Conway: DOE Has Legal Obligations to Clean Up Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Jul 23, 2013

Attorney General Jack Conway says there could be legal ramifications if the Department of Energy fails to cleanup the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. 

Conway met with two senior Department of Energy officials earlier today to discuss cleanup at the site. The visit comes on the heels of a similar meeting between Gov. Steve Beshear and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Commonwealth officials have been urging swift action at the Paducah plant, amid concerns that the site may become a dumping ground of nuclear materials. The plant is shutting down after the DOE and United States Enrichment Corporation failed to reach a new contract. Conway says he has a key role in holding the DOE to its clean-up obligations.

“The DOE has certain obligations that they have to meet in terms of cleaning up and not abandoning Paducah,” he says. “If they fail to meet those, there’s legal recourse for the commonwealth of Kentucky against the Department of Energy. When it comes to legal recourse with the commonwealth of Kentucky, I’m the chief legal officer and I represent them.”

Conway says the DOE will add more than $30 million to the PGDP cleanup effort in 2014. That’s a small portion of what Conway says will be a multi-billion dollar project. In the meantime the DOE is soliciting proposals from companies for future use of the PGDP site.