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The nearly 150 people in attendance filled the meeting space at Piketon High School.

The nearly 150 people in attendance filled the meeting space at Piketon High School.

 EM Portsmouth Site Lead Joel Bradburne discusses cleanup operations.

EM Portsmouth Site Lead Joel Bradburne discusses cleanup operations.

Caleb Miller (right) of EM contractor Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth talks with a visitor about asset recovery and recycling as part of cleanup operations underway at the Portsmouth Site.

Caleb Miller (right) of EM contractor Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth talks with a visitor about asset recovery and recycling as part of cleanup operations underway at the Portsmouth Site.

PIKETON, Ohio – With nearly 150 people in attendance, EM’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant recently marked one of the largest turnouts for a public meeting since the inception of its decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) project in 2011.

   EM’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO), its contractors and affiliated organizations updated the public on the project at Piketon High School. Plant personnel also fielded questions at information stations addressing safety, environmental remediation and other topics.

   “Our objective with these public meetings is to join our partners and provide up-to-date information on the D&D project so the public can be informed,” PPPO Portsmouth Site Lead Joel Bradburne said. “We have all of the pieces in place and, with input from stakeholders, we know the path forward. Now it’s just a matter of executing the project.”

   Representatives from Congressional offices, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Health, State Historic Preservation Office, Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) and the Portsmouth Site Specific Advisory Board (SSAB) attended.

   Bradburne and contractor Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth (FBP) Project Manager Dennis Carr discussed progress, including: 

  • Advancements toward demolition-ready state for the first of three massive uranium process buildings with deactivation of the second building underway;
  • Timing these future demolitions with the ongoing construction of the On-Site Waste Disposal Facility that will hold some demolition debris and whose site preparation, infrastructure construction and utilities installation are largely completed; and
  • Near completion of waste shipping and right-sizing of key infrastructure while recovering some costs and supporting local economic development through recycling.

   Bradburne and Carr also discussed efforts to establish land transfers through SODI. EM is accepting comments on the draft environmental assessment for conveyance of real property at the site. To review the assessment, click here.

   Carlton Cave, a SSAB co-vice chair, said the exchange with the public was beneficial.

   “The speakers were just fantastic and very knowledgeable about their jobs,” Cave said. “I think we’re making good headway in getting good information out to the general public.”