Department of the Army, Armament, Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) - Picatinny Arsenal

1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Complex Decommissioning Site
Location: Picatinny, NJ
License No.: SUB-0348
Docket No.: 04006377
License Status: Active License
Project Manager: Orysia Masnyk-Bailey

2.0 Site Status Summary

The United States Department of the Army, Armament, Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal (Area 1222), is located in Picatinny, NJ. Area 1222 (also known as the "Gorge") is still operational and is located in the valley toward the northern end of the arsenal. It lies at the base of Copperas Mountain and is bounded by an unnamed mountain to the southeast. Area 1222 is approximately 23,000 square feet (ft2) and consists of building structures, an open detonation pit, and adjacent hillside area. The hillside is approximately 17, 222 ft2, the open detonation pit interior area is approximately 1800 ft2, the open detonation pit exterior area is approximately 21,200 ft2. Area 1222 is a test area that is presently considered potentially contaminated with DU and radium. Picatinny demilitarization personnel use the open detonation pit area and other detonation areas in Area 1222 on a regular basis but no longer uses radioactive materials the area, and is the only RCRA approved site available.

The NRC issued a source material license (SUB-348) to the US Department of the Army, ARDEC, for use and storage at licensed facilities at the Picatinny Arsenal, Picatinny, New Jersey. Area 1222 (open detonation pit and hillside areas) was used for open detonation of munitions and as a demilitarization area. Also, it was used to detonate a limited number of mines containing small quantities of depleted uranium (DU) approximately 40 years ago.

On July 23, 2013, the Department of the Army, ARDEC, submitted to the NRC a work plan (referred to as the decommissioning plan (DP)) that describes the methods to be utilized for site remediation of Area 1222 at the ARDEC Picatinny Arsenal, and the performance of final status radiological surveys and sampling in accordance with the guidelines set forth in NUREG-1575, Rev. 1, "Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM)", August 2000. The DP also included a dose scenario and calculations for site-specific Derived Concentration Guideline Levels (DCGLs) for depleted uranium (DU) and Radium-226 (radium) for Area 1222 to meet the NRC's criteria for release for unrestricted use. On August 6, 2019 ARDEC submitted to the NRC a revised work plan due to the discovery of a gray gritty material that contained elevated levels of Thorium-232 during the 2017 decommissioning activities. On June 10, 2020 NRC issued a request for additional information (RAI) and on September 11, 2020 ARDEC submitted a response to this RAI. The RAI response is currently being reviewed by the NRC. Currently the DOD is limiting the use of contractors and on site work due to COVID-19 safety concerns. The radioactive material at Picatinny Arsenal is secured and cannot be accessed by members of the public.

The Department of the Army, ARDEC, intends to confirm that Area 1222 would meet the requirements for release for unrestricted use in accordance with 10 CFR 20.1402. The Department of the Army, ARDEC, is not requesting license termination at this time. However, Area 1222 would remain a portion of the Picatinny Arsenal site after the completion of decommissioning.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues


4.0 Estimated Date For Closure


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 09, 2021