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Paducah Leaders Meet with GE-Hitachi, International Isotopes

Depleted uranium barrels housed at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Department of Energy
Depleted uranium barrels housed at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

At least two companies are preparing to respond to Department of Energy requests for offers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment and International Isotopes Incorporated are among a list of ten companies that showed initial interest, and have until Aug. 14 to complete a formal offer for the DOE.

The two uranium enrichment companies have also joined seven others that have met with a delegation of local and state leaders to present their plans for the site.

Delegation member and Local Steelworkers Union Vice President Jim Key says GE made its presentation earlier this week.

The company would use the property to develop a laser enrichment facility employing between four-hundred and six-hundred workers. Key says International Isotopes could employ up to seven hundred in continuing uranium tail enrichment at the plant.

Leaders have signed confidentiality agreements with the other five companies who have visited the site. Key says in the meantime he wants federal officials to authorize the decontamination and decommissioning process at the plant.

"That would one, keep them gainfully employed for wages that are family-sustaining, and bridge that timeframe until an application can be approved," he said.

A House energy and water spending bill includes 265-million -dollars to fund the cleanup and transition of the site. That bill must also pass through the senate.

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