Nuclear Waste Site Remains Hazardous for Millenia

Jul 10, 2013

The three-year process of installing a permanent cap atop the Maxey Flat nuclear waste disposal site is underway. Steve Beshear today became the first governor to visit the site since the Commonwealth took ownership in 1978.

The nuclear waste facility at Maxey Flat, as it's known by locals, sits astride the Fleming-Rowan County Line.

Beshear says work at the Fleming County site will begin next year.  Kentucky will spend over $35-million planting vegetation, managing surface water and installing markers that identify the location of buried waste. State Representative Mike Denham of Maysville helped secure funding for the project.

During its fifty year history, radioactive waste has occasionally leaked from Maxey Flat into the environment, most recently in the late 1990's.  It still holds about five million cubic feet in radioactive waste..including tritium, enriched uranium and plutonium.  Denham says some of those materials will remain hazardous to human health for thousands of year.