KCUR News
6:02 pm
Thu January 14, 2010

Disputed Nuke Plant Gets Tip Of Hat

Kansas City, Mo. – Plans for a half billion dollar nuclear weapons parts plant are
moving toward a vote of the Kansas City Council. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the council today recommended full council approval of a development agreement.

The committee heard from anti nuclear weapon activists, from contractors and school districts, from health advocates and others representing individual viewpoints and groups.

The new site for the National Nuclear Security Agency would be Missouri Highway 150 and Botts Road in South Kansas City. The NNSA is a branch of the United States Department of Energy.

For decades, NNSA oversaw a 3 million square foot complex on Bannister Road operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technologies. Honeywell has conceded there were workplace hazards due to unforeseen effects of chemicals including the metal-hardening element, beryllium. Site manager Mark Holacek testified before the council committee that there will be no such hazards at the new plant proposed for the Botts Road location.

The proposal is for the city to abate taxes on the project. Alan Dillingham of the Builders Association told the panel to consider creation of 2,100, 1,500 in construction--"As you know, unemployment is a little under 10% now. In the construction industry it is 22.7% right now. It's the highest of any industry."

Committee member Cathy Jolly is a primary backer of the ordinance. She and council colleague John Sharp urged passage of the measure. It passed out of committee without a negative vote.