Lawmakers seek help for Ohio uranium plant cleanup

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's two U.S. senators and several congressional representatives are asking the U.S. Department of Energy to take action to forestall up to 675 potential layoffs for workers decontaminating and decommissioning a Cold War-era uranium plant.

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.

In a letter Thursday, the lawmakers said they're working to address a projected funding shortfall through the legislative process. They asked that the department overseeing the cleanup support that effort through advocacy with President Barack Obama's administration and other lawmakers.

The letter was sent ahead of a Thursday public meeting planned by local officials in Pike County and surrounding areas to discuss the situation.