United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC to Present Findings From Safety Team Inspections at Paducah and Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plants-47




801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532


October 19, 1999

CONTACT: Jan Strasma (630) 829-9663/e-mail: rjs2@nrc.gov
Angela Greenman (630) 829-9662/e-mail: opa3@nrc.gov


NRC to Present Findings From Safety Team Inspections
at Paducah and Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plants

Preliminary findings from Nuclear Regulatory Commission special safety team inspections of the Paducah and Portsmouth gaseous diffusion plants will be presented on Wednesday, October 27, and Thursday, Oct. 28, respectively. Paducah is located in Paducah, Ky., Portsmouth in Piketon, Ohio.

The inspection exit meeting for Paducah will begin at 9 a.m. at the Paducah Information Age Park, 2000 McCracken Boulevard, in Paducah. The Portsmouth inspection exit meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Ohio State University Center at Piketon, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon.

Both meetings will be open to the public for observation.

Members of the NRC team examined radiation protection practices and procedures at the Paducah plant during inspections conducted during the weeks of August 30 and September 20, and at Portsmouth during the week of September 13. The NRC decided to perform the reviews in response to concerns about health safeguards at Paducah.

Complete reports from both inspections will be issued about 30 days after the meetings. Those reports will be available on the NRC Web site at: http://www.nrc.gov.

The NRC assumed regulatory jurisdiction over portions of both Paducah and Portsmouth in 1997. The plants are operated by the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) under a lease from the Department of Energy, which owns and formerly operated them. Paducah and Portsmouth utilize a gaseous diffusion process to enrich uranium hexafluoride gas in the uranium-235 isotope, so that the material can be used to produce nuclear fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

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