Hamilton, Ohio 1952 – 1989
The Fernald Preserve, formerly known as the Feed Materials Production Center, Fernald Environmental Management Project, and Fernald Closure Project, spent nearly 40 years processing uranium ore to support our nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
Uranium ore was transported to the site and processed in foundries to produce high-purity uranium metal. The purified uranium or “feed materials” was then used as targets inserted into nuclear reactors that produced plutonium for weapon construction. The uranium fuel cores were the “feed” for the Atomic Energy Commission’s plutonium production reactors in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, and at the Hanford Site in Washington state.
Unfortunately, during the facility’s operation, processing activities led to the contamination of the soil, surface water, and groundwater. To protect human health, the environment, and the land’s future use, the Fernald Site was cleaned to standards approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ohio EPA. This cleanup was successful and completed in 2006.
The site has come full circle, now serving as a nature preserve. The land’s natural features have been restored using native plants and grasses, and the ecological restoration has made it home to a diversity of wildlife.