USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) is continuing to support the American Centrifuge project pending further efforts to obtain federal funding for a centrifuge Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) program proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The RD&D program will further demonstrate the technical readiness of the American Centrifuge technology for commercialization and will help to ensure that a U.S. enrichment technology is available to meet vital national security, nonproliferation and energy security goals.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Thomas D’Agostino, have both testified before Congress on the importance of maintaining an indigenous U.S. enrichment capability to meet future national security needs and nonproliferation objectives. To ensure this national capability is available in the future, DOE has included funding for the American Centrifuge RD&D program in its FY2013 budget request to Congress and requested that Congress provide transfer authority to use funds from its existing budget for the RD&D program in FY2012.
USEC has been funding project activities that support the RD&D program since the start of 2012. USEC announced that it plans to continue funding for this purpose through May 31, 2012 as it continues to work with DOE and Congress on securing the government cost-share for the RD&D program. Due to restrictions in the Company’s credit facility, funding can only continue beyond May 31, 2012 if government funding for the RD&D program is secured.
USEC continues to pursue both legislative and non-legislative paths to the federal cost share of the funding for the RD&D program for the balance of government FY2012. The path to provide funding for government FY 2013 has already been identified since the Administration has included that funding in its FY2013 budget request to Congress.
“The USEC Board of Directors is closely monitoring efforts to obtain the federal cost share for 2012. Given the progress made to date, along the legislative and non-legislative paths towards obtaining funding, the Board has authorized continued limited spending in support of the RD&D program,” said John K. Welch, USEC president and chief executive officer.