Senate appropriators last night released their version of a Continuing Resolution that will fund the government until the end of the fiscal year, maintaining an anomaly that would continue to boost funding for the NNSA’s weapons program but decreasing funding for USEC’s American Centrifuge Project. The Department of Energy’s cost-share program supporting the ACP enjoyed an anomaly in the current CR funding government through March 27, and House appropriators fully supported funding the project at $150 million in their version of the CR released last week. The Senate version of the bill only provides $110 million for the program, however. A Senate aide said the reduction was reflective of a lower overall allocation for the Senate than in the House. “It wasn’t a policy decision per se,” the aide said. “It was a lack-of-resources decision.”
While the USEC funding was cut, like their House counterparts, Senate appropriators agreed to keep an anomaly for the NNSA’s weapons program intact, allowing the agency to spend at the level of President Obama’s $7.58 billion FY 2013 request. “We must prevent a government shutdown,” Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said in a statement. “My Vice Chairman, Senator Shelby, and I worked together on this bipartisan agreement that avoids a shutdown, complies with the Budget Control Act, improves the House CR for many critical priorities, and lets us wrap up fiscal year 2013 so we can get to next year’s budget and find a balanced solution to sequester.”
Yawn. The Senate Dems, many of whom hate anything nuclear, always leave Usec out. Then the phones start ringing, and funding of the ACP RD&D is added back in committee. There's no way Obama will cut its funding. He needs Ohio when he runs for a third term (after winning back control of the House in 2014 and repealing the 22nd amendment). [Oops, sorry, there I go again, getting political.]
It was in "Weapons Complex Monitor Morning Briefing" which, unfortunately, is subscription-only.
Another issue contained this bit:
The Department recently wrapped up a program
to downblend surplus HEU, but Michalske noted that
the program could be started up again. “That program from
2003 to 2011 has produced a significant amount of commercial
fuel that is not only available, but is being used to
generate electricity for our nation,” Michalske said. “One
could absolutely continue with that program and extract
the value.” But he added that any downblending program
must be weighed against that fact that HEU is an “irreplaceable
resource” that could be used in advanced reactor
designs that may be deployed in the future, and that DOE
has not made “definitive plans” to restart downblending.
Nice find. USU is teetering on the edge. They cannot get anything to go right for them. It will be a completely different USU if it is ever to receive the necessary government loan guarantee. One that will not include current equity unless there is MAJOR dilution.
I do not know why anyone would still buy this junk. I can understand those that are down 80-90% hanging on and waiting it out, but to buy or add is ridiculous.
why no comment from USU or covering news sources? This obviously would be difficult for USU if true. I hope that because Rep. Boehner is from Ohio where ACP is located that he would find a way to get them funding.