The Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization has identified two potential contractors to assist with the ongoing transfer of surplus assets from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

Greg Wiles, PACRO executive director, updated the board on the status of the assets transfer at its bi-monthly meeting via Zoom Wednesday.

“We got word that the site has opened up (after cleanup operations were halted due to COVID-19 concerns) so we can get in and get some more assets,” Wiles said.

The organization uses proceeds from the surplus assets to assist with economic development in its member counties in west Kentucky and the city of Metropolis, Illinois.

PACRO is anticipating significant revenue from the continuing dismantling and recycling of materials from switchyards such as copper, aluminum and steel no longer needed at the plant.

The first step is for Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership — the DOE primary cleanup contractor — to contract with a company to demolish and prepare the materials for PACRO.

“The primary contract has not been awarded to do the (switchyard) demo work,” Wiles said. “Hopefully its going to be soon.”

A PACRO committee consisting of Wiles, Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal (the board chairman), Richie Galloway and Eddie Jones is leading efforts to find a contractor to take care of additional handling of the materials the organization will be responsible for. Two contractors, one from Tennessee and one from Iowa, are being considered.

“There’s a good chance that we’re going to have to process some material off-site, so we’ve secured a location about 3 miles from the plant that we can move materials to for further processing, before being transferred to its final destination,” Wiles said.

Among the issues to be resolved is whether or not the materials can be broken down on-site or if PACRO must have its contractor move the materials off-site and then dismantle them, due to environmental concerns.

“It will save us a lot of money (if the work can be done on-site),” Wiles said. “Even if we’re just moving 3 miles even, we still have to have cranes involved, transportation involved.”

It is estimated the additional off-site work would cost approximately $260,000, due to the equipment needed and other related costs.

“We definitely want it to be on-site on the disassembly,” Neal said. “We’ll have to navigate that when the time comes. Obviously, we’re going to have further discussion as we find out more information.”

The board agreed a special meeting will be called to address the issue, if the project moves forward prior to the next PACRO meeting in September.

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