CORVALLIS, Ore. – Some unusual noises, hissing and steam releases may emerge periodically over the next year from the Radiation Center at Oregon State University, and are not a cause for public concern.
This facility houses several testing facilities, along with its small TRIGA research nuclear reactor that is used for educational and research purposes. Among the other research programs under way is a thermo-hydraulic test facility conducting various types of studies.
During some of these tests, steam generated from boiling water will occasionally be vented outside the building, sometimes with associated hissing noises. The steam is harmless, and the noise level is below the range that would require any hearing protection for people in close proximity. There are no hazardous materials involved in this technology or testing process.
“These tests are being conducted periodically, sometimes for several days in a row but usually about once a week,” said Steve Reese, director of the Radiation Center. “We understand the noises may be a distraction to some people in nearby buildings, however, so we’re exploring some muffler alternatives to reduce the noise of the venting.”
Officials said that, in the meantime, they would request patience with the process.