The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky

Senators approve funding for cleanup

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The U.S. Senate on Friday approved requests by Sen. Mitch McConnell for $191.3 million for environmental cleanup at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The fund is included in the fiscal year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. It now goes to a House/Senate conference committee for final approval.

The bill sets aside $85.8 million for construction of DUF6 facilities in Paducah and Portsmouth. The Paducah facility will convert 39,000 canisters of hazardous depleted uranium hexaflouride into a more stable compound. Construction of the plant began last July 24 and will create 200 construction jobs and 150 permanent operational jobs.

Under the legislation, worker health monitoring would continue with an appropriation of $465,000. That would provide a mobile health unit to screen current and former workers at the plant for early signs of lung cancer. The unit travels to gaseous diffusion plants in Paducah, Portsmouth, Ohio, and Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Also included is $32 million for the Kentucky Lock project at Kentucky Dam, and $85 million for the Olmsted Locks and Dam construction on the Ohio River.