BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
USEC Inc. (USU) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have agreed to extend the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program for the American Centrifuge uranium enrichment technology through April 30 at no additional cost to the U.S. government as discussions continue between USEC and the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Federal funding for the highly successful centrifuge RD&D program was scheduled to expire April 15. Prudent management of existing program funds by USEC will allow the program to continue through the end of April. The RD&D program achieved all of its technical milestones on time and within budget and confirmed the American Centrifuge technology’s readiness for deployment and its capability to meet national security objectives.
The FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act passed by Congress and signed by the President in January 2014 provided funding to continue the domestic uranium enrichment RD&D program. Approximately $9.6 million of such FY 2014 appropriations remain available to fund continuation of RD&D activities beyond April 30. In addition, the FY 2014 Omnibus provided approximately $57 million in FY 2014 funding transfer authority that can be made available for further RD&D subject to submission by DOE of a cost-benefit analysis report to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and approval of such funds transfer by those Committees.
USEC continues to hold constructive discussions with ORNL, which will manage the RD&D program going forward. These discussions include the scope of the continued RD&D program to support national security requirements in light of budget constraints and the objectives articulated by Secretary of Energy Moniz in recent Congressional testimony, as well as discussions on USEC’s role as a contractor to ORNL in carrying out the program.
USEC Inc., a global energy company, is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 - that is, statements related to future events. In this context, forward-looking statements may address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “will” and other words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For USEC, particular risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the impact of and risks related to USEC Inc.’s “pre-arranged” case under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code including risks related to obtaining approval and confirmation of USEC Inc.’s plan of reorganization, the impact of any delay or inability in obtaining such confirmation, the impact of a potential de-listing of our common stock on the NYSE, the impact of our restructuring on the holders of our common stock, preferred stock and convertible notes; risks related to the ongoing transition of our business, including the impact of our ceasing enrichment at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant and uncertainty regarding our ability to deploy the American Centrifuge project; uncertainty regarding funding for or reduction in the scope of the American Centrifuge project after April 30, 2014, the date for completion of the current period of funding for the research, development and demonstration program (such program, including any extension or successor program, the RD&D Program) and the potential for a demobilization or termination of the American Centrifuge project if additional government funding is not in place or is reduced at the end of the current funding for the RD&D Program; risks related to the underfunding of our defined benefit pension plans and potential actions the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation could pursue in connection with ceasing enrichment at the gaseous diffusion plants or with any demobilization or termination of the American Centrifuge project; the impact of uncertainty regarding our ability to continue as a going concern on our liquidity and prospects; the impact of enrichment market conditions, increased project costs and other factors on the economic viability of the American Centrifuge project without additional government support and on our ability to finance the project and the potential for a demobilization or termination of the project; uncertainty concerning the ultimate success of our efforts to obtain a loan guarantee from DOE and/or other financing for the American Centrifuge project or additional government support for the project and the timing and terms thereof; the dependency of government funding or other government support for the American Centrifuge project on Congressional appropriations or on actions by DOE or Congress; limitations on our ability to provide any required cost sharing under the RD&D Program; uncertainty concerning our ability through the RD&D Program to demonstrate the technical and financial readiness of the centrifuge technology for commercialization; potential changes in our anticipated ownership of or role in the American Centrifuge project, including as a result of potential management of the RD&D Program going forward by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and as a result of the need to raise additional capital to finance the project in the future; the impact of actions we have taken or may take to reduce spending on the American Centrifuge project, including the potential loss of key suppliers and employees, and impacts to cost and schedule; the potential for DOE to seek to terminate or exercise its remedies under the RD&D cooperative agreement or 2002 DOE-USEC agreement; changes in U.S. government priorities and the availability of government funding or support, including loan guarantees; and other risks and uncertainties discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, which is available at www.usec.com. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements except as required by law.
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- USEC Inc.
Paul Jacobson, 301-564-3399
Steven Wingfield, 301-564-3354