The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Friday, July 14, 2000
Paducah, Kentucky

Senate committee approves projects for Paducah plant

Staff report
The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee has approved funding for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a new lock at Kentucky Dam, and continued construction of the Olmsted Lock and Dam.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said he was successful in removing funding from the bill for new construction on Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. The funding will be delayed until the Corps of Engineers determines if the project would cause flooding in Fulton County.

The Energy and Water Appropriations Bill includes three projects for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant: $78 million from a decontamination and decommissioning fund that would be used for cleanup work, $33 million for depleted uranium conversion, and $1.75 million for an epidemiological study of workers that will be conducted by the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.

The depleted uranium conversation allocation is $9 million more than had been previously approved. It will be used to plan and design a plant that would convert more than 60,000 cylinders of uranium hexafluoride into usable material.

The bill includes $27.7 million for construction of the new lock at Kentucky Dam and $53.1 million for continued construction of the Olmsted Lock and Dam on the Ohio River.

The funding must still be approved by the full Senate. The Senate bill is different than a bill previously approved by the House. The different version would be resolved by a joint House-Senate committee.