Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman have announced the startup of a southern Ohio plant the governor says is critical to preparing a former nuclear weapons site for future use.
Strickland and Poneman were in Piketon on Thursday at the depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion facility about 65 miles south of Columbus. The plant will convert the byproduct from the uranium enrichment process into a more stable form for reuse or disposal.
The facility to employ 160 is at the site of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant used to produce enriched uranium until 2001.
The governor last year announced formation of an energy companies' alliance to pursue development of a clean energy park project at the U.S. Department of Energy site.