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NRC to discuss enrichment license termination

Staff report

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a public meeting to discuss its process for terminating USEC Inc.'s certificate authorizing uranium enrichment operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at the McCracken County Public Library.

The plant was built by the U.S. government in the 1950s to enrich uranium for military purposes. In the 1960s, it began enriching uranium for commercial nuclear reactors. Uranium enrichment no longer occurs at the Paducah facility, which prompted USEC Inc. to request that its certificate of compliance, in essence its license to possess and process uranium, be terminated, according to Joey Ledford, NRC spokesman.

United States Enrichment Corporation took over direct operations of the Paducah plant in May 1999. It announced in May 2013 it would close after the U.S. Department of Energy did not approve an extension on its uranium enrichment operations at the plant.

In addition to the NRC's termination process regarding the certificate, the transition of regulatory authority of the Paducah plant from the NRC to the DOE is also on the meeting agenda.

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