Nestled in the rolling hills of Appalachia Ohio is a reminder of the role that the region played in winning the Cold War. For more than 40 years in rural Pike County, the 3,700-acre Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS), or the “A-Plant” as the locals refer to it, enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons. While the facility produced nuclear fuel for national security, it simultaneously exposed plant workers to chemicals and radiation and discharged pollution into the surrounding community. The A-Plant is now being demolished and the site repurposed. However, the site continues to affect the community as, for example, a middle school near it was closed in late spring of 2019 due to alarming levels of radiation detected in the building.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Morrone M, Perkins H. The nuclear legacy in Appalachia. J Appalach Health 2020;2(1):54–9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/jah.0201.07.