(Paducah, KY) – The US Department of Energy awarded a Task Order under the Nationwide Environmental Management ID/IQ Unrestricted Contract to Fluor Federal Services, Inc. for deactivation activities at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) in Paducah, Kentucky, which is currently leased to the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC). The estimated award is $420 million dollars over three years. DOE was careful to call their amount "estimated" and note that there would be "both firm fixed-price and cost reimbursement elements including award fee components."
The amount announced by DOE is $96 million dollars more than reports and estimates earlier this year. In February, DOE allocated $324 million. An earlier estimate by Congressman Ed Whitfield put the cost at $265 million.
Services to be provided, according to a press release from DOE include “Project Management (including Paducah GDP Delease Planning and Facility Transfer); Facility Modification and Infrastructure Optimization (including Stabilization and Deactivation of GDP Facilities); Decontamination and Demolition, and Environmental Services.”
The task order provides extensive and detailed hiring preferences for the available, highly skilled local labor force. That’s good news for the1100 employees who lost their jobs as USEC shut down the site.
USEC is returning the site to DOE after running the operation since 1993. The company has been laying off employees and according to a report in the New York Times, final shutdown was in June. At one time, USEC employed over 1100 workers. All of them will lose employment with that company.
That is why DOE’s requirement that Fluor Federal use local labor is so important to the Paducah area. Governor Beshear weighed in with the following press release:
“I spoke with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today about the awarding of a $420 million, three-year contract to Fluor Federal Services to transition the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. This is good news for all of Kentucky, the Paducah region in particular. For months, I’ve stressed the importance of this action to federal leaders, emphasizing that quick action on site cleanup and other decisions are critical to the area’s viability. I am very pleased the federal government is listening and moving on this important project.
“The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is one of our top priorities. Hiring a contractor will create jobs to handle this next phase of the facility. I appreciate the partnership between the Commonwealth and the Department of Energy, as well as the cooperation of Kentucky's Congressional delegation and the Paducah community.”
As Fluor Federal takes on the monumental task of cleaning up and restoring the site, former USEC employees will be lining up for jobs.