USEC Portsmouth "American Centrifuge Plant" project, USA
(last updated 6 Nov 2013)
U.S. Enrichment Corporation
USEC Inc SEC filings
USEC "American Centrifuge Plant" project in Piketon, Ohio
Commercial Centrifuge Plant · Lead Cascade
NRC Docket No. 07007004, License No. SNM-2011
USEC Inc. Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Facility Licensing (NRC)
Commercialization of American Centrifuge Plant not economically viable without additional government support
USEC Inc. stated this week that additional government funding might be needed beyond the American Centrifuge Plant's ongoing research, development and demonstration work to keep the project moving toward full commercial deployment.
The company talked about the need in its announcement of third-quarter financial results this week, stating it has been experiencing cost pressures because of delays over time in deploying the centrifuge project amid changing market conditions.
"The economics of the project are severely challenged by the current supply/demand imbalance in the market for low-enriched uranium and related downward pressure on spot market prices for (Separative Work Units, the measure of product produced that is used to fuel nuclear power plants), which are now at their lowest levels in more than a decade," a news release from the company stated. "At current market prices, we do not believe that our plans for (the American Centrifuge Plant) commercialization are economically viable without additional government support."
(Chillicothe Gazette Nov. 5, 2013)
U.S. House of Representatives rejects proposal to cut funding for American Centrifuge Plant
The House today overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to strip $48 million from a proposed uranium centrifuge in Piketon, Ohio.
The money, tucked into a $30 billion bill for federal energy and water projects, would pay for the completion of a research and development project at a proposed uranium centrifuge in Piketon.
(Columbus Dispatch July 10, 2013)
Commercial demonstration cascade of American Centrifuge enrichment plant project completed
On Apr. 3, 2013, USEC Inc. announced that it has completed the construction of its 120-machine American Centrifuge commercial demonstration cascade.
DOE and USEC announce deal to provide more funds for development of American Centrifuge project
After years of waiting, the Energy Department and USEC Inc. have announced a deal that will provide money for a uranium centrifuge plant in Piketon.
The announcement came Wednesday (June 13) morning and said the two entities signed agreements to bring $350 million for research and development in the American Centrifuge project in Piketon.
According to the agreement, DOE will provide 80 percent of the $350 million, while USEC will provide the remaining 20 percent, or about $70 million.
DOE will provide $88 million in the first year to take and dispose uranium tails from USEC, which will provide $22 million for the first phase.
The funding has been approved by the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee, but hasn't been finalized.
(Chillicothe Gazette June 13, 2012)
House Appropriations subcommittee approves $100 million for American Centrifuge project
A key House committee yesterday (Apr. 18) agreed to include $100 million in a spending bill for the struggling uranium-enrichment plant in Piketon, a move that could keep it alive.
The House Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water approved spending the money on the American Centrifuge Plant at the request of House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, and Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township, according to a Capitol Hill source.
The move by the subcommittee is likely to be approved by the full House.
The $100 million is just part of what USEC - a Maryland-based company that would operate the plant - has said it needs to launch the project. USEC had urged the Obama administration during the past three years to approve a $2 billion loan guarantee.
(The Columbus Dispatch April 19, 2012)
As expected, President Barack Obama recently signed a six-month continuing resolution on a spending measure that contains an annual rate of funding of $100 million for the ongoing RD&D program. USEC's cost share is 20 percent of the full RD&D program.
(Chillicothe Gazette Oct. 2, 2012)
American Centrifuge project offered short-term funding fix
Federal energy officials have agreed to give USEC access to $44 million in research and development funds needed for its Piketon uranium enrichment initiative.
That money is enough to keep USEC's American Centrifuge Project alive for another few months, buying crucial time for Congress to find another $106 million needed to ensure the technology is viable and push the project toward commercialization.
In a letter to Sen. Sherrod Brown on Friday (Jan. 13), Energy Secretary Steven Chu said his department would assume liability for $44 million of USEC assets in the form of uranium "tails," a byproduct of enrichment. That will free up money on USEC's books, allowing the company to continue funding the centrifuge research in the short run.
(Chillicothe Gazette Jan. 14, 2012)
U.S. Government to fund further development of American Centrifuge Plant
The Department of Energy said Friday (Oct. 21) that it plans to work with the developer of a uranium enrichment project in southern Ohio on research and development to reduce technical and financial risks that have held up the developer's application for a $2 billion loan guarantee.
The loan guarantee application from USEC Inc. is still pending. But, the government and the Bethesda, Md. -based developer of the planned American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon have agreed on a potential project that would involve testing and building clusters of machines used to enrich uranium, Richard Kauffman, senior adviser to the Energy secretary told The Associated Press on Friday.
The government's part of the funding of the research and development would be capped at $300 million and would have to be approved by congressional committees.
