The U.S. Energy Department has issued a request for offers for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a move that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said "disappointed" him. Beshear said the request issued yesterday will delay a decision on the facility's future and that of its 1,100 workers.
Beshear also said the door is open for an offer to be made for the plant's leftover uranium "tails" without requiring use of the plant, a possibility the governor called "wholly unacceptable." A letter to Beshear from Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz said the department is still committed to cleaning up the site. But Beshear said in a statement that Moniz's reference to "surveillance and maintenance" until decontamination and decommissioning can begin doesn't support the state's request that the agency start cleanup immediately.
In a press release Beshear said, "My primary objective for this facility is to find a new economic development opportunity to redevelop the PGDP site and create and preserve jobs, and to protect the public by promptly beginning cleanup efforts."
Moniz and Beshear meet Monday.