US Enrichment Corporation (USEC) currently has an application with the NRC to build a new uranium enrichment facility at the Piketon PORTS site. Enriched uranium has a lower content of fissionable U235 than the highly enriched uranium formerly produced. Citizens have been told that this enriched uranium will be used for power plants only. This American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) would rely on a gas centrifuge process, which would not use as much electricity as gaseous diffusion. The old gaseous diffusion plant, currently on cold standby, was reported by citizen research to use as much electricity as the City of Los Angeles when it was in operation.

Opponents have argued that no more enriched uranium is needed for power plants. The world has a plentiful supply of highly enriched uranium, which is being "downblended" to the enriched form at PORTS (and in Russia), making it useful for nuclear power plants. The Bush Administration is pushing to build dozens of new nuclear power plants in the US and in the rest of the world. Opponents believe that the possibility of new nuke plants may be the stimulus for producing new quantities of enriched uranium. The gas centrifuge technology is a first for this country and there is no model for this large scale commercial operation. USEC also leads Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) materials licensees in number of violations notices, far exceeding other licensees. If this plant is built, citizens also fear that cleanup of the existing contamination on the site will never be completed.

Louisiana Energy Services applied to DOE to build a similar gas centrifuge in Lea County, NM, 8 months before USEC applied. Citizens are fighting the New Mexico plan, but if that is approved, there is an even greater question whether two new uranium enrichment plants are needed.

Earth Island Journal has information on the processes and contamination at PORTS, see www.earthisland.org/yggdrasil/pgdp.html.

PRESS has recently been granted the right to intervene in challenging the USEC license application. Money is badly needed NOW for hiring legal and technical experts to weigh in on the case. Construction of the ACP enrichment plant must be stopped. PORTS must be cleaned up as much as possible. The site must not become a defacto waste dump or a "national security" secret experiment site. PRESS needs volunteers, includingĀ people to be trained to take Geiger counter readings and samples following instructions in theĀ guide book mentioned above. Donations may be sent to PRESS/Vina Colley at 3706 McDermott Pond Creek Road, McDermott, OH 45652.

For more information, or if you are interested in monitoring radioactivity around the site, contact Pat Marida at 614-890-7865 or marida@wideopenwest.com.