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Pike County Middle School Closes Over Radioactive Material

Zahn's Corner Middle School has been closed after uranium was detected inside the school.
Zahn's Corner Middle School
Zahn's Corner Middle School has been closed after uranium was detected inside the school.

A Pike County middle school remains closed over concerns about uranium detected inside the school and another carcinogen detected on school grounds.Zahn's Corner Middle School is about four miles from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which is the process of decommission by the U.S. Department of Energy.

In a letter to parents Monday, Scioto Valley Local Board of Education president Brandon Woolridge said enriched uranium was detected inside Zahn's Corner, and a Department of Energy monitor adjacent to school property detected Neptunium 237.

"Enriched Uranium and Neptunium are currently identified as contaminants of concern by the U.S. Department of Energy on the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant property," Woolridge wrote.

Woolridge said the school will remain closed until the "source, extent, level of contamination and potential impact to public health" can be determined.

"We agree with the Pike County Health Department that the U.S. Department of Energy must take appropriate actions to ensure radiological contaminants are not being released from the site," he wrote.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.