Despite some delays, the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization is anticipating significant revenue this year from the ongoing transfer of surplus assets from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
PACRO is the single point of contact designated by the DOE to identify and reuse those assets to help offset the economic impact on communities, including the loss of jobs, in the aftermath of the plant ceasing operations.
The organization uses proceeds from the sale of surplus assets for job creation and economic development efforts in the member counties of Ballard, Graves, Marshall and McCracken in Kentucky as well as the city of Metropolis, Illinois.
While cleanup activities have been shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis, PACRO is continuing to work out the details with the DOE and its chief cleanup contractor, Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, in the ongoing effort to dissemble four switchyards at the site and generate revenue through the sale of recyclable material.
Last year, the sale of approximately 200,000 gallons of recycled oil generated $186,886 for PACRO. That oil came from two of the four switchyards at the site. This year, PACRO will receive revenue from additional recycled materials and equipment from those two switchyards, and recycled oil from the other two switchyards, PACRO Executive Director Greg Wiles said.
“This is the largest project PACRO has done with the DOE site,” Wiles said. “It’s going to benefit PACRO big-time.”
The executive director said at this point, it is difficult to determine how much money could be generated for PACRO. Negotiations are underway with DOE and several contractors involved in the process.
While the recycled oil is expected to generate a similar amount of money that was received last year, “from the switchyards (material such as copper, aluminum and steel) we should have a lot of money to invest right back into the community if everything goes as planned,” he said.
Wiles said he expects the project involving the first two switchyards, originally thought to be completed by August (before COVID-19 shut down cleanup operations), can be completed this year. The process would continue next year on the two remaining switchyards.
“(The first two switchyards) will probably be a three- or four-month project. Four River Nuclear Partnership first will contract with a company to demo and prepare everything for PACRO,” he said.
“Then, we as PACRO will have to have a contractor to come in and remove all the recycled material off the site. Our challenge is to develop a cost effective logistical plan to transport the large quantity of recycled materials offsite via rail and truck.”
Last week the PACRO board set up a committee to handle the negotiations with DOE and FRNP consisting of Wiles, Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal, the board chairman, Richie Galloway and Eddie Jones.