Announces Agreements with USEC Enabling Deployment of Advanced Domestic Technology for Uranium Enrichment
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today announced the signing of a lease agreement with the United States Enrichment Corporation, Inc. (USEC) for their use of the Department's gas centrifuge enrichment plant (GCEP) facilities in Piketon, OH for their American Centrifuge Plant. The Department of Energy (DOE) also granted a non-exclusive patent license to USEC for use of DOE's centrifuge technology for uranium enrichment at the plant, which will initiate the first successful deployment of advanced domestic enrichment technology in the United States in decades.
The initial term of the GCEP lease is through June 2009, and may be extended in five-year increments for up to 36 years following the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issuance of a construction and operation license for the facility. USEC will pay monthly fees to DOE to cover the costs of administering the lease. The facilities included in the commercial lease are approximately 1,750,000 square feet of state-of-the art production and manufacturing buildings, along with the associated infrastructure on the 300-acre site. USEC plans to deploy a 3.5 million separative work unit (SWU) enrichment plant, which could be expanded to 7 million SWU capacity at the site.
The GCEP lease amends a previous lease at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) that was signed in 1993 when the Department's uranium enterprise was transitioned to USEC, the government corporation, under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The GDP lease was transferred to USEC in 1998 when USEC became a private corporation as authorized by the USEC Privatization Act.
Under the patent license, USEC is granted non-exclusive rights in the United States to over 100 government-owned inventions related to gas centrifuge enrichment technology, developed by the Department during the 1970s and 1980s. USEC has been funding further improvements to the technology since 2002, and announced in January 2004 that it would plan to site its American Centrifuge Plant at the Piketon site. The patent license requires USEC to pay royalties to the U.S. government on annual sales of enriched uranium from centrifuge plant production beginning in 2009 and capped at $100 million over the life of the technology.
For more information on the lease agreement and patent license, access http://www.nuclear.energy.gov/.
Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940