Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he's still optimistic US Energy Secretary Steven Chu will authorize spent uranium re-enrichment at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant. Paul tells The Paducah Sun preservation of the plant's nearly 1200 jobs will be a factor.
Paul called himself an optimist, predicting that Chu will eventually sign off on allowing for the re-enrichment of 40,000 14-ton canisters of depleted uranium, called “tails,” at the site. Lawmakers say the process would allow the plant’s nearly 1,200 employees, who are in danger of losing their jobs, to keep working while also cleaning up the site.
Paul and 1st District Congressman Ed Whitfield have say Chu could let the process begin with a stroke of his pen. The two have met with the Energy Secretary numerous times, but so far, Chu hasn't budged. Last week, Chu agreed to requests from Paul and Whitfield for another meeting before the end of the month. Senator Paul says if that doesn't work, he will ask for a meeting with President Obama.