6:30 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Advisory Board Recommends Waiting For GE Hitachi Decision

Jonathan Hines, of the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board, poses a question Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 during the board meeting. During the meeting the board recommended DOE postpone making its proposal about contaminated material disposal until the DOE announces decision on the General Electric Hitachi proposal.

 In an effort to encourage economic development, the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board recommended the Department of Energy postpone making a decision that could affect General Electric Hitachi's interest in Paducah for another six months on Thursday at the board meeting. The board recommended the DOE postpone making its proposal for dealing with contaminated materials at the gaseous diffusion plant.

Newly appointed advisory Board Chair Ben Peterson said the DOE will likely recommend on-site disposal for economic reasons, and the board wants to avoid using land GE Hitachi might find valuable.

The DOE has advanced its timeline to announce a decision on the GE Hitachi proposal by Thanksgiving.

"We obviously need that as a community to happen," Peterson said. "It's replacement jobs. It also brings a lot of prestige to the community, being the names that it is. As well as research and spinoff businesses."

Peterson said the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board, in a planning session last week, outlined clear goals as central to the community which include: Securing 370 million dollars annually from the DOE for cleanup, speeding up the DOE's GE Hitachi decision, and advancing the cooperation of all parties towards a common vision of site redevelopment and cleanup.

Peterson said the goal would be to receive between $9 billion and $11 billion through 2040 from the DOE.