The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Thursday, August 16, 2001

PACRO to probe fluorine suitor options

By Joe Walker

MAYFIELD, Ky.--A regional economic development group will expand its search for firms interested in creating local jobs by recycling fluorine cells at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

Meeting Wednesday in Mayfield, the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization's executive committee voted to broaden the search beyond ToxCo, a California firm that wants to buy the fluorine for recycling elsewhere. PACRO officials are seeking a firm willing to build a job-creating recycling facility at or near the plant.

PACRO Director John Anderson said the group will meet again Aug. 30 with ToxCo officials, while gauging interest from other companies.

"That in no way implies that negotiations with ToxCo are not working," he said. "We just feel the need to have as many people looking at the fluorine as we can find."

PACRO also is talking with Chemical Vapor Deposition Manufacturing (CVD), a Canadian firm interested in recycling some of the 9,700 tons of contaminated scrap metal at the plant. Anderson said the company has agreed to test samples of discarded nickel at the plant to verify its conversion process.

CVD is blocked by a temporary U.S. Department of Energy ban on selling radioactively contaminated scrap metal at any of its plants because of safety concerns.

Anderson said the National Academy of Sciences is working to establish safety standards for commercial use of the metal. If accepted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the standards will be discussed in Energy Department public meetings at Paducah, perhaps as early as February, he said.