Beshear meets with Department of Energy officials, calls meeting 'productive'
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear met with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other officials on Monday morning regarding the future of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
Beshear called the meeting "productive" and said his goal remains the same: to preserve jobs at the facility.
“We’ve been clear from the start that our primary objectives are to find new economic development opportunities for the facility, to create and preserve jobs, and to protect the public by promptly beginning site cleanup,” said Gov. Beshear. “Sec. Moniz has listened to each of those concerns and understands the importance of this enormous asset to that region and to our entire state. After this meeting, I feel confident that we will continue to closely work together toward each of those goals.”
The U.S. Department of Energy issued a Request for Offers to make use of the plant last week. Beshear said at the time he was "disappointed" in the department's request because it would allow a business to purchase the uranium tails without making use of the site. The governor also said the DOE did not relay immediate plans at the time to start cleanup operations
Currently, the plant's 1,100 employees are waiting to hear what will happen to the facility and their jobs now that the DOE will not extend their contract with USEC. That decision was announced in late May, leaving the facility's jobs hanging in the balance.