The primary pathway of water entry into the waste burial trenches is through the trench caps but major increases in water level have occurred in an “experimental" trench by subsurface flow.
Radionuclide concentrations in surface soil at Maxey Flats are comparable to concentrations resulting from other normal fallout zones in other areas of high rainfall.
The areal distribution of radionuclides at Maxey Flats may have been influenced by surface runoff, deposition from the deposits in addition to subsurface water flow and the actions of burrowing animals or deep-rooted trees.
Other waste radionuclides were in streamwater and stream sediment, and may have been transported with overland runoff from the surface of the burial site. (USGS)
Ground-water-level and precipitation data were collected from 112 wells and 1 rain gage at the Maxey Flats low-level radioactive waste disposal site during October 1988-September 2000. Data were collected on a semi-annual basis from 62 sump wells.
Since 2002, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection staff have inspected and made repairs to the current cap, as well as monitored and sampled the surrounding area to ensure the safety of the community.
In January 2013 a engeneering firm was selected to install "the final cap" and ask Kentuckians trust the new capping system which should be effective in keeping the land downstream safe suggesting national studies indicate the plastic used in the new final cap will last anywhere from 200 to 500 years.
Today, the 55-acre disposal area is securely fenced off from the public and marked “restricted.” Buried beneath the geomembrane liner is approximately 4.7 million cubic feet of radioactive and other hazardous waste. All of the existing sump monitoring will be abandoned before the final cap is installed.