For the last 60 years, Paducah, Kentucky, has been the point of origin for enriched uranium bound for U.S. energy and defense. The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and the surrounding 3,000 acres, is one of the most contaminated top-secret sites in the United States. Since 2003, the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment has gathered scientific data, investigated remediation techniques, and talked to Paducah residents about the future of the site. What was missing was a way to communicate the science of what was happening underground to spark conversation about the potential of the site. That’s where design came in. University of Kentucky College of Design students were enlisted to visualize the 5 miles of toxic pollutants underground, as well as research future uses for the site. The one with the greatest potential was the idea that the problem, the contamination, was the solution. Technology developed in Paducah could be exported to other contaminated sites around the globe.

UK College of Design students have created a vision of what the future could hold for this plant. Go to: http://www.research.uky.edu/reveal/paducah.shtml

More information on the KRCEE program can be found at: http://www.caer.uky.edu/environment/home.shtml