DOE makes funding deal with USEC

24 March 2010

The US Department of Energy has finalised an agreement to provide $45 million in funding to USEC to support the continued development and demonstration of the American Centrifuge technology.

USEC will match the DOE funding on a 50-50 cost share basis. USEC says the money will support some 350 high-skilled jobs in Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

"We appreciate DOE's vote of confidence in the American Centrifuge technology," said USEC president and CEO John K. Welch. "We have made significant progress and continue to work hard to address the recommendations of DOE’s independent engineer. This funding will boost those efforts and preserve approximately 355 jobs dedicated to centrifuge machine manufacturing and operation of the American Centrifuge machines. These activities will give us valuable operational data and experience as we prepare to update our loan guarantee application."

USEC recently announced the start of the Lead Cascade of production-ready AC100 centrifuge machines in a commercial-plant configuration in Piketon, Ohio. The funding under the cost-share cooperative agreement supports increased operational run-time of the Lead Cascade as well as production of additional machines by USEC's manufacturers and rotor process improvement activities in preparation for full, high-rate production.

Under terms of the agreement, DOE will provide financial support for this work by taking the disposal obligation for a limited quantity of depleted uranium tails from USEC, releasing $45 million in cash for investment in American Centrifuge demonstration that USEC had otherwise committed to future tails disposition obligations.

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