Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment

Grants and Contracts Details


Faculty and staff at the University of Kentucky have been involved with environmental investigations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) since off-site contamination was originally discovered in 1988. Initial studies largely focused on ecological and toxicity investigations in Little and Big Bayou Creeks. In response to a request by the state of Kentucky, the University established a Federal Facilities Oversight Unit in 1993. The unit was charged with assisting both the Kentucky Natural Resources Environmental Protection Cabinet (KNREPC) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources (KCHR) with environmental remediation of the federal facilities in the commonwealth and in particular the Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah. Funding for the unit came from the Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) and the federal Agreement in Principle (AIP). The unit was administrated through the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute under the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Kentucky. When fully staffed, the unit had 26 personnel and an operational budget of approximately 1.5 million dollars. Of the 26 personnel, 23 operated out of Frankfort while the remaining three were located in Paducah. In addition to the full-time professional and staff employees, the unit was supported by faculty, staff, and graduate students from six academic departments of the University including: the school of Biological Sciences, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Geological Sciences, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, and the Kentucky Geological Survey. Environmental studies conducted during this time focused on such topics as: baseline geologic and groundwater concentrations, instream toxicity studies, groundwater flow modeling, seismic investigations, and TCE attenuation studies. Additional studies were conducted to investigate the feasibility of different remediation strategies. In 1998, the KNREPC decided to move all the non-radiological responsibilities of the FFOU into the Division of Waste Management thus terminating the university's responsibilities in FFA related activities, although some AlP activities have continued to be funded with individual faculty both through the KNREPC and the KCHS. As a consequence, the University of Kentucky is uniquely qualified to provide scientific and engineering expertise in support of ongoing cleanup activities associated with the PGDP. The current research project will draw upon many of the same and faculty and staff that that have been previously involved in scientific investigations at Paducah, as well as additional expertise to be drawn from the University of Louisville and Murray State University. Such expertise includes geologists, hydrologists, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, environmental chemists, toxicologists, agronomists, and seismologists.
Effective start/end date9/15/033/31/09


  • Department of Energy: $5,605,380.00


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