By Frank Lewis
It looks like both the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) project and the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon will be funded in some fashion until the end of the year. The Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government at mid-2015 levels, cleared one hurdle, the U.S. Senate, and by late afternoon Wednesday was on its way to the U.S. House of Representatives where it was expected to pass.
Late Wednesday morning, U.S. Senator Rob Portman told the Daily Times the Senate had just passed a Continuing Resolution that allows for continued funding for clean-up of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant and funding continuing operations at ACP.
“I’m pleased that the Continuing Resolution allows the Administration flexibility to avoid disruption of the clean-up activities at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon,” Portman said. “The ball is now in the Administration’s court and I urge them to fully fund Piketon’s decontamination and decommissioning efforts and continue their work at the American Centrifuge Plant, a project important for our nation’s national security.”
U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup told the Daily Times the continuing resolution in the House is identical to the Senate’s as far as ACP and D&D are concerned.
The Daily Times was unable to reach sources at Centrus Energy, Inc. for reaction on the report that the ACP would at least continue for the time being. However, Fluor BWXT responded with caution to questions concerning the D&D funding, they were still waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as to how to proceed.
“We’re waiting for them to tell us once they review the language what it means for us,” Jeff Wagner of Fluor BWXT, operators of the D& D project said.
Wagner was asked about the pending WARN Act notices that had been sent out to workers.
“Tomorrow (Thursday) we have 36 people, part of the voluntary separation program, leaving,” Wagner said. “So the involuntary separation (layoffs) is still moving forward and would happen in late October. So we’re still working through that process. There is some time but we’re still continuing all of the assessments and everything that needs to go into determining who is impacted.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.