Radiation Continues to Impact MU Building

3 years 8 months 3 weeks ago October 29, 2012 Oct 29, 2012 Monday, October 29 2012 Monday, October 29, 2012 6:20:00 PM CDT in News
By: Hailee Hopkins

COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is still waiting to find out whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will indefinitely postpone the decommissioning of a historic campus building.

Pickhard Hall, located on the Francis Quadrangle, is known to be contaminated with low levels of radiation. MU spokesman Christian Basi said the university has been aware of the radiation contamination since at least the 1970's. Basi also said the radiation levels in the building are not considered dangerous to students, staff, or public.

The noteworthy building was built in 1892 and originally functioned as MU's chemistry building. Basi said the university believes the contamination occurred in the 1900's when Professor Herman Schlundt extracted radioactive materials from natural ores for research purposes. "The radiation is naturally occuring from some metals that were brought into the building," said Basi.

Today the building is home to the University's Museum of Art and Archaeology and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The NRC contacted MU in 2007 regarding new regulations that require buildings with natural occurring radioactive materials to be cleaned within two years and decommissioned. Decommissioning essentially means the building in question is taken off the NRC watch list according to Basi.

Removing the radiation from Pickard Hall hasn't been easy. Basi said that although the MU's Environmental Health and Safety has removed some radiation from the attic and basement of Pickard Hall, low levels of contamination still exist in hard to reach places like the tiles, walls, and pipes of the building.

The presence of the Museum of Art and Archaeology in Pickard Hall also contributes to contamination removal issues. Basi said it would "cost in excess of a million dollars" relocate the entire museum and several of the artifacts are too fragile to be moved.

Basi said MU has hired an outside contractor to oversee contamination removal. The university has also taken extra precautions by posting signs that clearly state where would be visitors may be affected by the radiation levels. "There are certain areas of the building that have been corded off, we ask that no one enter into those areas unless it is absolutely necessary," Basi said.

MU also requires staff members who work in the building to wear a radiation monitor called a dosimeter.

"I always put it on when I go back in the storage area where they've detected higher levels of radiation, I think we all are careful about that," said museum educator Cathy Callaway.

Callaway said she believes the university has taken all the necessary precautions to deal with the contamination in Pickard Hall. MU requires the museum to gain special permission for any intrusive exhibition changes like pounding nails or lifting up carpeting.

"I'm convinced there is no danger to people in the building," said Calloway.

According to Basi, the university will continue monitoring the contamination and follow any stipulations from the NRC. "We know that we can take certain measures to make sure that anyone entering the building is safe," said Basi.

There is no specific timeline for the decomissioning of Pickard Hall.

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Rep. Bill Lant has been hospitalized after a car crash. A Missouri State Highway... More >>
25 minutes ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:17:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - KOMU 8's Target 8 Investigative team analyzed claims made by Josh Hawley, a Republican running for state... More >>
1 hour ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 6:25:38 PM CDT in Target 8
COLUMBIA- The Hinkson Creek at Jay Dix Station is covered in piles of trees and trash. When on the... More >>
4 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 3:36:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Big energy companies like Ameren and Empire may not be totally complying when it comes to renewable energy... More >>
5 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 2:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - New positions and upgrades might be coming to the Jefferson City Police and Fire Departments. Mayor... More >>
5 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 66th annual Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair operates strictly on a volunteer basis. The... More >>
5 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 2:16:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man is critically injured after driving a go-kart into the side of a St. Louis... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 12:03:28 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - College pal David Roloff has fond memories of Democratic candidate Vice President Tim Kaine at the University of... More >>
8 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 11:42:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
CHESTERFIELD (AP) — Police are searching for the suspect after an attempted child abduction at a suburban St. Louis outlet... More >>
10 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 9:07:52 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Fire crews put out a structure fire at a condemned house on 4th Avenue off Providence Road in... More >>
10 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 8:50:00 AM CDT in News
AVA, Mo. (AP) — Police say a teenager has wounded another teen and then killed himself before dawn in a... More >>
11 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:45:09 AM CDT in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Strong thunderstorms across parts of Missouri are offering relief from the oppressive heat and humidity, but... More >>
12 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:27:24 AM CDT in Continuous News
PHILADELPHIA - Columbia resident Persephone Dakopolos arrived Sunday in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. Dakopolos was selected at the... More >>
16 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 3:04:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The National Association of Realtors reported this week a 9-year high for sales of existing homes this past... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 4:06:00 PM CDT in News
WILDWOOD (AP) — Two people were killed in a two-vehicle collision in eastern Missouri. St. Louis County police say... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:52:10 PM CDT in News
DIAMOND (AP) — Southwest Missouri has a newly dedicated prairie. The 163-acre George Washington Carver Prairie was dedicated Saturday.... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:01:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Tim Kaine has always been a leader. While as a student at the University of Missouri, he... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:37:00 PM CDT in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — A western Missouri man has been found not guilty in a 2014 fatal shooting at a Cass... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:25:37 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
8pm 81°
9pm 77°
10pm 76°
11pm 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld