PGDP

John Paul Henry

October brings the second round of layoffs at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. For local business owners, that is money out of their pockets. One local community staple, just down the road from the plant, has counted on those paychecks for generations.

Most any morning you can find Ray Leigh in the back of a green cinder block building tucked off the Old Highway 60 outside of Kevil, Kentucky. 

There'll be smoke rising from out back, and he'll be cooking barbecue. Strictly old school, coal shoveled barbecue.

John Paul Henry

The federally funded group tasked with mitigating the effects of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant’s closure blocked the press from accessing much of its public meeting Wednesday as the committee members listened to two proposals about the organization’s administrative future.  

PACRO board members didn’t cite a specific statute related to Kentucky’s Open Meetings Law when removing members of the media, which the law requires. The board also didn’t issue a public agenda for the meeting, also required by law. 

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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.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says U.S. Department of Energy officials will request an additional $35 million for cleanup of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion site, bringing the total spent for Fiscal Year 2014 to $177 million. 

Conway told members of Paducah’s Community Task Force today that Deputy DOE Secretary Daniel Poneman informed him of the request at their meeting in Washington on July.  However, Conway says he doesn’t think the money allocated so far is enough.

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USEC's shutdown of operations at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant is underway; layoffs are slated to begin next month. Paducah and McCracken County will see a loss of about 12 hundred jobs, many high-skilled and high-paying.  Organizations and agencies there are addressing the problem, but it's perhaps useful to also consider the experience of another community that underwent a similar economic reverse 20 years ago. 

http://www.usec.com/gaseous-diffusion/paducah-gdp

After meeting Monday with new U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters said he is hopeful for a good start on deactivation of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant this year, with decontamination beginning in fiscal year 2015.

The United States Enrichment Corporation is in the shutdown process at the DOE-owned plant after failing to negotiate a new federal contract.

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The organization seeking to minimize the loss of more than a thousand workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is rushing to replace its administrator and executive director. Little more than a week ago, the Paducah-Area Community Reuse Organization, or PACRO, was informed it would lose its administrative organization at the heels of Executive Director John Anderson’s early retirement. Yesterday, executive committee members called this situation an emergency and unanimously agreed to exempt a competitive search for new administration.

Gov. Steve Beshear met with new U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz Monday,  regarding the uncertain future of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and its 1,100 workers.

Beshear called his meeting with Moniz  a “productive exchange.”

http://www.usec.com/gaseous-diffusion/paducah-gdp

An expiring contract to turn Russian nuclear warhead uranium to power plant fuel is prompting Paducah’s steelworkers union to file for a federal assistance program.

If granted, it would help the thousands of United States Enrichment Corporation workers facing unemployment in the coming months.

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