USEC Announces Significant Progress with DOE Toward $2 Billion Loan Guarantee to Build American Centrifuge Plant. Project would create nearly 8,000 U.S. jobs and fuel clean generating nuclear reactors.
USEC Inc. was informed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that it has largely completed its initial technical review of USEC’s application for the American Centrifuge Plant and is proceeding to the next stage of the loan guarantee process. DOE has provided USEC with a draft term sheet that will serve as a framework for discussions between USEC and the DOE.
“The Department’s decision to move forward reflects the significant progress we have made on both the technical and financial fronts in deploying the next generation of U.S. uranium enrichment technology,” said John K. Welch, president and CEO of USEC. “We are very pleased to receive DOE’s draft term sheet, which will provide a framework for further discussions. We look forward to working with DOE to continue advancing the project”
DOE transmitted to USEC a confidential draft term sheet for DOE’s issuance of a loan guarantee in support of USEC’s American Centrifuge Project. The terms and conditions in the draft term sheet provide a framework for the commencement of discussions on terms between USEC and DOE and may change as a result of due diligence.
USEC is investing in advanced centrifuge technology to meet the energy needs of a growing U.S. population, and to provide a long-term, reliable and secure fuel source for the U.S. and international nuclear power plants. USEC believes that the AC100 centrifuge machine that USEC will deploy in the American Centrifuge Plant will be the most advanced centrifuge uranium enrichment machine in the world.
As the only domestic enrichment facility using U.S. centrifuge technology, the American Centrifuge Plant will also help to rebuild U.S. nuclear manufacturing capabilities. This multi-year construction project would create nearly 8,000 U.S. jobs in ten states, with up to 4,000 in Ohio.
USEC has worked for the past decade to significantly improve and update the original U.S. centrifuge technology design developed by the Department of Energy using modern materials and techniques such as carbon fiber and computer-controlled assembly and operations. To date, USEC has invested more than $1.8 billion in the American Centrifuge Project including construction of the commercial American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio and for technology development, testing and manufacturing centers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Background and Progress
Since March, USEC has operated its lead cascade of production-ready AC100 centrifuges in a commercial plant cascade configuration. Since August 2007, USEC’s American Centrifuge machines have amassed more than 500,000 machine hours of runtime. Earlier this year, the company renewed a revolving credit facility and attracted a $200 million strategic investment from industry leaders Toshiba and Babcock & Wilcox and closed the $75 million first phase of the strategic investment in early September. USEC submitted an updated loan guarantee application to DOE in late July. Completion of due diligence by DOE and negotiation of terms and conditions between DOE and USEC are the next steps toward issuance of a conditional commitment. Funding under a DOE loan guarantee will only occur following conditional commitment, final documentation and satisfaction of conditions to closing. The company has pre-sold more than $3 billion of the initial output of the plant and is establishing a joint venture with Babcock &Wilcox for manufacture and assembly of the AC100 commercial machines.
Learn more about the American Centrifuge project, including a state-by-state breakdown of where jobs are created at www.americancentrifuge.com.
USEC Inc., a global energy company, is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants. www.usec.com.
Source: News Release | USEC