Time Period: 1951-July 28, 1998; July 29, 1998 – present (Remediation)
Facility Type: Department of Energy
Facility Description: The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant opened in 1952 to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. During the plant’s Cold War history, more than one million tons of uranium was processed.
Construction of the Paducah plant began in 1951 in response to the increased demand for enriched uranium for nuclear weapons production. Initial operations began in 1952 and full operation occurred in 1955. In addition to producing enriched uranium for weapons, the plant also supplied enriched uranium for the Navy and commercial fuel. The Paducah Plant also acted as the uranium hexafluoride feed point for all gaseous diffusion plants until1964. Throughout the course of its operations, the potential for beryllium exposure existed at this site.
On July 1, 1993, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC)*, a government-owned corporation formed under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, assumed control of the plant’s uranium enrichment activities. USEC, which was fully privatized in July 1998, continues to produce low enriched uranium for commercial use DOE remains responsible for addressing the environmental cleanup resulting from historic plant operations.
From 1952- July 28, 1998 (the date USEC was privatized) all 3,556 acres were exclusively controlled by the Government and considered the DOE facility. After that date, only roads and grounds outside the perimeter fence plus approximately 200 acres of grounds inside the fence remain under the exclusive control of DOE’s Office of Environmental Management. The remainder of the footprint is leased to USEC to support uranium enrichment operations.
ENRICHMENT OPERATIONS CONTRACTORS: Lockheed Martin Utility Services (1995-1999); Martin Marietta Utility Services (1993-1995); Martin Marietta Energy Systems (1984-1993); Union Carbide Corporation Nuclear Division (1952-1984).
DUF6 CONVERSION CONTRACTORS for design, construction and operation of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Project: Babcock and Wilcox Conversion Services (2011-present); Uranium Disposition Services (2002-2011).
REMEDIATION CONTRACTORS: LATA Environmental Services of Kentucky (2010-present); Paducah Remediation Services-EM Remediation (2006-2010); Swift and Staley-EM Infrastructure Contractor (2005-present); Bechtel Jacobs Company (1998-2006); Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (1995-1998); Martin Marietta Energy Systems(1988**-1995).
* Note: Rights and liabilities pertaining to USEC are governed by the USEC Privatization Act (P.L. 104-134, April 26, 1996). This includes regulatory oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of that portion of the plant under USEC control.
** Note: In 1988, DOE began its environmental remediation program.
The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site from 1951-present under the EEOICPA.
Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Classes:
Gaseous Diffusion Plants–employees who worked at least 250 days before February 1, 1992, at a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; or Oak Ridge, Tennessee and who were or could have been monitored in those jobs using dosimetry badges
Note: The SEC was established by The Act. The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant was one of the classes that Congress included when The Act was signed.
As of 08/02/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is $$744,400,780.
Attention Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Workers (1940-1992):
Did you, your spouse, or your parent become ill after working at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant? You may be entitled to up to $400,000 from the United States. For more information, call Attorney Hugh Stephens at (800) 548-4494, whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.
We assist with claims, dose reconstructions, objections, hearings, reopenings, consequential conditions, impairment ratings, wage loss, health care, home care and appeals to Federal Court. No Recovery-No Fee. 2% contingent fee for initial claims/10% for objections. 2495 Main St., Buffalo, NY.
A History of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant can be seen below:
The story of one Worker at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant can be heard below:
And another description of Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant here:
Below, Dr. Helen Caldicott gives a brief description of Paducah’s “Dirty Little Secret ”
And another somewhat grim assessment of the activities at Paducah is presented here:
Technical Basis Documents
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Introduction
Effective Date: 08/23/2012, Revision: 02
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Site Description
Effective Date: 08/22/2012, Revision: 03
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Occupational Medical Dose
Effective Date: 08/23/2012, Revision: 03
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Occupational Environmental Dose
Effective Date: 08/24/2012, Revision: 03
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Occupational Internal Dose
Effective Date: 08/24/2012, Revision: 03
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Occupational External Dose
Effective Date: 02/13/2017, Rev. 05
PADUCAH GASEOUS DIFFUSION PLANT ISSUES MATRIX
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site Profile Review
External Exposure to Technetium-99 at the Gaseous Diffusion Plants
Effective Date: 02/07/2012, Revision: 00
Assessment of Potential Conflict of Interest Involving ORAUT-TKBS 0019-5,
“Technical Basis Document for Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Occupational Internal Dose.”