Former Cold War Era Superfund Site Now In Local Hands

Oct 22, 2019

A former Cold War-era nuclear weapons research site in Miamisburg is now fully in local hands.

The federal government says the property transfer of the Mound Plant to the Mound Development Corporation was finalized in September. A formal "Final Property Transfer Celebration" is set for Nov. 5. Ohio Congressman Mike Turner and local and federal officials are slated to attend the private ceremony.

The Mound site began as a research, development and production facility supporting the Department of Energy's weapons and energy programs in the late 1940s. It was an outgrowth of the Dayton Manhattan Project's work with poloniumberyllium initiators used in early atomic weapons.

According the the DOE's Legacy Management office:

"The site later expanded into an integrated research, development, and production facility supporting weapons, energy, and space missions. Weapons and energy operations included separation and sale of stable isotopes, calorimetry, and neutron radiography; plastics, ceramics, and metallurgy; explosives and pyrotechnics; cable assemblies, detonators, and electronic firing sets; recovery of tritium for reuse; and research on fossil fuels. Space mission support included development of radioisotopic thermoelectric generators that provided electrical power for National Aeronautics and Space Administration space exploration programs including Voyager I and II, Galileo, and many others."

The government began testing the site in the mid-1980s and radioactivity was found in the soil, groundwater, surface water and buildings.

It was named a Superfund site in 1989. The $1 billion cleanup finished in 2010.

"This is an exciting story and the results we've been able to achieve are remarkable," says Eric Cluxton, Mound Development Corporation president in a news release. "We couldn't have accomplished all we have without the support we've received from our elected officials and the community as a whole."

The site is now home to the 306-acre Mound Business Park. It houses more than 16 businesses with room to expand.