The Associated Press
PIKETON, Ohio - Winning a project to test a new way to produce nuclear fuel will enable a southern Ohio uranium plant to continue its long heritage of helping meet the nation's energy and security needs, the plant's union president said.
The announcement Wednesday by USEC Inc. that it chose the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant for a $150 million facility to test centrifuge technology also provides a strong financial boost for the region, said Dan Minter, president of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy union.
The plant in Piketon was in competition for the project with a sister plant in Paducah, Ky.
Gary Hager, president of the plant's security guard union, said the announcement probably will prevent heavy layoffs of guards planned for next September. The plant now is looking for new guards to hire, he said.
"This is a big boost to the whole community," Mr. Hager said.
The plant's general manager, Patrick Musser, said the project will allow USEC to showcase its ability to enrich uranium. Getting the test project was the Piketon plant's first step toward securing a permanent plant using centrifuge technology, he said.
USEC plans to have the testing facility operating by 2005. If all goes well, the Bethesda, Md.-based company plans to build a permanent commercial plant using this technology by 2010.
A permanent operation would cost $1 billion to $1.5 billion and bring 500 to 600 jobs to the plant.
Gov. Bob Taft said the 50 jobs the test project will provide will have salaries of more than $55,000.
The case of Adele Craven
Favorite projects survive cutbacks
Million-dollar shot pays off in ways beyond the money
Mental retardation reforms near OK
Snow slicks up roads, closes schools
IN THE TRISTATE
Luken budget cuts, increases
UC students mind peas, Q's
City asks full court for new ruling
Ten Commandments ruling appealed
Campaign reporting change blasted
Avondale has 3 shootings in 90 minutes
Cleves all dressed up for annual festival
Loveland petition still alive
City, FOP agree on tentative pact
Police issue warrant for hit-skip driver
Tristate A.M. Report
PULFER: D.J. and Pat
HOWARD: Some Good News
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Buyer duped 2 merchants
West Chester bus route gets brief reprieve
W. Chester plans assessment area for landscaping
Pisgah revamp put on hold
West Chester OKs financing to rehab barn
Video gaming may depend on favors for Democrats
Official at Idaho college nominee to head Shawnee
House passes malpractice bill including compensation fund
Life support may end for abused infant
Diocese workers, retired Ohio priest indicted
Governor, patrol still concerned about weapons bill
Years roll back as house restored
Piketon plant welcomes new work
Voinovich: U.S. in spot on budget
Charter schools' rule change closer
Schools' $2M deficit may force merger
Crescent Springs' ban makes way for U.S. mail
Race for governor to get new face
2 die as blast of winter hits state
Ky. budget plan: 1,000 fewer jobs by next year
Retired priest arrested on sex charges