The grounds of the Springfield Technical Community College, which hosted the former Springfield armory over 40 years ago, would be tested for traces of radioactive material that may have been used at the weapons facility when in operation.
Springfield newspaper, The Republican, reported that inspectors from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health would be monitoring the campus for signs of depleted uranium, a by-product of the enriched uranium in nuclear power generation. Although not a radiological risk, depleted uranium could pose chemical hazards.
The investigation, though necessary, would pose minimal risks to public health. Suzanne Condon, Director of the Bureau for Environmental Health, told the newspaper that the investigation would be wrapped up before the weekend and that there was no reason for panic.
The Springfield weapons testing facility was part of the Department of Defense and there are records to show that there had been several hundreds of tests on the accuracy and performance of weapons. However, there is no subsequent record of what happened to the ammunition post tests. The present investigations are part of the authorities' attempts to track the same.
However, in an email to students, faculty and employees, president of the Springfield Technical Community College Ira Rubenzahl asserted that any uranium that could have remained was likely to have been cleaned up as part of a lead abatement project overseen by the state Department of Environmental Protection in 1997.