A new nuclear reactor facility has been proposed for Piketon, Ohio. The power reactor, presumed to be Areva’s 1600 MWe EPR, would be built on the very large site of the former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, and would be owned and operated by Duke.
The proposed site is the location of the Portsmouth gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant, which operated from 1954 to 2001. The plant and its facilities were then kept in ‘cold standby’ until 2005, when they entered ‘cold shutdown’, and decontamination and decommissioning began. In 2004, US enrichment company USEC selected the Portsmouth site as the home of its American Centrifuge enrichment plant, currently under construction and due to begin commercial operations in 2010.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said: “The project will revitalize the region’s economy, further advance Ohio’s nuclear infrastructure, help address our energy needs and be part of Ohio’s solution to the challenge of climate change.”