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Public Statements

To Phosgene Gas Contamination

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

*McConnell asked for GAO study to ensure plant workers are protected*

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the results of a report that McConnell requested about the presence of the chemical agent phosgene in depleted uranium cylinders at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

In the report, the GAO says that the "Department of Energy's investigation of phosgene gas contamination was inadequate, but experts conclude that worker safety and facilities are not threatened."

In 2005, Senator McConnell authored report language in the FY '06 Energy and Water Appropriations bill which called for an independent study on the presence of phosgene in as many as 1,825 DUF6 canisters at the Paducah facility. McConnell requested the study in response to news reports that the chemical might be causing corrosion in some of the cylinders.

"The presence of a phosgene in the stockpile at the Paducah plant raised concerns with my constituents and that is why I asked for the study," said McConnell. "While this report is long-overdue, I hope this independent review will help ease the concerns of workers at the facility. I will continue to closely monitor the cleanup at the facility and ensure that it does not pose any risks to the workers and community."

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