USEC and DOE remain committed to moving forward on commercializing the innovative technology of the American Centrifuge project.
BETHESDA, Md. – USEC Inc. announced that the company and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are engaged in advanced but ongoing discussions regarding the future of the American Centrifuge project, an innovative technology approach to domestic uranium enrichment that can both meet commercial needs and provide potential national security benefits.
USEC and DOE remain committed to moving forward on commercializing this innovative technology and have been in discussions to work jointly in a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) program to reduce the technology and financial risk of commercialization of the American Centrifuge technology. The RD&D program is expected to involve manufacturing and operating additional production-design machines so that key systems can be tested as they would actually operate at the scale necessary for full commercialization.
Contemplated in the discussions is a cost-sharing agreement for the RD&D program. The cost share would consist of an 80%-20% federal-private split during an initial technical verification phase and a 20%-80% split for the balance of the RD&D program. The federal government’s total contribution would be capped at $300 million.
“We are pleased with the significant progress made in our discussions with DOE,” said John Welch, president and CEO of USEC. “DOE, USEC and our partners remain supportive of a path to commercializing the American Centrifuge and believe additional work demonstrating this innovative technology would be beneficial to the project.
“This preserves a path for USEC and our shareholders to obtain value from the investment they have made in the American Centrifuge project,” concluded Welch.
USEC is working with its strategic investors to determine how best to structure ongoing investment in the project and move forward with this RD&D program and future commercialization. Should an agreement on the RD&D program and funding be reached, further demobilization of the American Centrifuge project would be avoided.
While no final decision on USEC’s loan guarantee application has been made at this time, USEC and DOE’s discussions are focused on this RD&D program to reduce technical and financial risks associated with the project. USEC’s loan guarantee application will remain pending during implementation of this agreement, however, there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in an agreement or funding for the American Centrifuge project.
USEC Inc., a global energy company, is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel and nuclear industry related services for commercial nuclear power plants.
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Source: USEC, Inc.
Image: USEC, Inc.