Meeting set about layoffs in uranium plant cleanup

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Local officials are hosting a public meeting to discuss warnings about 675 potential layoffs for workers decontaminating and decommissioning a Cold War-era uranium plant in southern Ohio.

Layoffs are expected to begin in October for some workers cleaning up the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, roughly 60 miles south of Columbus. It produced enriched uranium until 2001.

Pike County commissioners say representatives from the project, the unions, local government and congressional offices were invited to discuss the situation at a public meeting Thursday night in Waverly.

The federal government and the contractor leading the cleanup say the layoffs may be necessary because uranium transfers fund much of the project but uranium prices have dropped. They say the next proposed federal budget appropriation wouldn't make up for that decrease.