DOE Upgrades Water Treatment System at Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

May 10, 2018

Geologists Rob Flynn (left) and Ken Davis (right) examine core samples used to determine the location of the wells to optimize pump-and-treat operations at the site’s Northeast plume.

The U.S. Department of Energy is enhancing its treatment of contaminated groundwater at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.

The uranium enrichment facility operated for 50 years and was decommissioned in 2013.

The original pump-and-treat system has cleaned approximately four billion gallons of water by pumping it out of the ground and treating it to remove TCE-- an industrial degreaser. The chemical was used to clean parts at the former gaseous diffusion plant.


The enhanced northeast pump-and-treat system includes two new groundwater extraction wells in locations closer to the contaminant source.


The new system also includes the addition of 14 monitoring wells and eight water-level measurement wells.

DOE Paducah Site Lead Jennifer Woodard said laboratory sample analysis of all startup, testing, and pre-operational activities has confirmed that the enhanced system is reducing TCE concentration in the groundwater successfully.

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stopped at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in April to voice their commitment to commitment to funding clean-up efforts at the site.