UF6 Cylinder Center opens

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - David Dycus

BALLARD COUNTY, KY.---While it might be difficult to understand how the center works, local leaders say they do get the economic impact.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear cut the ribbon at Daher TLI in Ballard County, as the French and German owned company officially opened the center.

The company will employ up to 40 people within two years and it comes at a time and in a place that needs more help than you might think.

It's no surprise not everyone who worked at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant lived in McCracken County.
The most recent numbers show nearly 13-hundred do live in McCracken County, but 272 call Graves County home. 248 live in Ballard County.
In a county of 83-hundred people, those lost jobs will add about three percent to their unemployment rate.
That's why any amount of new jobs are welcomed.

Daher TLI engineers say their patented process of cleaning and recertifying UF6 cylinders takes time.

But it's still more efficient than older methods.

Company leaders from Paris, France say their new workforce is efficient too,  based on the four short months it took to build the center.

Ballard County Judge Executive Vicki Viniard said 40 new jobs can't come soon enough.

"Ballard County is a big part of USEC too," Viniard said.

PGDP layoffs just across county lines are felt throughout her area, too.

"We feel the impact greatly," Viniard said.

She hopes Daher LTI encourages more development to fill the void USEC leaves behind.

With the first seven radioactive cylinders ready to go, the workforce is ready for work.

Daher LTI is set up to process about 700 cylinders each year based on single shift operations.
The containers have to be recertified every five years, the people at Daher say that means 'job security'.
They say they'd like to open up more centers in Western Kentucky.

Containers come from lots of places, not necessarily PGDP. The cylinders at the center right now are from South Africa.

As of now, 15 people work at Daher. The plant manager said he like to have up to 40 within 2 years.
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