Groundwater Treatment Project Advances at Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Oct 21, 2016

Credit Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy says its marking completion of the first phase of an ongoing project to remove groundwater contaminants at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.  

Fluor, DOE’s prime contractor for the former uranium-enrichment plant, has installed nine new monitoring wells in the northeast section of the PGDP compound which will relay data on levels of contaminated groundwater plumes of trichloroethene, or TCE. 

TCE is an industrial solvent used to clean equipment in the early days of PGDP operations, but was discontinued in the early 1990s.  

Officials say a "horse-shoe shaped" area of TCE and other contaminants extends in groundwater under the site. 

In the last few years, extensive ‘pump-and-treat’ operations have removed contaminants from more than 3.6 billion gallons of water, with more than 4,200 gallons removed.  

The project’s next phase includes installing an additional 13 monitoring wells, two extraction wells, and a new treatment facility to augment existing wells.   

The former USEC plant enriched uranium for more than half a century before halting production in 2013.