Secretary Chu announced today that the Department of Energy has issued a final determination and market impact study for the proposed uranium transfer to fund accelerated cleanup activities at the Portsmouth Site in Piketon, Ohio, which will create between 800 to 1,000 new jobs for the community. The market review and determination confirms that the proposed transfer of uranium will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium industries.
Under the determination, DOE’s Office of Environmental Management will be able to transfer as much as 300 metric tons of uranium per quarter in calendar years 2009 and 2010 for cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, so long as the total transfer during that period does not exceed 1,125 metric tons of uranium. The uranium transfers will be consistent with the policies reflected in the Department's Excess Uranium Management Plan and will comply with all applicable laws to ensure minimal impact on the domestic uranium market. The Department believes that the proposed uranium transfer would raise $150-$200 million per year.
The Secretary’s Determination is based on a market impact analysis performed by Energy Resources International, Inc. (ERI), evaluating the potential effect from transferring specific quantities of the Department’s excess natural uranium hexafluoride (UF6) on the commercial nuclear fuel markets in order to fund the accelerated cleanup work at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The determination and analysis took into account the uranium transfers under the Office of Environmental Management along with scheduled transfers by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
This Secretarial Determination of No Adverse Material Impact refers only to the proposed action to transfer excess uranium to fund the 2009 and 2010 cleanup efforts activities. A separate determination will be required later regarding possible transfers of uranium to fund decontamination and decommissioning activities at the Portsmouth Plant after calendar year 2010.