WASHINGTON — The only American-owned plant for enriching uranium, a cold war relic near Paducah, Ky., will be shut down next month, its operator said on Friday. The closing could pose a problem for the American nuclear weapons arsenal over time but is not likely to affect civilian nuclear electric plants.

WASHINGTON — The only American-owned plant for enriching uranium, a cold war relic near Paducah, Ky., will be shut down next month, its operator said on Friday. The closing could pose a problem for the American nuclear weapons arsenal over time but is not likely to affect civilian nuclear electric plants.

The plant, opened in 1954 by the Atomic Energy Commission, was becoming uncompetitive in the market for uranium enrichment. The federal government was subsidizing the plant for the last year under a barter deal in which it provided uranium to some of the operator’s customers so they would continue to use the plant. But the Energy Department decided not to extend it.

Source: Matthew Wald | New York Times