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In August 1952, the Atomic Energy Commission, a predecessor agency to DOE, selected a tract of land in the Ohio Valley along the Scioto River in Pike County, Ohio, for the site of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP), the third of three GDPs in the United States

The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant operated from 1954 to 2001. Located in Pike County, Ohio, the plant occupies about 1,200 acres of the 3,777-acre federally-owned Portsmouth Site. The plant was one of three large gaseous diffusion plants in the United States initially constructed to produce enriched uranium to support the nation’s nuclear weapons program and, in later years, enriched uranium used by commercial nuclear reactors. After the Cold War, weapons-grade uranium enrichment was suspended and production facilities were leased to the private sector. In 2001, enrichment operations were discontinued at the site. 

DOE's Office of Environmental Management began its environmental cleanup program at the site in 1989 and the effort continues today in cooperation with the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies.  Decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the plant commenced in 2011 and is ongoing.