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# Electrokinetic Remediation - CASE STUDY 1: U.S Department of Energy Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Paducah, Kentucky

#### CASE STUDY 1: U.S Department of Energy Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Paducah, Kentucky

Figure 4: Paducah, KY (U.S Department of Energy)

##### Site History

The Paducah plant is located 3 miles south of Ohio River and 12 miles west of Paducah, KY. The plant was involved with the first nuclear weapons program in the United States. In 1952 they began enriching of Uranium for commercial power plants in the nation. The plant ran continuously and remained the only gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant in the U.S (DeGarady and Halbrook., 2003; Sharma and Reddy., 2004). The plant was owned by the U.S Department of energy (DOE) and managed mostly by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Their total area encompassed 3,556 acres of reservation and about 750 acres were used for the plant facilities. DOE leased the Paducah processing facilities for Uranium Enrichment to the United States Enrichment Corporation. The plant supported more than 50 years of uranium enrichment leading to a huge amount of hazardous, radioactive and non-chemical sanitary waste in the site. The soil, ground and surface water got contaminated.

##### Site Missions at Present

DOE has cleanup missions including environmental cleanup, waste disposition, decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the site, conversion of depleted uranium and long-term monitoring. DOE leases the plant to USEC which has been privatized and now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulates the site.

Electrokinetic remediation along with other in-situ methods is employed at this site. The soil at this site has very low permeability and the contaminants involved were TCE (Trichloroethylene). The field test work started in January 1995 and ended only in May 1995. The field experiment served as a pilot study to see the electrokinetic effects.