The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Friday, June 02, 2000
Paducah, Kentucky

Government should take back uranium enrichment plants

EDITOR: A huge mistake was made in the summer of 1998 when the uranium enrichment business was privatized over the objections of many national security experts, economists and labor unions. The decision to privatize was pushed through by those with a glaring conflict of interest, who have since profited greatly. A reliable domestic source of enriched uranium is vital for our national security and the common defense, a responsibility that should rest squarely with the government.

I disagree with your contention (in an editorial) that the government is largely responsible for USEC's current financial condition. These circumstances were in place well before the decision to privatize was made. USEC as a government corporation was working well and returning money to the Treasury.

Arguments about who bears the most responsibility for this taxpayer-funded debacle aside, it is time for the government to step up for once and admit its mistake and correct the problem. USEC should not be rewarded with a government bailout; its officials have profited enough.

It is time for our government to take back the plants, before there is nothing left.

JOHN M. DRISKILL
President
Local 111
United Plant Guard Workers of America