(Washington Post Oct. 21, 2011)
NRC provides opportunity to request a hearing and provide comments on proposed license transfer of American Centrifuge Plant to USEC subsidiary
The Licensee requests NRC consent to transfer control of License Nos. SNM-
7003 and SNM-2011 from USEC Inc. to the subsidiary limited liability
company, American Centrifuge Operating, LLC.
A request for a hearing must be filed by December 7, 2010.
Written comments must be submitted no later than December 17, 2010.
Federal Register: November 17, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 221) p. 70300-70304 (download full text )
> Regulations Docket ID NRC-2010-0355
Toshiba and Babcock & Wilcox to invest into USEC
Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Monday (May 25) that it and U.S.-based Babcock & Wilcox will together invest $200 million in USEC Inc in return for a supply of enriched uranium for use in nuclear power generation.
Toshiba and Babcock, which will share the investment equally, are eyeing the new uranium enrichment technology at USEC, the biggest supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants in the United Sates.
USEC is currently developing advanced centrifuges and the U.S. government is considering issuing a loan to help with the company's new plant.
(Reuters May 25, 2010)
First cascade of "Production-Ready" centrifuges begins operation at USEC's American Centrifuge Plant project
On March 16, 2010, USEC Inc. announced a major step in the American Centrifuge program with the operation of a cascade of AC100 centrifuge machines in a commercial-plant configuration in Piketon, Ohio. USEC refers to its production centrifuge machine design as the AC100 series centrifuge machine.
USEC gets $45 million in federal aid for American Centrifuge Plant - in exchange for depleted uranium tails [!]
Its bid for a $2 billion federal loan guarantee is still pending, but the company trying to build a $3.5 billion uranium-enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, will get a promised infusion of $45 million from the Department of Energy.
The promise to USEC was made in August when the Energy Department turned down the loan-guarantee application, with federal officials saying they didn't think the technology had been proven commercially viable.
USEC says the loan guarantee is critical to its ability to build the plant, and the company won a temporary reprieve and the ability to reapply for the loan guarantee at a later date.
That reapplication is expected to happen this year. In the meantime, the $45 million will help USEC keep working on the plant's technology, and the company says it will match the federal money with $45 million of its own.
The federal cash comes from the Energy Department assuming $45 million worth of depleted uranium "tails" counted on USEC's books as a liability [!].
(Columbus Dispatch Feb. 1, 2010 - emphasis added)
U.S. Government denies loan guarantee for American Centrifuge Plant project in Piketon, Ohio; USEC initiates "demobilization"
The Obama administration will not grant a $2 billion loan guarantee for a planned uranium-enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio, causing the initiative to go into financial meltdown, the company and independent sources confirmed last night.
The U.S. Department of Energy's decision means "we are now forced to initiate steps to demobilize the project," said Elizabeth Stuckle, a spokeswoman for USEC.
(Columbus Dispatch July 28, 2009)
USEC is preparing "demobilization plans" for the American Centrifuge Plant in case it won't receive loan guarantee
On July 6, 2009, USEC announced that at the direction of its board of directors it is preparing demobilization plans for the American Centrifuge Plant if it does not receive a conditional commitment for a U.S. DOE loan guarantee by early August.
USEC Inc. and B&W to create centrifuge manufacturing company
On May 12, 2009, USEC Inc. and Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., an operating unit of The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W), announced the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture that will provide integrated manufacturing and assembly of AC100 centrifuge machines for USEC's American Centrifuge Plant.
NRC issues Notice of request for written consent to transfer control of materials license and opportunity to request a hearing for USEC's American Centrifuge plant project
Notice of request for written consent to transfer control of materials license and opportunity to request a hearing and provide written comments.
A request for a hearing must be filed by May 14, 2009.
Federal Register: April 24, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 78) p. 18749-18751 (download full text )
By letter dated November 25, 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML093350026 ), USEC withdrew its request.
Federal Register: December 17, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 241) p. 66997-66998 (download full text )
USEC increases estimated cost of centrifuge uranium enrichment plant
The company building a proposed uranium-enrichment plant in southern Ohio says the project's cost has jumped to $3.5 billion -- more than double the original estimate.
(Associated Press, February 26, 2008)
USEC starts construction of American Centrifuge Plant
On May 31, 2007, USEC announced the begin of construction on its American Centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio.
The company is "working toward beginning" commercial plant operations in late 2009 and having approximately 11,500 machines deployed in 2012, which would provide about 3.8 million separative work units (SWU) of production based on current estimates of machine output and plant availability.
USEC expects to operate a Lead Cascade of centrifuge machines in the American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility in Piketon in mid-2007.
USEC Receives American Centrifuge Plant License
On April 13, 2007, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a construction and operating license for USEC Inc.'s American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio.
