Productive reuse opportunities are being explored as the U.S. Department of Energy cleans up the 3,556-acre Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.
The Paducah Citizens Advisory Board works with the Department of Energy to make recommendations that reflect the community’s concerns.
Workers demolishing last of the Inactive Facilities in current cleanup scope. DOE is developing alternatives for managing future cleanup waste.
The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) was constructed in 1952 to produce enriched uranium, initially for the nation’s nuclear weapons program and later for nuclear fuel for commercial power plants. The plant is owned by the Department of Energy (DOE), which oversees environmental cleanup activities at the site, including environmental remediation, waste management, depleted uranium conversion, and decontamination and decommissioning. From 1993 to 2013, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) leased plant facilities to conduct gaseous diffusion operations. In October 2014, USEC returned the facilities to the DOE Environmental Management (EM) program for cleanup and disposition.
The EM mission at the Paducah Site is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy resulting from six decades of uranium enrichment for reactor fuel, national security applications and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. Since 1988, DOE has taken major steps to clean up soil and ground water contamination. These actions include removing contaminated soils and treating contaminated ground water. DOE has made and continues to make improvements to the ground water treatment system.
The overall environmental cleanup strategy at the site is based on taking near-term actions to mitigate or eliminate sources of contamination along with continued investigation of other potential sources. DOE works with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 to further define project sequencing, while optimizing resources and using a risk-based approach to ensure timely environmental cleanup and to minimize workforce impacts.