Piketon Plant Receives Extra $20.5 Million From Energy Department

November 15, 2002

The federal government will spend an extra $20.5 million to keep Ohio’s uranium enrichment plant on standby.

If the U.S. Department of Energy had not issued the grant, U.S. Representative Rob Portman (R-2, Cincinnati) says it’s likely there would be more layoffs at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, in Piketon.

Last year, the government put the plant on standby, when its owner, USEC, consolidated operations at a Kentucky plant. Earlier this year, Congress gave the plant an additional $65 million for cleanup.

Portman’s office says that $65 million was $20.5 million short of what was needed to safely and effectively maintain the current work at the site.

When USEC consolidated operations, 530 workers lost their jobs. Today, about 1,200 workers are still employed at the facility.

State officials still hope the federal government will assign a new advanced-technology enrichment project for Piketon, which would keep jobs in the area. In fall of 2000, the Energy Department announced Piketon would participate in an experimental pilot project, but those plans were later dropped.

© The Ohio News Network, 2002. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.


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