CINCINNATI (AP) President Barack Obama's administration said Wednesday it is making sure that work will continue to develop and test a southern Ohio plant that would enrich uranium for nuclear power plants.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced a new cost-sharing and cooperation deal with USEC Inc. for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon. The department said the agreement will enable critical research to proceed. Secretary Steven Chu called it "a major milestone."
The $350 million project is meant to demonstrate that the plant's uranium enrichment technology will work on a commercial basis, reducing financial risks that have held up a $2 billion loan guarantee that the Energy Department has balked at providing Bethesda, Md.-based USEC.The department said it will provide $88 million for this year's work that includes taking and disposing of enriched uranium byproducts called "tails." The Obama administration says it will continue to work with Congress on future appropriations. USEC is providing 20 percent of the total costs. A Democratic congressional critic of the project called the new agreement a waste of taxpayer money. Plant backers say it's important for national security and energy supplies. The Energy Department still isn't committed to the loan guarantee, but says the new agreement increases its project involvement. It will take ownership of centrifuges and other equipment that would be transferred back to the plant if it moved ahead for commercial use. The agreement also includes new performance measures for monitoring progress, and federal rights to technical data and intellectual property. "Our agreements reflect the importance of the U.S. technology to our national security and will validate the readiness of the American Centrifuge technology for commercial deployment," John Welch, USEC president and CEO, said in a statement. The announcement came one day before an Obama campaign appearance in Cleveland, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney was headed Wednesday to Ohio, a key swing state in November.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV