Kentucky's U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with 1st District U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield, are warning federal energy officials any delays in cleaning up the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site would endanger the region's health and economy. The three Republicans sent a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today urging that site cleanup begin and requesting another meeting.
They're concerned the DOE might put the plant in a "surveillance and maintenance" status which could mean delays in the decommissioning and decontamination process. The plant’s previous operator, USEC, announced in May it was ceasing operations at the facility that had employed more than 1,000 workers. The first round of layoffs, affecting 160 workers, took effect today. More layoffs are expected in October.