Atomic Snapshot: Weldon Spring

About 30 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri, is the Weldon Spring Site and Interpretive Center operated by the Office of Legacy Management of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The U.S. government acquired 17,232 acres of rural land, displacing 576 residents and three towns to establish the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works supporting World War II efforts for manufacturing TNT and DNT. From 1956 – 1967, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission constructed the Weldon Spring Uranium Feed Materials Plant to convert uranium ore concentrates to pure uranium oxides and compounds. Obviously, by 1987, with production ceasing, the DOE was left with a massive Superfund cleanup site.

The outstanding feature of the Weldon Spring Site is the 41 acre, 75 foot tall engineered disposal cell structure designed to contain the site’s waste. Now a public park with walking trails, bird watching, mountain biking, and native, restored prairie, the disposal cell stairway takes you to the top of the mound with a panoramic view of the area with historical markers.