PIKETON — Officials overseeing the research, development and demonstration activities at the American Centrifuge Plant said this week that work on the next generation uranium enrichment facility is proceeding on budget and on schedule for completion by the end of this year.
“Our American Centrifuge team is on track to meet program goals and we remain committed to moving forward with commercialization of the technology,” said USEC President and CEO John Welch in a regular update on the progress of the facility. “We believe that is the path to USEC’s long-term competitiveness in the uranium enrichment business and the best way to maximize value for all stakeholders.”
The program, in its pursuit of a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, is almost 10 months into a cooperative agreement with the DOE. The agreement established a cost-sharing structure for research, development and demonstration activities to continue toward proving to the government agency that the centrifuge technology is ready for full commercialization. The enriched uranium would be used to provide fuel for nuclear power plants.
The cost sharing agreement calls for the DOE to provide 80 percent of the funding and USEC 20 percent for work done from June 1, 2012, through Dec. 31 of this year. That would translate to a $280 million investment by the DOE and up to $70 million from USEC.
As of now, $177.8 million has been provided incrementally by the DOE, with $44.4 million provided this month. The remaining funding has not yet been appropriated, and program spending has been adjusted by the company to account for when additional funding is expected.
USEC also has continued its search for additional funding, in addition to its plans to update its loan guarantee application this year. The company has been in discussions with Japanese export credit agencies about obtaining financing of up to $1 billion of the cost to complete the facility, with potential financing hinging on the pr
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