US Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District Website

Public Comment Period Opens for SM-1A Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Published Feb. 26, 2021
Updated: Feb. 26, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, has released the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) for the proposed action to decommission and dismantle the Deactivated Stationary Medium Power Model 1A Nuclear Power Plant (SM-1A) at U.S. Army Garrison Alaska, Fort Greely, and release the property for unrestricted use.

The draft EA and draft FNSI are available for a 30-day public review and comment period, Feb. 26, 2021 through March 28, 2021, and can be viewed in a Virtual Public Meeting Room. The Virtual Public Meeting Room will enable the community to review documents, learn about the proposed action, and submit comments. Downloadable versions of the documents and additional information are also available on the SM-1A website.

The draft EA and draft FNSI are also available in physical form at the following locations:

  • Delta Community Library, 2291 Deborah Street, Delta Junction, AK 99737
  • Fort Wainwright Library, 3700 Santiago Ave, Fort Wainwright, AK 99703
  • Noel Wien Public Library, 1215 Cowles Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701
  • Z. J. Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street, Anchorage, AK 99503

The surrounding community is also invited to attend public meetings on March 9 and 11 to learn about and comment on the proposed action, draft EA, and draft FNSI. USACE is scheduled to hold these meetings both in-person and virtually. The public meetings are scheduled at the following locations:

  • March 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. AKST at Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center (813 Noble Street, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701) or via YouTube Livestream.
  • March 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. AKST at Delta Junction Community Center (2287 Deborah Street, Delta Junction, Alaska 99731) or via YouTube Livestream

Both meetings will have the same schedule and format consisting of a poster session from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; a formal presentation from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The meetings will conclude with a second poster session from 8 to 9 p.m. For individuals who are unable to attend the in-person meetings, public meetings will also be conducted in a virtual/online format in accordance with the Interim Army Procedures for NEPA dated June 15, 2020. To join the virtual public meeting, visit sm1a.consultation.ai and follow the instructions.

In consideration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the in-person public meetings will be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, health protection measures, and restrictions in effect at the time of the meetings.  The team is working to ensure it is following all COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions in place with respect to the in-person meetings including mask-wearing and social distancing requirements.

Written comments on the draft EA and draft FNSI, including requests for additional information about the Proposed Action and NEPA process, should be sent to USACE via email at CENAB-SM1A@usace.army.mil. Comments can also be mailed to:

Brenda M. Barber, P.E.
USACE Program Manager
c/o AECOM
3900 C Street, Suite 403
Anchorage, AK 99503

Comments should be submitted or postmarked by March 28, 2021.

BACKGROUND

The purpose of the Proposed Action is to safely remove, transport, and dispose of all materials and equipment, structures, and residual contamination associated with SM-1A; release the SM-1A site for unrestricted use in accordance with radiological dose criteria established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 10 CFR 20.1402 and adopted by the Army; and terminate the U.S. Army-issued SM-1A decommissioning permit.

SM-1A was constructed between 1958 and 1962 and operated from 1962 to 1972. Following the reactor’s final shutdown in 1972, the highly radioactive nuclear fuel was removed and disposed of, minor decontamination was performed, and SM-1A was placed into a safe storage (SAFSTOR) configuration. The decommissioning of a nuclear reactor is required within 60 years of permanent completion of operations in accordance with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations and the Army Reactor Program. Therefore, the decommissioning of SM-1A must be completed by 2032.

Baltimore District is home to the Corps’ Radiological Health Physics Regional Center of Expertise and brings with them decades of experience working on a broad array of projects around the world, including prior reactor decommissioning projects. 


Contact
Christopher Fincham, Public Affairs Specialist
443-333-9385
christopher.e.fincham@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-014