In July 2004, DOE issued approval for construction of a facility at the PORTS site that will convert highly reactive depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6, left over from the former gaseous diffusion process) to the more stable uranium oxide. Although this conversion would appear to be desirable, there are downsides to the operation. One is that the technology is unproven. Another is that large numbers of cylinders of DUF6 are being trucked to PORTS from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for processing in a facility which is already 14 months behind schedule in its construction. DOE has estimated that the conversion facility, when operational, will take at least 25 years, working around the clock, to convert this DUF6 to uranium oxide. There are also large quantities of DUF6 at Paducah, Kentucky. Ohioans want to make every effort to ensure that our state does not become a defacto waste dump.

Some cleanup of the contamination from the former gaseous diffusion plant at PORTS is currently being done. Metal scraps and other materials contaminated with radioactivity are being sent for burial to the Nevada Test Site. There is serious contamination at the Piketon PORTS site, not only with radioactivity, but also with trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic solvent used extensively at the plant for cleaning uranium-contaminated equipment. Ohio EPA has mapped a plume of groundwater contaminated with radioactivity and TCE that is nearing the plant's eastern boundary. A stream has been moved, and a wall constructed, in an attempt to divert the toxins from escaping the area. Accidents and unsafe procedures abound in the history of PORTS operations. Fluoride emissions from the production of UF6 were regularly vented into the air, and in one instance an accident caused a 21,000-pound UF6 cylinder to release its contents.

Citizens found that the government is bringing in other radioactivity to PORTS, including a shipment of highly enriched uranium from Libya. Under the guise of national security, such shipments do not have to be disclosed. Unless we become active and aware, all manner of dangers to our lives and livelihoods can be brought into Ohio.