nuclear energy

Regional
2:25 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

GE Hitachi, Energy Dept. in Talks Over Kentucky Uranium Plant

A rendering of a GE nuclear plant
Credit General Electric

The U.S. Department of Energy has started negotiations with General Electric's nuclear division on a proposal to replace Paducah's aging uranium enrichment plant with a new one.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy wants to build a laser enrichment facility that would make use of the depleted uranium kept at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The Energy Department announced Wednesday that it has selected the company to begin exclusive negotiations for the sale of the uranium inventory.

U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with Rep. Ed Whitfield, said in a news release that the new plant would create hundreds of permanent jobs at the site.

The Paducah plant had been a major employer for two generations but is being mothballed. Layoffs began earlier this year.