DOE Releases Plan To Ease Layoffs at Piketon and Paducah Plants

DOE proposed a broad work force restructuring plan for the gaseous diffusion plants in Piketon, Ohio and Paducah, Ky.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Monday proposed a broad work force restructuring plan for the former gaseous diffusion plants in Piketon, Ohio and Paducah, Ky.

The draft plan spells out specific restructuring and community transition activities at the sites that DOE can take in response to the United States Enrichment Corp. (USEC) announcement that they will lay off up to 850 workers at the two facilities.

The company that owns both the nation's uranium enrichment operations had its credit rating cut Friday, increasing the possibility that a plant might be closed.

A USEC spokesperson said the company has made no decision about its next move. USEC cut 250 jobs last year.

"While there's little that we can do to change this decision, there's a lot we can do to help the people who are impacted by it," said Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. "Our plan will help build new businesses, create new jobs and improve community resources."

DOE wants to utilize as much as possible, displaced workers to perform cleanup and other Energy Department-funded projects at the two facilities -- a move Richardson announced in Piketon and Paducah on Jan. 28.

Preliminary estimates indicate that this funding could support approximately 600 additional positions.

DOE will be consulting with federal, state and local elected officials; workers and their representatives; community reuse organizations, and other interested groups in Ohio and Kentucky over the next two months as it moves toward preparing a final plan.

The work force restructuring plan is available on the DOE Web site at www.doe.gov

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