U.S. Department of Energy Announces 2017 Dates for Public Tours of Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

PIKETON, OH – For the sixth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Energy and Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth have announced a special opportunity to participate in a limited number of monthly public tours in 2017 of the former uranium enrichment facility in Piketon. With the continued popularity of the general public tours that began in 2012, additional tours have been scheduled from March through October 2017.

More than 1300 people have attended the public tours since they were initiated in April 2012, enjoying a guided history lesson of the site and getting a first-hand view of current activities on plant site. Now, the Department of Energy is making the following eight dates available for the general public and is taking pre-registrations:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

“We are pleased to continue these special tours for the public to get a close-up view of the former uranium enrichment facilities while they are being addressed under the Decontamination & Decommissioning (D&D) Project,” said Joel Bradburne, Portsmouth Site Lead for the U.S. Department of Energy. “The plant in Piketon, Ohio was one of only three gaseous diffusion plants built in the United States in the early 1950s to serve our country’s defense and energy needs. It operated for nearly five decades and thousands of workers have passed through the security gates over the years.”

Bradburne added, “The tours have offered many plant retirees a chance to return and see the significant changes made at the site and provide a unique opportunity to the general public to better understand the history of the plant, its current activities and future missions.”

All interested participants must pre-register and tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The tours are free of charge and each tour will accommodate a maximum of 40 people. A minimum of 20 participants will be required to conduct a tour. All attendees must be 18 years of age or older and must be U.S. citizens. No cameras, cell phones, or other recording devices will be permitted.

The tours are being coordinated by D&D contractor Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth’s Public Affairs Office and last approximately three hours. This is primarily a driving bus tour with one stop to visit inside the Plant Control Facility, the hub of the gaseous diffusion plant. The tour involves minimal walking, just a short distance from the bus to the building.

Timeframe for the tours includes badging from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. the day of the tour with a brief welcome before boarding a charter bus for the driving portion. Participants are returned by noon.

To register and obtain further information on the tours, please call Sandy Childers at (740) 897-2336 and leave a voice message carefully stating your name and leaving a daytime telephone number so follow-up communications can be made to finalize your tour registration. Or you may email her at sandy.childers@fbports.com . Deadline for signing up for the March 18 tour is Friday, March 5, 2017.