The Portsmouth Daily Times

Portsmouth Daily Times
Portsmouth, Ohio

Facility would convert uranium 'to something more stable'
DOE plan might bring 350 jobs

By Josh Hickle
Times Staff Writer

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Piketon - The United States Department of Energy hosted a public meeting Wednesday night at the Vern Riffe Vocational School to announce the intent of preparing an environmental impact statement for the construction of depleted uranium conversion facilities in Portsmouth, Ohio and Paducah, Ky.

"There is no facility at Portsmouth or Paducah that can do what we need to do," said Kevin Shaw, DOE spokesperson, "We need to take the depleted uranium hexaflouride and convert its chemical form to something more stable."Shaw said the facilities will be constructed on plant grounds.

Once the facilities are completed, there is a possibility for a number of jobs for the area. "I would say it would depend on how many shifts they run and days they operate," Shaw said. " I guess it could be as much as 300 to 350 jobs at both sites,"

During the meeting, a presentation was given on how the statement will be put together. The public was encouraged to comment, and raise concerns for future reference. Among the issues raised was the off-site contamination of air, water, and soil by Vina Colley. In addition, water quality and wildlife effects were also questioned.

The first draft of the statement is scheduled for June 2002, with final draft scheduled for January 2003. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin by 2004. The deadline for comments has been extended to Jan.11, 2002. Comments are to be mailed to Shaw at the U.S. Department of Energy, office of Environmental Management, Office of Site Closure, Oak Ridge Office (EM-32), 19901 Germantown Rd, Germantown, MD 20874

2001 - The Portsmouth Daily Times