DOE Reactor Site Returns To Green Field Conditions

Press Release
Oct 18, 2006
First Unrestricted Release Of A Nuclear Power Site

On Wednesday, October 18, 2006, the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program commemorates the first-ever chemical and radiological release of a U.S. nuclear power reactor site for unrestricted future use – the Department of Energy S1C Prototype Reactor Site in Windsor, Connecticut. The 10:30 a.m. ceremony, held at the DOE Windsor Site off Prospect Hill Road in Windsor, CT, includes a performance by the U.S. Navy Band – Northeast Region.

The event is being hosted by Admiral Kirkland H. Donald, Director of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, a joint Department of Energy and Navy program. Attendees are expected to include Undersecretary of Energy and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration Linton Brooks, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy, EPA Regional Administrator Robert Varney, and Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks. Officials of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency as well as other Federal, State and local elected officials have also been invited.

This ceremony concludes twelve years of facility dismantlement and environmental characterization and restoration associated with returning the site to "Green Field" conditions. First, the S1C Prototype at the Windsor Site and all supporting facilities and utilities were removed and the materials properly disposed of. Then extensive environmental characterization of the Site was performed, followed by remediation where necessary. Over 140,000 environmental sample results from the 11 acre site were analyzed and reported – a new standard in environmental stewardship. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program personnel and contractors worked in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete the project. These agencies also provided independent oversight of the project. The current Windsor Site condition makes it suitable for any future use, without restriction, from economic development to recreation.

Throughout the Cold War, the S1C Prototype nuclear submarine propulsion plant at the Windsor Site supported the submarines and surface ships of the Navy's nuclear fleet by testing new equipment and training Naval propulsion plant operators. S1C was the prototype for the USS TULLIBEE (SSN 597), an early advanced-design, fast-attack submarine constructed by Electric Boat and commissioned in 1960. The S1C Prototype was operated at the Windsor Site from 1959 until 1993. During that time, over 14,000 Naval operators were trained there, including Admiral Donald early in his career.

Under Admiral Donald, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is responsible for all aspects of the design, construction, operation, maintenance and disposal of the Navy's nuclear reactors, including selection and training of the Naval operators. Over the past 50 years, Navy warships have safely steamed more than 135 million miles on nuclear power in support of the Nation's defense, accumulating over 5,800 reactor-years of operation.

The National security mission supported by the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is dependent on a strong commitment to safety and the environment; this cleanup effort reaffirms and demonstrates that commitment.

Press packets are available. Admiral Donald will be available for interviews immediately following the event.

Media contact(s):
Molly Aunger – Sullivan LeShane, (860) 560-0001