What is an ASER?

Each Department of Energy (DOE) site must prepare an Annual Site Environmental Report (ASER) documenting the site’s environmental conditions.

A typical ASER is a long technical document most people may not have the time or the ability to read it. In order for the public to understand the environmental issues of the site, in this case the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), a scaled-down or streamlined version of the ASER that reflects the current nature and extent of site operations and monitoring programs must be prepared. In other words, the ASER Summary should be factual and address, "What the public should know".

When completed, the ASER Summary document will be peer reviewed by the DOE for factual accuracy.  It will be an example to any college on what you can accomplish.  And this document will inform the public of the PGDP environmental issues.

2013 Paducah ASER
2014 Paducah ASER
2016 Paducah ASER


The Portsmouth facility, located in Portsmouth, OH, is a decommissioned uranium enrichment plant.  The Portsmouth site is facing similar environmental challenges as the PGDP.   Ohio University sponsored the 2011 Annual Site Environmental Report (ASER) Summary (only 36 pages!) in collaboration with staff and students from Eastern Local High School during the 2013-2014 academic year.  This ASER Summary was modeled after a similar ASER produced by DOE’s Oak Ridge Operations.

Learn more about the Eastern Local High School ASER Summary project at http://www.portsfuture.com

Steve Hampson's PGDP Presentations


Master Timeline

City of Paducah

Nuclear Science

Site History


Recommended to Start

Google Earth

In order to familiarize yourselves with the PGDP, Tracey Duncan from the Department of Energy and former Marshall County graduate, suggests you check out the PGDP on Google Earth.

You can download Google Earth free for your iPad at the iTunes store here.   Or for a PC, Mac or Linux here.

After you download, install and open Google Earth...  I posted a map to the Google Community by the name of "The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant", you should be able to run a search for it.   Otherwise, search for the PGDP west of the city of Paducah, KY and/or open my Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.kml.  

If you compare the maps Steve gave you and the Google aerial photo you can locate many of the features.


During your holiday break, start a dialog ask around; ask your parents and grandparents what they know about the PGDP.

We have made it easy for you to discover how astounding the history of the PGDP really is, with youtube videos!


Also, familiarize yourself with the process of Uranium Enrichment. Check out our basic, also very easy but fascinating, overview of uranium enrichment and the gaseous diffusion method at  http://www.ukrcee.org/Outreach/Education/gaseous_diffusion.aspx

Also, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), has an interactive web page illustrating the steps taken to produce uranium fuel.

Points to Remember

Largest Groundwater Plume

Do you remember from Steve's presentation, the large underground plume? 

  • The common solvent, TCE and the man-made radioisotope, Technetium-99 (99Tc) are the most widespread groundwater contaminants associated with the PGDP.
  • Three (3) groundwater contaminant plumes extend beyond the PGDP security fence: Northwest Plume; contaminants found in groundwater plumes that leave the PGDP, trichlorothene (TCE) and technetium-99
  • TCE occurs as pure phase (free-product) dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) at multiple locations in the silts and clays overlying the RGA and, most probably, in the RGA.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences put together an informative presentation about thermal profiling of focused groundwater discharge along Little Bayou Creek.  Download " Thermal profiling of focused groundwater discharge along a channelized stream in western Kentucky".

Superfund Site

Superfund is the federal government's program to clean up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
Source: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/

Find out more about the PGDP Superfund status from https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0404794#plan


If you were brave enough to look at the 2011 ASER, you would have noticed terminology not used in the normal everyday English language.  Because of this, we have a useful glossary on this website http://www.ukrcee.org/Index/glossary.aspx.

Also, "...a Quick Review of Sedimentary Rocks and Processes" is a graphic presentation of sedimentary rocks. Although this presentation does not directly address the PGDP site, the information will help you understand geographic classifications.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.