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Money running low for uranium cleanup in Ohio

Mass layoff possible in Portsmouth uranium cleanup, Columbus Dispatch,  By Kantele Franko ASSOCIATED PRESS  •  Friday August 28, 2015 Workers decontaminating and decommissioning a Cold War-era uranium plant in southern Ohio are again being notified about hundreds of potential layoffs because of an anticipated funding gap, a reprise of warnings they heard a year ago for the same reason…….

Those layoffs could occur around Oct. 22, but the project’s director and other leaders remain hopeful they’ll get funding needed to continue their current pace, which costs roughly $387 million annually, Wagner said.

Hundreds of layoffs were averted last year because Congress approved extra funding. This time, the situation is a bit different.

About 70 percent of the project’s funding comes from a program in which the government sells uranium, but the amount that can be bartered has been reduced for 2016, so project officials must hope the balance is made up through appropriations, Wagner said……..

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said lawmakers will once again have to scramble to find funding. As he has repeatedly, the Ohio Republican called for adequate annual funding in the federal budget for the cleanup.

“It’s actually less expensive to the taxpayer over time to start moving to actual cleanup rather than almost maintaining the site, which is about all you can do with the low levels of funding,” Portman said Thursday in Columbus. “It may seem like it’s more money up front, but it’s actually billions of dollars less money over time — billions because they’re now pushing the cleanup really out to the 2050s.” http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/28/mass-layoff-possible-in-uranium-cleanup.html

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August 29, 2015 - Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA

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