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USEC's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Since we held our 2011 year end call six weeks ago and the annual meeting of shareholders was just last week, I am going to keep my remarks this morning brief. So we can get to your questions sooner. But I do want to give you an update on three essential topics for our business. Our view of the nuclear fuel market, the potential extension of Paducah through one-year multi-party arrangement and our effort to obtain federal funding for the DOE proposed research, development and demonstration program known as RD&D.

A year ago, the natural disaster in Japan was fresh on everyone’s mind. Despite the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami and the issues with the Fukushima plant, no one in the industry was predicting that only one reactor in Japan would be operating in May 2012. Japanese regulatory officials are making a careful inspection of every reactor, including those taken offline for scheduled routine maintenance.

In recent weeks, there have been steps towards restarting reactors. Given the substantial shortfall of electricity in Japan without its nuclear fleet accompanied by the incorporation of lessons learned from the Fukushima reactor accident, we expect to see a restart of reactors as 2012 progresses. We remain encouraged by the long term outlook for the nuclear fuel industry and that is why we continue to believe that the American Centrifuge technology is the path to building shareholder value in the years ahead.

More than 60 reactors are under construction worldwide today, particularly in Asia. In early 2012, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved construction and operating licenses for Southern Company and South Carolina Electric & Gas, marking the first new construction in the United States in over three decades.

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