The U.S. Department of Energy has rejected a proposal that would have extended operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
For about 60 years, the plant has processed uranium for use in nuclear power plants. Last May, it was scheduled for closure, but a new agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Energy Northwest pushed back the planned shutdown date.
Now, more than 1,000 employees will lose their jobs, which was met with disappointment by Kentucky’s leaders.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear were among those who lamented the DOE’s decision in statements released Friday afternoon.
Beshear called the news disappointing and painful.
There’s potential the site could be reused, but the first step is cleanup. Kentucky’s congressional delegation plans to meet with federal officials soon to discuss remediation plans and the site’s future.