The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

USEC-security talks under way

Staff Report

Negotiations started Tuesday at J.R.'s Executive Inn for a new contract between USEC Inc. and Local 111 of Security Police and Fire Professionals of America.

The current five-year contract, which expires at midnight Thursday, affects 34 security personnel at the Paducah uranium enrichment plant. John Driskill, government and public affairs officer for the group, declined to discuss contract issues.

The Department of Energy, which owns the plant, has doubled annual spending there to more than $4.8 million since Sept. 11. USEC, which operates the facility leased from DOE, also has increased spending.

However, union officials have expressed concerns over the number of work hours needed for increased patrol, as well as the effect that anticipated new Nuclear Regulatory Commission security regulations could have on the security force. The regulations will apply to all NRC-regulated facilities as a result of the terrorism.

Driskill said earlier that the draft regulations, expected to come out in the next few weeks, might be used by DOE and USEC to silence the union, which has frequently spoken out on the need for heavier security at the plant.