USEC project funded through September

USEC Inc. this week announced a number of milestones associated with its ongoing effort to build a new uranium-enrichment plant employing advanced centrifuge technology at its Piketon, Ohio, site. (Oak Ridge is a key manufacturing location supporting that project.)

Among the notable part of the announcement was the Department of Energy, as part of a cost-sharing agreement to support the Research, Development and Demonstration program for the American Centrifuge Project, has provided another $29.9 million — which USEC said is enough to fund the work through Sept. 30. DOE’s total contribution on that program (in which the federal agency is supplying 80 percent) is up to $280 million, and DOE has now contributed $227.7 million.

Overall, USEC said the RD&D program had completed five of its nine milestones, with those certified by the Dept. of Energy. The company also said a sixth milestone had been successfully completed earlier this month, testing the effects of a power loss to the centrifuge machines. USEC said DOE’s certification on the latest milestone is pending.

“The three remaining milestones are scheduled for completion by the end of the program in December,” USEC’s announcement said.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.