Another company submits proposal to take over Gaseous Diffusion Plant


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

PADUCAH - The future of Paducah's Gaseous Diffusion Plant is still up in the air, but if Jim Thomas has his way, its future includes him.

"We're local.  We're people, we grew up here. I was born in Mayfield.  Lived most of my life here," Thomas said.

That's one of the reasons his company, Advanced Process Technology Systems, is partnering with International Isotopes to develop a proposal to keep the plant running.  "Our expression is to lease the plant and operate the plant and we intend to use that skilled and trained workforce out there," he said.

Thomas says 600 to 700 current employees would retain their position and International Isotopes would operate the facility for a minimum of five years, with the option of extending it's lease.  Congressman Ed Whitfield believes avoiding major layoffs is key in deciding what company could take over.

The objective is to keep the most jobs for the longest length of time with the strongest financial company," Rep. Whitfield said.

And Thomas says that company is International Isotopes.  "I think it's obvious that we have an excellent proposal in front of the Department of Energy and we know they will review it with what's best for everyone," Thomas said.

There is no timetable on when the Department of Energy will make a decision on what company takes over, but Thomas hopes it happens before the end of the year.