Cleanup of Ohio Uranium Plant Expected to Take Decades or More

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PIKETON, Ohio (AP) – The U.S. Department of Energy says the cleanup of a Cold War-era uranium plant in southern Ohio is expected to take another three decades or more.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman had asked whether the administration was committed to the earlier goal of finishing the cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon by 2024. In a response that was shared Tuesday by Portman, the department says that isn’t an achievable goal. It says its target range for finishing the decommissioning and decontamination work is now between 2044 and 2052.

The cleanup employs more than 1,800 people and provides some of the best-paying jobs in a pocket of high unemployment. Last year, hundreds of layoffs were threatened until Congress provided a last-minute infusion of funding.