Tours offered of former gaseous diffusion plant

May 31, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The United States Department of Energy (DOE), recently announced opportunity for area residents to tour of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. With the first of several scheduled tours next weekend.

When the opportunity arose in 2012 for members of the public to tour the plant, slots quickly filled up and a waiting list was started that had 150 names, with an estimated 300 people getting to take the tour in 2012.

Tours will take place on Saturday, June 15, Saturday, July 20, Saturday, Aug. 17, Saturday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.

The DOE is advising that each tour is free of charge and must have a minimum of 20 people and a maximum of 40. Participants must be 18 years old and be U.S. citizens. No cameras, cell phones, or other recording devices will be permitted.

Each tour is expected to take three hours.

According to released information, “this is primarily a driving bus tour with one stop to visit inside the Plant Control Facility, the hub of the gaseous diffusion plant. The tour involves minimal walking, just a short distance from the bus to the building. Timeframe for the tours includes badging from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. the day of the tour with a brief welcome before boarding a charter bus for the driving tour. Participants are returned by noon.”

In August 2010, DOE awarded a $2 billion contract to Fluor-B&W Portsmouth for Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) of the plant.

“We are excited to set up these special tours for the public to get a close-up view of the former uranium enrichment facilities before they are addressed under the Decontamination & Decommissioning (D&D) Project,” said Dr. Vincent Adams, Site Director for the U.S. Department of Energy, “The plant in Piketon, Ohio was one of only three gaseous diffusion plants built in the United States to serve our country’s defense and energy needs. It operated for nearly five decades and thousands of workers have passed through the security gates over the years. The tours provide a unique opportunity to better understand the history of the plant, its current activities and future missions.”

For more information or to register for a tour call 740-897-2336 and leave a voice message with your name and a daytime telephone number or email her at sandy.childers@fbports.com.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.