'Enough to Build a WWI Battleship' and Other DOE Paducah Site Cleanup Stats

Sep 6, 2017

Credit U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, ENERGY.GOV

The U.S. Department of Energy released this week new cleanup statistics at the site of the former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. 

The Office of Environmental Management outlined efforts at sites around the country with numbers as of June 2017.

  • In Paducah, crews have treated four billion gallons of trichloroethylene (TCE) contaminated groundwater. A large plume of the degreaser, along with technetium, is beneath the site. 7,500 gallons have been removed.
  • One million cubic feet of contaminated soil and sediment have been removed. Six million cubic feet of waste have been characterized and disposed.
  • 66 million pounds of contaminated scrap metal have also been removed from storage yards and shipped off site. The DOE says this is enough to build a World War I battleship.
  • 31,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) have been converted into a more stable chemical form for disposal or reuse.
  • Also, 43 facilities have been demolished, totaling 400,000 square feet.

Kentucky lifted the nuclear moratorium earlier this year. Area officials are hopeful for the Paducah plant’s future potential.

Cleanup activities began at the site in 1988. The plant enriched uranium for more than 60 years and closed in 2013.

See the statistics