Rally planned to support Ohio uranium site cleanup

LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Leaders from a union and four southern Ohio counties are having a rally to support decontamination and decommissioning work at a Cold War-era uranium plant where over 600 layoffs are anticipated because of a funding shortfall.

The cleanup of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon employs about 1,900 people. The plant roughly 60 miles south of Columbus produced enriched uranium until 2001.

United Steelworkers Local 689 and commissioners from four counties planned a Wednesday evening event at the fairgrounds in Lucasville to rally support for the project.

Uranium transfers fund much of it, but uranium prices have dropped, and officials say the next proposed federal budget appropriation wouldn't make up the shortfall.

Two U.S. Department of Energy officials visited the site last week, but funding concerns remain unresolved.

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