Paducah Nuclear Fuel Plant Shutdown in Hands of Financially Shaky Firm

"Its stock is sliding. Its economic future is in question. The company that operated and is now responsible for shutting down the Paducah nuclear fuel plant insists it will meet its obligations to safely and cleanly return the aging facility to its owner, the U.S. Department of Energy, next year."

"But some observers worry that USEC Inc.’s shaky finances — the Maryland company’s own auditors in March reported “substantial doubt” about its ability to stay in business — may shortchange American taxpayers in a multibillion-dollar cleanup that will take decades to complete at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

Taxpayers have already shelled out $2 billion since 1988 for cleanup at the polluted site about 10 miles west of Paducah.

If USEC’s financial troubles prompt it now to cut corners, it could mean skyrocketing costs down the road for decontamination and cleanup, warned Steve Hampson, the assistant director of the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment, based at the University of Kentucky."

James Bruggers reports for the Louisville Courier-Journal July 13, 2013.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/15/2013