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DOE Awards Fluor $420M Contract for Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Decommission and Decontamination

Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Federal, state and local officials are praising the U.S. Department of Energy’s awarding a three-year $420 million clean-up contract to Fluor Federal Services, for decommissioning and decontamination of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The DOE owned facility occupies 3,423-acres, and has been leased by the United States Enrichment Corporation, which enriched uranium for nuclear power plants.  As the DOE’s lease with USEC expires, and the company continues reorganization under bankruptcy proceedings, community leaders have been hoping for a new source of jobs for the more than 1,000 employees affected by the shutdown.

“It means jobs for Paducah,” Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler said last night. “It also provides extensive and detailed hiring preferences for the available labor force,” said Kaler referring to recently laid off USEC employees.

The DOE reports the contract will fund Project Management (including Delease Planning and Facility Transfer back to the DOE); Facility Modification and Infrastructure Optimization (including Stabilization and Deactivation of GDP Facilities); Decontamination and Demolition, and Environmental Services.

In a joint statement from  city and county leaders expressed satisfaction for the contract and thanked Kentucky’s federal delegation in Congress but they maintain the project will take longer than three years.

“The clean-up of the site will require decades to accomplish and cost billions of dollars. This contract will be the vehicle to begin this important work,” the statement read.

Paducah Economic Development Vice President Charlie Martin said it's too early to tell when Fluor will begin hiring, and how many jobs are expected for the project.

"It's still early in the process and I'm sure we'll be getting more information in the days ahead about how exactly things are going to work," Martin said.

The future of the PGDP site beyond cleanup includes another enrichment facility. GE Hitachi’s Global Laser Enrichment, is seeking proper federal approval to construct an estimated $1-billion facility on the site in hopes of utilizing depleted uranium, so-called tails, stored on the site. 

Chad Lampe, a Poplar Bluff, Missouri native, was raised on radio. He credits his father, a broadcast engineer, for his technical knowledge, and his mother for the gift of gab. At ten years old he broke all bonds of the FCC and built his own one watt pirate radio station. His childhood afternoons were spent playing music and interviewing classmates for all his friends to hear. At fourteen he began working for the local radio stations, until he graduated high school. He earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Murray State, and a Masters Degree in Mass Communication. In November, 2011, Chad was named Station Manager in 2016.
Todd Hatton hails from Paducah, Kentucky, where he got into radio under the auspices of the late, great John Stewart of WKYX while a student at Paducah Community College. He also worked at WKMS in the reel-to-reel tape days of the early 1990s before running off first to San Francisco, then Orlando in search of something to do when he grew up. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Murray State University. He vigorously resists adulthood and watches his wife, Angela Hatton, save the world one plastic bottle at a time.
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