PIKETON, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is moving forward to transfer the first parcel of federal property at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant since decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) began at the site in 2011.
DOE and the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) will formalize the transfer of the 80-acre parcel at a community event planned for July. The property is located on a former air strip used during the early years of plant operation on the southeast portion of the site, adjacent to Perimeter Road.
The transfer follows a rigorous review process that included the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, approval from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and a 60-day congressional review that ended this week.
“From the beginning of the D&D project, the community has made it clear that its desired end state for the Portsmouth Site is reuse for economic development,” DOE Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Manager Robert Edwards said. “We believe the transfer of Parcel 1 will demonstrate our commitment to making this a reality.”
SODI is the designated community reuse organization for the Portsmouth Site. Receiving excessed property from the site for economic development is one the organization’s functions.
“We are excited to get this first transfer complete. Having this acreage will allow SODI a real opportunity to recruit projects that will provide jobs to our local citizens,” SODI Executive Director Steve Shepherd said.
The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant was constructed from 1952-56. Uranium enrichment operations began in 1954 and ceased in 2001. Enriched uranium from the Portsmouth site was used for national security applications and to fuel the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants. The current DOE mission to clean up the site began in 1989.
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