USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) and its subsidiary American Centrifuge Demonstration, LLC recently amended their cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide for additional federal funds of $45.7 million through February 23, 2013. This funding for the American Centrifuge research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program was made available pursuant to the six-month continuing appropriations measure passed by Congress and signed by the President on September 28, 2012.
“USEC and our partners have made solid progress since June in manufacturing AC100 centrifuge machines and preparing the American Centrifuge Plant for the systems infrastructure needed for the demonstration cascade,” said John K. Welch, USEC president and chief executive officer.
“We continue to work very closely with DOE officials on the RD&D program, and we appreciate the support of the Obama Administration and the bi-partisan support of Congress that this additional funding represents. As we work to obtain the remainder of the federal cost-sharing funds that are essential to successfully complete the objectives established for the RD&D program, we are pleased to be able to report that the program is within budget and on schedule,” Welch said.
The amendment for additional funding comes as the RD&D program moves into the next phase of construction for the 120-machine demonstration cascade. During this phase, machine operations in the current lead cascade at the American Centrifuge Plant facilities in Piketon, Ohio, is being suspended for a planned electrical power outage. The several-month outage will allow for the construction and installation of fully redundant support infrastructure systems necessary to operate the demonstration cascade.Once the new support infrastructure systems are installed and tested, AC100 centrifuge machines will be installed to complete the 120-machine demonstration cascade, which will operate in a commercial plant configuration. The demonstration cascade is expected to be the first of 96 identical cascades that will make up the commercial American Centrifuge Plant.