The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, known as PORTS, is located in Scioto Township in Pike County, Ohio, just south of the Village of Piketon. PORTS had a vital role in our nation’s national security and energy security for many decades. This federal facility was constructed between 1952-1956 and previously produced enriched uranium for the nation’s nuclear defense system and later for use in commercial nuclear power reactors. The 3,777-acre site in southern Ohio is owned and managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The plant is currently in shutdown status and an extensive decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) environmental cleanup of the site is underway to prepare for the site’s future use. Throughout the cleanup process, parcels of land will continue to be deeded to the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) for the purpose of reindustrialization for regional economic development. The PORTS Mega Site is currently available for development.
The Environmental Cleanup Program for the PORTS site was established by DOE in 1989. Cleanup activities include site investigations, environmental response actions, and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of inactive facilities. DOE is managing the cleanup as set forth in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program and approved by both DOE and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Building upon a public outreach project that was completed in 2011, Ohio University’s (OU) Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in partnership with SODI and with DOE input employed a data-driven process to identify viable industries to target for site reuse based on community future-use preferences articulated during the outreach project. The extensive public outreach effort included a wide variety of stakeholder and community meetings. OU leveraged university resources and relationships to engage well-respected national experts and thought leaders throughout the process. In addition to establishing visioning teams and advisory groups, Ohio University conducted a 15-month, broad-based, grass-roots, public participation process in Pike, Scioto, Ross, and Jackson Counties to identify the community’s future-use preferences for PORTS. Community participants in outreach activities included residents, economic development entities, environmental groups, nonprofits, businesses, governmental interests, and many other stakeholders in the four counties near the plant. You can find a link to the complete study here. Broadly the plan called for focusing on three key areas of energy production, advanced manufacturing, and research, development, and data facilities.
For additional information, background data, plant history as well as historical photos we encourage you to see the PORTSfuture website at: https://www.portsfuture.com/
Current Onsite Activities
Decontamination & Decommissioning:
The (D&D) project is a multi-billion dollar endeavor that employs more than 2,000 professionals and technical experts. The D&D work to prepare the site for future use is expected to continue through 2024 and is being conducted by Fluor-B&W Portsmouth, LLC.
DUF6 – Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility:
The Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility treats the waste product of the uranium enrichment process. Since February 1, 2017, Mid-America Conversion Services LLC (MCS) has been the contractor for the operation of the facilities at the Piketon Sites. The process results in two products — uranium oxide and hydrofluoric acid. The stable oxide is stored for eventual disposal or reuse, and the hydrofluoride is sold and used in industrial applications.
The Environmental Cleanup Program for the PORTS site was established by DOE in 1989.
PORTS Mega Site
The Southern Ohio PORTS Mega Site offers robust on-site infrastructure ready to serve a heavy utility user.
The PORTS site hosts on-site rail, has excellent four-lane highway access, and first-rate interior roadways.