Radioactive contamination, environment and public health, and the future of the Portsmouth nuclear site

The event will be at 1 pm on Saturday, June 10 at the Comfort Inn, 7525 US-23, Piketon, OH 45661.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) abbreviation for the Portsmouth Nuclear Site is PORTS. The site is referred to locally as “the A-Plant” and continues to be referred to by agency officials and contractors simply as “Piketon,” the name of the town nearest the site. The site was used to enrich uranium, first for nuclear weapons and later for nuclear power. By far the worst contamination occurred because for decades the DOE brought in high level radioactive waste (to extract uranium from it) and ran it through all 3 process buildings (100 acres under roof). This contaminated the entire site with radioactive isotopes including plutonium, neptunium, and technetium.

Speakers at the forum will be:

  • Michael E. Ketterer, PhD, analytic chemist and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, speaking on the topic Contamination is Forever: Radioisotopes Near PORTS. His talk title is linked to his 2019 report showing that radioactivity found offsite around the plant, as well as some distance away, is coming from PORTS.
  • Joseph J. Mangano, MPH, MBA, epidemiologist and Executive Director, Radiation and Public Health Project whose topic will be “Soaring Death Rate Near Ohio Uranium Plant.” His talk title is linked to his 2022 RPHP Report on Health Risk to Local Residents from the Portsmouth Plant (19 pages). His data is taken from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control statistics comparing cancer deaths and overall death rates in Pike County (where PORTS is located) between 1950 (before the plant was operating) and 2020.  Overall death rates between the ages of 0-74 have increased 85% – nearly double. He will be announcing the release of his NEW Health Impact Study for Seven Counties Surrounding PORTS, which statistics are even more startling as he compares them to 7 other Appalachian counties in Ohio that are farther from PORTS. 
  • Terry J. Lodge, Esq., specializing in Environmental Law and Civil Rights, will answer the question Is Piketon's Disastrous Past a Prelude to Even Worse?." Attorney Lodge has been working to hold the Nuclear Regulatory Commission accountable for unlawfully licensing two new warmaking industries at PORTS without doing the Environmental Impact Statement required by the National Environmental Policy Act.  

Following the presentations will be a time for Q & A, followed by an invitation for the public to speak about health issues and environmental and other concerns. The talk will be livestreamed and available later on the ONFN YouTube Channel: @OhioNuclearFreeNetwork. Please spread the word and attend if you can.

Carpooling is being arranged from Columbus. If you are interested, please email

Thanks very much to the Free Press and its readers!