The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Thursday, June 21, 2001

Supplemental money for Paducah cleanup cut in half


WASHINGTON--The House on Wednesday cut in half the amount of supplemental money that will be spent this year on cleanup work at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

President Bush last month recommended an additional $18 million for the Paducah plant. House appropriators cut the additional Paducah funding to $9 million and transferred the other $9 million for cleanup work at the U.S. Department of Energy's facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn., according to U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville.

The funding was added to the more than $60 million that was approved in the original 2001 budget.

The supplemental budget still must be approved by the Senate and efforts will be made to restore the Paducah funding, Whitfield said.

Meanwhile, Whitfield said while cleanup funding for Paducah was being cut for this year, it was being increased for next year. The Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee increased cleanup funding for the 2002 fiscal year by $10 million, to a total of $72.2 million. Although that is more than the 2001 budget, it is short of the $100 million that was requested by Gov. Paul Patton.

"This just shows how difficult the appropriations process really is," Whitfield said.

However, the budget has a long way to go before it becomes law. It must be approved by the Energy Committee and the full House before it will go to the Senate for consideration.

In addition to the $72.2 million approved for cleanup work, the budget legislation contains funding for other work at Paducah:

--$10 million for work on the depleted UF6 conversion plant.

--$10.7 million for depleted UF6 cylinder maintenance.

--$13.3 million for an on-site low-level waste disposal cell.

--$2.4 million for security and safeguards.