By Frank Lewis
In a letter from Richard V. Rowland, Vice President of Human Resources with Centrus Energy Corp., to Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree, Rowland says, if layoffs at the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon do occur, they would begin on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 and continue through Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, based on a schedule “that will ensure the safety and security of all program personnel and materials.”
The letter begins with – “In accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, this memorandum serves as advance notice of a possible “mass layoff” or “plant closing” as defined under the WARN Act by Centrus Energy Corp.’s subsidiary, the American Centrifuge Operating LLC that would begin on or about Jan. 11, 2016 at the company’s American Centrifuge facilities in Piketon, Ohio.”
The letter goes on to say – “It is anticipate that a potential reduction-in-force could result in the layoff of more than 50 employees during a 30-day period of the company’s Piketon American Centrifuge facilities. These reductions, if they occur, would be expected to be permanent and those affected employees cannot displace (bump) other employees.”
The memorandum says the company has been in discussions with UT-Battelle the operator of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the continue funding of the ACP at Piketon.
“The American Centrifuge Technology Demonstration and Operations (ACTDO) agreement under which funding was most recently provided ended on Sept. 30, 2015. While waiting to continue aspects of the program, DOE and ORNL have indicated that there will be a significant reduction in program funding for the 2026 government fiscal year, with all future program activities being carried out at the company’s Oak Ridge, Tennessee facilities,” Rowland said in the memorandum. “While we remain in discussions with the Congress, ORNL and DOE regarding the restoration of full funding in order to continue the important work being done at Piketon, we have received no indication from DOE as to whether we will be successful in this effort.”
Rowland says, a failure to receive additional funding to support the work at Piketon will cause the near-term elimination of a number of positions at the company’s Piketon facility and that the layoffs would be expected to be permanent.
He said employees impacted by a reduction-in-force may be eligible for dislocated worker assistance through the state of Ohio. He said Centrus will continue with representatives from local agencies on any available benefits associated with the Dislocated Worker Assistance Program.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.