The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is a facility located in Ohio that previously produced enriched uranium, including weapons-grade uranium, for the United States Atomic Energy program and US nuclear weapons program. During the early years of these projects, safety protocols for employees, scientists, and contractors were not as stringent as they are today. Because of this, workers who were active at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant during a specific time period may have been exposed to harmful materials and chemicals, resulting in cancer diagnoses.
The EEOICPA was passed in 2000 and provides compensation to workers who became ill as a result of their employment at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. EEOICPA coverage is available for qualified former workers and their families.
Here, we have compiled publicly available information and documentation about the facilities covered by the Act to clarify how their activities relate to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Also Known As: Piketon, A-Plant, Goodyear Atomic
Time Period: 1952 – 7/28/98; 7/29/98 – present (Remediation); 5/2001- present (cold standby)
Facility Type: Department of Energy
Facility Description: The U.S. began construction of Portsmouth in 1952 in order to expand the nation’s gaseous diffusion program. The gaseous diffusion plants already operating in Oak Ridge, TN and Paducah, KY were not able to fulfill the nation’s need for highly enriched and low-enriched uranium. Portsmouth was used for isotope separation. Beginning in 1954, Portsmouth produced highly enriched uranium to support nuclear weapons production and, later, for use by submarine, research, and test reactors. The high-enrichment portion of the diffusion cascade was shut down in 1991.
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 production activities. USEC, which was fully privatized in 1998, continued to produce enriched uranium for commercial use at this location until May 11, 2001 when production ceased based on a USEC business decision. USEC currently maintains the Portsmouth plant in a cold standby mode, under a contract with the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy maintains responsibility for addressing the environmental legacy left by historic plant operations. It should also be noted that the area currently under control of DOE’s Office of Environmental Management excludes that area of the plant which is leased to USEC.
Throughout the course of its operations, the potential for beryllium exposure existed at this site.
CONTRACTORS: USEC*(2001-present)(cold standby); Los Alamos Technical Associates and Parallax Portsmouth (LATA/LPP) (June 27, 2005 – September 30, 2009) (remediation); Theta Pro2Serve Management Company (TPMC) (June 27, 2005 – September 30, 2009) (remediation);
Bechtel Jacobs company LLC (1998-June 27, 2005)(remediation); Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. (1995-1998); Martin Marietta Energy Systems (1986-1995); Goodyear Atomic Corporation (1954-1986)
CONTRACTOR for design, construction and operation of the Depleted Uranium Hexaflouride Conversion Project: Uranium Disposition Services (August 29, 2002 – Present)
*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.
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site 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 Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant was one of the classes that Congress included when The Act was signed.
As of 01/08/2023, 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 Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is $1,184,957,836. Click here for a current accounting of compensation paid to former Portsmouth GDP Workers under the EEOICPA.
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other DOE or AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.
We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY.
A two-part history of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant can be seen below:
Technical Basis Documents
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant – Introduction
Effective Date: 02/12/2007, Revision: 01
Technical Information Bulletins
Internal Dosimetry Coworker Data for Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Effective Date: 07/29/2005, Revision: 00