GE-Hitachi has submitted a proposal to the Department of Energy to build
a new laser-based uranium enrichment plant at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion
Plant site, according to Chad Chancellor, president of Paducah Economic
Chancellor said he has spoken with representatives of the company and, “if
they wanted to do it, we’d work with them every way we could.”
Chancellor said Saturday night he hadn’t spoken with the company since its
proposal to DOE on Thursday, but he believes that, if enacted, the project
would employ enough workers to be one of the larger employers in the region.
DOE posted a formal document — an expression of interest, or EOI — on its
website Feb. 6 which asked for detailed proposals for uses of the PGDP site
and its uranium inventory. The deadline for responses was Thursday.
GE-Hitachi has been mentioned in connection with Silex Systems Limited, an
Australia-based company that has issued news releases expressing its
interest in using laser-based uranium enrichment at the Paducah plant. The
Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license in September giving the
go-ahead for a Silex-backed laser enrichment plant in Wilmington, N.C.
The World Nuclear News reported in November that DOE started negotiating
with GE-Hitachi subsidiary Global Laser Enrichment to evaluate the
possibility of building a laser enrichment plant at the Paducah site to
enrich its stockpiles of high-assay depleted uranium tails. The United
States Enrichment Corp. continues to operate at the Paducah plant site under
a contract that ends in May.
USEC leases the property from DOE, which owns 3,556 acres at the plant site
15 miles west of Paducah. In May, USEC secured agreement with multiple
parties that extended the 1,200 local jobs re-enriching high-assay depleted
uranium hexafluoride into low-enriched uranium.
Contact Adam Shull, Sun business editor, at 270-575-8653 or follow
@adamshull on Twitter.
Read more: The Paducah Sun - GE Hitachi proposes use for plant
WNN 2/26 (snip): GLE submitted an expression of interest including a non-binding proposal for the plant to the DoE on 21 February, SILEX developer Silex Systems Ltd announced in its half-yearly update. GLE is developing and commercialising the SILEX (Separation of Isotopes by Laser Excitation) technology under an exclusive agreement signed with Australian company Silex Systems in 2006, and has been involved in preliminary discussions with DoE about a possible Paducah plant since November 2012.
GLE already has a licence to construct and operate a commercial uranium enrichment plant using SILEX technology at Wilmington in North Carolina: an initial licence decision issued by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in September 2012 became final in January 2013. The Wilmington site is already home to GEH's nuclear fuel manufacturing facility. However, Silex Systems claims that it could be significantly quicker and less costly to set up a commercial SILEX laser enrichment facility at Paducah, where existing facilities could be utilised. (end snip)
PADUCAH, Kentucky — GE-Hitachi has submitted a proposal for the beleaguered Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant that could help preserve many of the 1,200 jobs there.
The plant had been scheduled to close last year, but a deal reached in May kept it open for another year. It currently is enriching depleted uranium for the Tennessee Valley Authority and for a Washington state utility called Energy Northwest.
The Paducah Sun reports GE-Hitachi is proposing to build a new laser-based uranium enrichment plant at the site.
Earlier this month, the Department of Energy posted a formal document seeking proposals for the plant and its uranium inventory.
Chad Chancellor, president of Paducah Economic Development, said the project has the potential to be one of the larger employers in the region.