The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Portsmouth Paducah Project Office (PPPO) Technical Support Services (TSS) procurement. The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in Kentucky was constructed in 1952 to produce enriched uranium, initially for the nuclear weapons programme and later for nuclear fuel for commercial power plants. DOE now oversees environmental cleanup activities at the site, including environmental remediation, waste management, depleted uranium conversion, and decontamination and decommissioning. 

Commercial enrichment was conducted under lease from 1993 until 2013 when operations ceased and the gaseous diffusion facilities were returned to the DOE Environmental Management (EM) programme. EM has conducted extensive cleanup activities at the site since the late 1980s and is currently deactivating the returned plant facilities while continuing the remediation programme being managed by PPPO.

For approximately 50 years, the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant at Piketon, Ohio, supported federal government and commercial nuclear power missions. Portsmouth was chosen in 1952 to complement the government's gaseous diffusion programme already under way at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Paducah. The facility was fully operational in March 1956. The enriched uranium was required for both government and commercial uses. In the 1960s, the site took on a more commercial focus, enriching uranium mainly for NPPs. 

In 1993 the production facilities were leased by DOE to the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC)—now Centrus Energy Corporation. From 1991 until production ceased in 2001, the Portsmouth plant produced only low-enriched uranium for commercial power plants. In 1993, uranium enrichment operations were turned over to USEC and in 2000, uranium enrichment production was terminated at the Portsmouth Site. Some of the facilities were no longer required by USEC and subsequently returned to DOE. 

The PPPO now requires a TSS contractor to provide technical and administrative support to assist DOE with its oversight and management. This includes:

  • Clean-up activities
  • Decommissioning and dismantling activities
  • Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) operations
  • All aspects of on-site contractor operations, including general construction activities and the On-Site Waste Disposal Facility (OSWDF) project related investigative and construction activities
  • Geotechnical and design documents
  • Regulatory compliance activities at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP), the Paducah GDP site and the Operations & Site Mission Support (OSMS) offices in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Providing services for the PPPO federal office in Lexington, 
  • Providing various technical engineering support functions, high quality and reliable information technology infrastructure and cyber security support 
  • Safeguards and Security (S&S) oversight support, and general administrative support for all of the PPPO sites.

The TSS procurement will be conducted as a Small Business Set-Aside Competition.