School where radioactive elements found won't open next school year

Posted at 4:14 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 16:38:12-04

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Tammy Grooms' position in the school district. WCPO regrets the error.

PIKETON, Ohio — A Pike County school will not open next school year after radioactive material was detected inside.

Tammy Grooms with Scioto Valley Local Schools said on Thursday that Zahn's Corner Middle School in Piketon will stay closed next year after radioactive contamination was found in the building.

The school was already closed for the rest of the current school year in response to the discovery of enriched uranium inside and neptunium on school grounds.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Energy said technical teams had collected 44 more samples from the school. The DOE will analyze the samples "in its world-renowned laboratories," officials said in a news release.

The school is located several miles from the Department of Energy's Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which the Associated Press reported used to produce enriched uranium for nuclear plants and weapons.