Funding source for Paducah plant cleanup uncertain

March 25, 2013

Associated Press

PADUCAH, Ky. — A funding source and start date for the cleanup of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is uncertain as officials try to grapple with budget issues and when the facility will cease operations.

Portsmouth-Paducah Project Office Manager Bill Murphie told The Paducah Sun that funds designated for decontamination and decommission of plants in Paducah, Portsmouth, Ohio and Oak Ridge, Tenn., are inadequate.

The U.S. Department of Energy will assume responsibility for the plant when it stops re-enrichment operations May 31, unless a contract extension is worked out. The current schedule for decontamination and decommissioning sets the work being finished by 2019.

Portsmouth Paducah Project Office spokesman Tim Echelard said the Energy Department will look into other sources, such as the Defense Environmental Cleanup appropriations for funds.