Nuclear Power

LRC Public Information

  Kentucky state Rep. Gerald Watkins of Paducah is drafting a new bill that would end the commonwealth’s moratorium on nuclear power plants.

United States Department of State, Public Domain

Airing Monday at 1 p.m. on WKMS (pre-empting The Takeaway) Hosted by Steve Inskeep

Few Americans remember that Iran launched its nuclear program in the 1950s with the direct backing of its then ally, the United States. That American support would turn to sanctions and threats of war over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The bitter rivals opened secret negotiations two years ago and are now party to a high-risk deal. Supporters and critics agree it's a pivotal moment -- but for better or worse?

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the commentator and don't necessarily reflect the views of WKMS.

As world leaders and U.S. presidential candidates react to the historic agreement between P5+1 countries including the United States and Iran regarding their nuclear program, Murray State history professor with a focus on diplomatic history Dr. Brian Clardy weighs in with his thoughts on the deal putting into context events of the late 1970s and mid 1980s.

Department of Energy

The state Senate this week passed a bill that would lift a moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants in Kentucky.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll, a Republican from Paducah. His district is home to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which has been in the process of shutting down.

Carroll said lifting the moratorium would help bring jobs that have been lost at the plant.

Steven Penrod, the manager of Paducah’s gaseous diffusion plant has been named Vice President of USEC’s American Centrifuge Project.  Penrod currently serves as USEC vice president of enrichment operations and has been responsible for USEC’s facilities in Paducah and Piketon, Ohio.


The market for uranium has taken a steep drop, prompting Global Laser Enrichment to cut back and reign in, with plans to move the work from its facilities in Australia and Oakridge, Tennessee, to their home base in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Representative Gerald Watkins of Paducah is pushing his bill through the house to lift the moratorium on nuclear power in Kentucky.

Watkins’ bill is a companion to Senator Bob Leeper’s bill that passed the senate in early February. Watkins is meeting with the state energy secretary Tuesday to get traction on the bill.