Community Gets Update On Gaseous Diffusion Plant

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Pike County residents had a chance to voice their opinions about the environmental cleanup of an old uranium enrichment plant at a meeting Monday night.

The U.S. Department of Energy held a quarterly meeting at Waverly High School.

Community members were given an update on the environmental cleanup of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.

Attendees were also invited to ask questions about the cleanup process as well as share feedback on what they think the next step should be.

There were about 75 people in attendance.

Jason Lovins is the Communications Manager for Fluor-B&W Portsmouth, the contractor for the cleanup at the Portsmouth site.

Lovins says the attendees showed interest in the technical aspects of the operation.

“The attendees were interested in some of the specifics about some of the equipment that is being sampled and studied and some of the work that is underway to prepare for whatever decisions are made,” said Lovins.

Lovins says the meeting was a great opportunity for area residents to speak one-on-one with the experts from the Department of Energy about the cleanup process.

He also says the Department of Energy will continue to reach out to the community to get feedback, although the date of the next meeting has not yet been announced.

“We're just really happy to have that opportunity to speak with people and we'll be continuing these meetings as we move forward in making the decisions associated with the safe environmental cleanup at the plant,” said Lovins.

The plant is one of the largest uranium-enrichment plants in the country that was in operation for more than 50 years.

When it was shut down a few years ago, the Department of Energy took on the responsibility of decontamination and decommission for environmental safety.