PIKETON— In its 2021 Year in Review, the U.S. Department of Energy highlighted its work on the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in a press release sent out on Thursday.

The Office of Environmental Management, who is leading the demolition efforts of the 3,777-acre site, detailed the beginning of the X-326 process building demolition which started this September.

According to DOE, 40% of the building has been demolished- the first of three massive structures being demolished—which it said was a top priority for the department this year.

The demolition of this process building is set for the fiscal year of 2023, while the others- X-333 and X-330, are set for fiscal years 2027 and 2029 respectively.

Before this ongoing work, DOE says it removed the majority of chemical and radiological hazards during the X-326 deactivation between 2011 and 2020.

The remaining types of contaminants, items listed during a DOE presentation this fall including asbestos, uranium, and volatile organic compounds, are being monitored by DOE, Ohio Department of Health, and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency air monitors.

As the News Watchman reported earlier this year, no contaminant measures matched or came close to the maximum acceptable ground-level concentration rates. No asbestos were indicated at the DOE/Ohio EPA monitors as well.

DOE also opened the Portsmouth On-Site Waste Disposal Facility in 2021 and moved the first demolition debris generated from deactivation and decommissioning at the site into the facility.

“I am proud that this year EM again made significant strides in completing key projects, reducing the cleanup footprint, awarding major contracts that accelerate progress, and driving mission innovation and improved performance,” EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White said. “We embarked on an ambitious slate of cleanup priorities this year, and thanks to the dedication of our workforce, we were able to achieve the vast majority of what we set out to do.”

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