Radiation Continues to Impact MU Building

7 years 9 months 4 days ago Monday, October 29 2012 Oct 29, 2012 Monday, October 29, 2012 6:20:00 PM CDT October 29, 2012 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
COLUMBIA —Excellence, loyalty and perseverance are the principles Dr. Gus T. Ridgel lived by, according to his daughter Betty Bolden.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 5:52:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
FAYETTE – Central Methodist University will reopen for the fall semester — with a long list of safety protocols. ... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 4:54:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Central Pantry, which serves Boone County residents, is reducing its hours in order to continue serving people in... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 4:54:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, causing Major... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 3:58:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The Columbia Parks and Recreation department has canceled the Heritage Festival and Craft Show, according to a news... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:29:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:06:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Beef prices are slowly recovering after a dip from when beef processing plants were closed due to COVD-19,... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager John Glascock is getting set to finalize an authorization of an ordinance to bring almost $1.8... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - As summer school ends in the capital city, United Way of Central Missouri starts its Food 4... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 5:24:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A baby elephant died several weeks after it was born at the St. Louis Zoo. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 3:37:55 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday, Battle High School students finally got to walk across the stage. The graduations were... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:54:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missourians will vote on August 4 on whether or not to pass Amendment 2. If passed, the amendment... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:50:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - Primary election day is this Tuesday, August 4, and Boone County Government will be open for business as... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:32:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A trial is set to start for a man charged in the 2017 killing of a transgender... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 12:03:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
CNN -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Pr esident Donald Trump "will take action in the coming... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 11:46:13 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The first astronauts to ride a SpaceX capsule into orbit are headed toward a splashdown... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 11:08:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police are investigating shots fired in the 5300 block of Godas Circle around 1 a.m. Sunday. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 9:48:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
10pm 65°
11pm 63°
12am 63°
1am 61°