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Marshall County High School AP Physics students toured the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site in Western Kentucky as part of an environmental report project with DOE.  (Photo by Steve Christmas, Fluor Paducah Deactivation Project)

Marshall County High School AP Physics students toured the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site in Western Kentucky as part of an environmental report project with DOE. (Photo by Steve Christmas, Fluor Paducah Deactivation Project)

PADUCAH, KY— The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Paducah Site is helping advanced placement (AP) physics students from Marshall County High School on a project focused on the site’s effect on the environment.

The students are summarizing a report entitled the Annual Site Environmental Report (ASER), which describes ongoing environmental operations and analytical data on DOE’s former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site.  The ASER explains the ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation programs to site stakeholders.   

“Environmental cleanup work at the DOE site is technically complex and thought provoking,” said Jennifer Woodard, DOE Paducah Site Lead.  “The students’ work is a real-life exercise in translating analytical information into a more understandable form for the general public."

The project is a joint effort between DOE and the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment, administered by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research.  

To help kick off the project, the students recently participated in presentations about the site’s mission, history, role in the nuclear industry, and economic impact.  The presentations were followed by a site tour and a visit to the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area adjacent to the Paducah site.  

“The size of the plant amazed me,” MCHS senior Justice Beal said.  “It really shows how much America can accomplish.”

Teacher Tina Marshall said her students learned a great deal about the history of the plant and its economic influence in western Kentucky while receiving valuable experience and training in environmental science. “The student ASER program also allows the students to sharpen their writing, group collaboration and critical thinking skills,” she added.

“These students are becoming knowledgeable about the important environmental work that’s ongoing at the Paducah plant, as well as the cultural and economic aspects of the site,” said DOE Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Acting Manager Robert Edwards.  “Some of these young people will likely help determine the future of this historic site for the local community.”

# DOE #