PIKETON— The U.S. Department of Energy provided updates for the ongoing demolition of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant during two virtual meetings this week.

This week’s sessions focused on the air monitoring results from both the on and off-site monitoring locations of the plant, which DOE has been in a cleanup mission since 1989.

Frank Johnston, Director of Environmental Protection at Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth, explained the results off the air monitoring stations. In total, there are 23 stations used by DOE, the Ohio Environment Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Health which monitor for such things as particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, metals, asbestos, and fluoride.

For metal contamination from such elements as Lead, Mercury, and Nickel among others, Johnston said some levels had been detected. Still, none of the five monitoring sites reached near concerning numbers.

“The conclusion of this table is the metal and VOC detections have been significantly below the MAGLC (Maximum Acceptable Ground-Level Concentration) values,” he said, the date coming from December 2020 through July 2021.

The same could be said for detection of asbestos and transuranic isotopes such as Americium-241, Neptunium-237, and Plutonium-238. No detection of these contaminants have been found by any monitoring station.

For up-to-date data, visit the following:

sampling-results

Prior to Johnston’s portion of the presentation, Jeff Bettinger, Portsmouth site lead, said the demolition of the X-326 process building reached a new checkmark just before Thanksgiving.

The half-mile long building started its demolition in May 2021 and is expected to be complete in 2022.

In total, 14,311 sheets of transite, a siding material made of an asbestos and cement mix, were removed which Bettinger said was a “very significant milestone.”

A netting has been installed to keep items from flying in or out of the building during the demolition. Water is also used as a “mister” to keep the dust from spreading.

The other process buildings- X-333 and X-330 — are set to finish demolition in Fiscal Years 2027 and 2029 respectively.

Contact Patrick Keck at pkeck@newswatchman.com or by phone at 740-947-2149, ext. 300431 and follow him on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

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