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McConnell Questions Energy Secretary about Future of Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

During a committee hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Senator McConnell focused his attention on the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which has been producing enriched uranium in western Kentucky for 60 years. The plant has 1,200 employees, and it currently stores 40,000 cylinders of depleted uranium at Paducah (otherwise known as "tails"), which have the potential to be re-enriched to make a profit. These are government resources, highly valued, stored in a lot, which could be sold to create revenue for our government.

Sen. McConnell went to the hearing to pressure the Secretary of Energy to come up with a plan to sell the depleted uranium stored at the government facility, which in turn would help save 1,200 jobs in Paducah. However, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told McConnell that the Department of Energy has no plan for re-enriching uranium at the plant and that he would get back to Senator McConnell on his plan for Paducah.

McConnell said after the hearing, "The fact that the Department of Energy is not prepared to address additional uranium enrichment during a time of fiscal crisis is staggering."

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