Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, located in Piketon, Ohio, began operations in 1954 as part of a U.S. government expansion program for the production of highly enriched uranium to fuel military reactors and nuclear weapons production.

Later, the Piketon plant, along with its sister enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky, took on a different mission: the production of low-enriched uranium to fuel commercial nuclear power plants around the world. Both plants are owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

In May 2001, USEC ceased uranium enrichment operations in Piketon and consolidated operations in Paducah. The following year, transfer and shipping operations were also consolidated at Paducah. USEC de-leased the Piketon plant back to DOE in September 2011.

Today, the Piketon site is hosting USEC's American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility and construction has begun on the future American Centrifuge Plant.

American Centrifuge is USEC's next-generation uranium enrichment technology.

Key Facts

Federal Site Acreage: 3,714
Gaseous Diffusion Plant Acreage: 640
Total Number of Buildings: 109
Process Buildings: 3
Process Building Dimensions: One mile long, 550 feet wide, 80 feet high (approximate)
Process Building Acreage Under Roof: 93 acres
Number of Enrichment Stages: 1,700 (approximate)
Peak Design Power Capacity: 2,100 megawatts
Largest Process Motor: 3,300 horsepower
Water Utilization: 6 million gallons per day
Number of Control Instruments: 90,000 (approximate)
Miles of Copper Tubing 1,000
Miles of Process Tubing 600
Miles of Roadway: 30
Miles of Railroad: 20
Miles of Boundary Fence: 11
Miles of Security Fence 4
Perimeter Road Circumference 7 miles

Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Nuclear power is a vital part of the world's energy mix. Find out how the uranium fuel that powers the world's nuclear reactors is mined and processed in several important steps that make up the nuclear fuel cycle.