Bloomberg News

Bankrupt Nuclear Waste Firm Impact Services Gets Deadline

May 28, 2012

Impact Services Inc., the bankrupt nuclear waste processor storing 1 million pounds of scrap radioactive material at its Oak Ridge, Tennessee, facility, was told to produce missing financial documents by next week.

Impact filed for Chapter 7 liquidation May 24 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, listing assets of less than $10 million and debt of as much as $50 million. Specific creditor claims and company financial details haven’t been filed.

“There is about one million pounds of waste” at the company’s compound, and “there is a $1.2 million surety bond” provided “to cover the liabilities incurred when a facility abandons their responsibility,” said Meg Lockhart, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, in an e-mailed statement after the filing.

The radioactive waste “is low-level” and doesn’t pose a threat to public safety unless it’s stored improperly, said Impact Chief Executive Officer Darrell Lauterbach in the petition.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon ordered a status conference for May 30, and a meeting of company creditors is scheduled for June 19 in Wilmington, according to court records.

Lockhart said the company “shut its doors” May 18. She said a radiation safety officer is staffing the site and the company is “trying to determine what its options are.”

Monitoring Closely

She said information on Impact’s bankruptcy has been shared with the Tennessee attorney general’s office and her department “will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

Representatives of Impact didn’t return calls today on the Memorial Day holiday seeking comment on plans for the facility.

According to the company’s website, its work has included removing partially radioactive metal generator components from nuclear power plants. Impact said it helped with decommissioning of the Connecticut Yankee plant and removal of contaminated equipment at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Mississippi.

The American Museum of Science and Energy operates a summer camp in the area for children in fifth through seventh grades, and includes a tour of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, according to the museum’s website.

The Department of Energy offers public bus tours of Oak Ridge from June through August for U.S. citizens 10 years of age and older. The museum includes an exhibition about the three secret uranium-enrichment plants built during World War II for the first atomic bombs.

Impact, according to court records, is a unit of Impact Holdings Inc., which in turn is owned by Southpaw Credit Opportunity Master Fund LP of Greenwich, Connecticut.

The case is In re Impact Services Inc., 12-11605, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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