The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking proposals from companies for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant to try to cut costs while preserving some or all of the 1,200 jobs at the the uranium enrichment site.
An emailed release from the DOE details a formal request for proposals from companies that want to lease or purchase the facility for commercial purposes.
Funds from the Kentucky Department of Energy and Environment will help pay for a United States Enrichment Corporation employee who will work with Paducah Economic Development officials to help save jobs at the city’s gaseous diffusion plant. The McCracken County Fiscal Court voted last night to accept the $75,000 to pay travel and other expenses over the next year for USEC employee Charlie Martin. McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry says USEC will continue to pay Martin’s salary while he researches ways to keep local people working at the plant.
The Department of Energy recently hosted a two day workshop in Paducah to meet with a variety of regional and global company leaders on the prospects of reindustrializing the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant. The DOE owns the PGPD and leases it to companies.
Currently, the United States Enrichment Corporation or USEC leases the facility to re-enrich uranium for power plants with the help of 1,200 employees. USEC’s operations are scheduled to end in May 2013.
Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield says despite his comments that the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant is on its "Last Leg" he’s keeping an open mind about the facility's future. Whitfield's comments about the plant were published in the Washington-based Weapons Complex Monitor.