Ohio middle school closes after radioactive contamination seeps into building

Small village tucked along Scioto River in Pike County on alert after contamination discovery

Ohio middle school closes after radioactive contamination seeps into building

PIKETON VILLAGE, OH (WOIO) - Zahn’s Corner Middle School was shut down Monday due to the presence of radioactive contamination, and now, the southern Ohio community is wondering what else could be affected.

Brandon Wooldridge, president of the Scioto Valley Local Board of Education, said the district was notified “that enriched uranium was detected inside the middle school building and that Neptunium 237 was detected in a US Department of Energy air monitor located next to the school.

The board decided to close the school “until the source, extent, level of contamination and potential impacts to public health and the environment can be determined.”

The district is working with the Pike County General Health District on how to safely move forward.

The school is situated just a few miles away from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which is in the process of shutting down, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The plant enriched uranium for 47 years, from 1954 to 2001, and worked with the U.S nuclear weapons program and commercial nuclear reactors.

Read Wooldridge’s full statement here:

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