Baltimore District Kicks Off Decommissioning of Former Army Nuclear Power Plant on Fort Greely, Alaska

The Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin the decommissioning and dismantlement of the SM-1A Former Nuclear Power Plant on Fort Greely, Alaska, in 2024, just over 50 years after its final shutdown in 1972.

Designed as a first-of-its-kind power plant, SM-1A was part of the mid-century Army Nuclear Power Program and built to test the likelihood of engaging a nuclear power source in arctic conditions while providing power and heat for the utility systems of Fort Greely. In doing so, it allowed for the study of the economics behind such a power source, a significant departure from the typical oil-fired systems engaged in the remote areas of the region.

Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Program Manager Brenda Barber and team join Fort Greely Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Keith Marshall for a site tour of the former SM-1A Nuclear Power Plant on Fort Greely, Alaska, October 23, 2023. USACE PHOTO BY THOMAS DEATON

Now, after sitting in “safe storage” since shutdown, the decommissioning and dismantlement phase will begin following the completed contract award at an estimated value of $95.5M (over a 6-year ordering period) to APTIM-Amentum Alaska Decommissioning, LLC.

In October, Baltimore District teams were on site for a project kickoff week, joining Fort Greely Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Keith Marshall for a site tour and meeting with the contract awardees. Baltimore District health physicists also collected soil samples as part of preliminary tests before work begins.

The Radiological Health Physics Regional Center of Expertise (RCX), based at Baltimore District, provides radiation safety and technical support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies at home and abroad and will begin the decommissioning and dismantlement of SM-1A in 2024. USACE PHOTO BY THOMAS DEATON

These Baltimore District teams are part of the Radiological Health Physics Regional Center of Expertise (RCX), based at Baltimore District. RCX provides radiation safety and technical support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies at home and abroad for projects involving all aspects of radiological work — always with a focus on health and safety.

advertisement

“Safety is the number one priority for the Corps of Engineers,” said Brenda Barber, Deactivated Nuclear Power Plant Program manager, on an earlier tour of the site. “So, as we continue our planning and as we look forward to the decommissioning and dismantlement, safety will be at the forefront of all the processes and procedures.”

Subscribe to the America's Engineers newsletter and never miss out on any of the recent stories about the incredible people, programs, and projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

America's Engineers will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.