The 1200 employees at Paducah’s Gaseous Diffusion plant learned this week their jobs will be safe for another year.
The United States Enrichment Corporation announced a multi-party agreement yesterday to allow the company to keep the plant operating until May 2013. The deals allows workers to re-enrich spent uranium stored at the facility to be used as fuel at two nuclear power plants. USEC Vice President of Enrichment Operations Steve Penrod says it is hard to tell whether the plant will outlive this current extension…
"We would still be faced with finding a demand for the output of the plant that would match up with our production levels. That’s why we’re careful to communicate and create expectations that are not there. This is a one year extensions and we can’t for sure say what might or might not happen beyond that year, but for right now it’s just a one year deal."
Declining uranium demand and an end of an existing power contract to run the plant contributed to the original plan to close USEC’s plant at the end of this month.