Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that it finalized a cost-shared $90 million cooperative agreement with USEC Inc. to provide support for the continued development and demonstration of the American Centrifuge technology. The Department sees promise in this advanced technology, and last summer announced a willingness to invest in it. The agreement provides for the manufacturing and operation of advanced centrifuges in a cascade configuration to demonstrate the commercial viability of its American Centrifuge Plant.
The costs will be shared between the Department and USEC. The Department’s $45 million share will be met by taking title (but not immediate possession or custody) to a quantity of depleted uranium tails. This transfer of depleted uranium tails to the Department will enable USEC to release up to $45 million of encumbered funds held as required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for financial assurance for ultimate disposition of the material.
Today, after visiting Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu toured USEC’s American Centrifuge Technology and Manufacturing Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Secretary Chu saw first-hand USEC’s machine assembly and manufacturing activities and met with company officials.