> View NRC release Apr. 13, 2007
USEC reports cost increase and delay for American Centrifuge enrichment plant project
The projected costs for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon have swollen by a third, and its owner is seeking "some form of investment or other participation" from other companies and the federal government to keep the uranium enrichment project afloat beyond this year.
USEC Inc. reported on Feb. 12, 2007, that the projected costs for the plant have increased from $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion.
The company also said the plant's estimated completion date for the plant was pushed back by a year, to 2012.
But it said tests show that the state-of-the-art centrifuge machines perform 10 percent better than previously thought, and are more than eight times more efficient than the machines of its closest competitor.
(Dayton Daily News Feb. 13, 2007)
NRC releases Safety Evaluation Report for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio
The report documents the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff review and safety and safeguards evaluation of USEC Inc.'s application for a license to construct a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility and possess and use special nuclear material (SNM), source material, and byproduct material.
The NRC staff concludes, in this safety evaluation report, that the applicant's descriptions, specifications, and analyses provide an adequate basis for safety and safeguards of facility operations and that operation of the facility does not pose an undue risk to worker and public health and safety.
Federal Register: September 22, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 184) p. 55515 (download full text )
> View NRC release Sep 12, 2006
> Download Safety Evaluation Report for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, NUREG-1851, September 2006: NRC website · ADAMS (Accession No. ML062490544)
> Download Draft Safety Evaluation Report for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, NUREG-1851, August 2006: ADAMS (Accession No. ML062440072)
EPA finds concern on proposed depleted uranium disposition unresolved
By letter dated June 19, 2006, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds that concerns regarding the depleted disposition remain unresolved in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed American Centrifuge plant (ACP):
"The U.S. Department of Energy's planned depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facility may not have sufficient capacity to process (1) the substantial amounts of DUF6 to be generated by ACP, plus (2) the substantial amounts of DUF6 existing at the Portsmouth Reservation."
"Depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) is a corrosive and reactive hazardous material until converted into a more stable
form for long-term storage and disposal. DOE has plans to build a DUF6
conversion facility at Portsmouth to process the 450,000 metric tons of DUF6
generated from 50 years of previous uranium enrichment activities at the site,
expected to operate until 2024. The ACP is expected to operate until 2039
and generate 571,000 metric tons of DUF6.
DOE is likely to be the only entity performing DUF6 conversion on this large
of a scale due to their obligation to accept DUF6 tails from generators under
the USEC Privatization Act. If DOE is to process all of the DUF6 from past
operations, and process all of the ACP-generated DUF6, then, as NRC's
response to comments state, DOE would have to install additional conversion
lines, or extend the DUF6 conversion facility's operating life from 2024 to
2077. What this amounts to is that if DOE doesn't have the adequate capacity
to process DUF6 at rates adequate to address legacy inventories and the
ACP's DUF6 generation rate, corrosive and reactive hazardous DUF6 may
require storage and management for up to 38 years until converted into a safe
and stable form. [...]" (emphasis added)
> Download: Re: Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed American Centrifuge Plant, Pike County, Ohio, NUREG-1834, EIS No. 20060189 ; EPA Region 5 letter, June 19, 2006 (ADAMS - ML061840611)
NRC releases final Environmental Impact Statement
On May 9, 2006, NRC released the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed American Centrifuge Plant.
> Download Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio (NUREG-1834)
> View NRC release May 10, 2006
> Federal Register: May 15, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 93) p. 28054-28055 (download full text )
NRC releases draft Environmental Impact Statement for Comment
On Sep. 1, 2005, NRC released the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed American Centrifuge Plant for comment.
Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio (NUREG-1834) - Draft for Comment
> Federal Register: September 8, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 173) p. 53396-53398
(download full text )
> View NRC release Sep. 14, 2005
USEC signs agreements with Boeing and Honeywell on centrifuge manufacturing
On Oct. 27, 2004, USEC Inc. announced that it has signed agreements with the Boeing Company and Honeywell International to support the manufacture of uranium enrichment machines for USEC's American Centrifuge program.
(USEC Oct. 27, 2004)
NRC issues Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed USEC American Centrifuge Plant
NRC will conduct public scoping meetings on November 15, 2004 and on January 18, 2005.
Written comments should be submitted by February 1, 2005 (comment period extended).
Federal Register: October 15, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 199) p. 61268-61270 (download full text )
Federal Register: December 29, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 249) p. 78058-78059
(download full text )
NRC to hold hearing on USEC application for commercial centrifuge enrichment plant
The NRC will hold a hearing on USEC Inc.'s application to build a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, and invites those who may be affected by the proceeding to seek permission to participate in the hearing.
Any person whose interest may be affected and who wishes to participate as a party in the hearing proceeding must file a petition to intervene by December 17, 2004.
Federal Register: October 18, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 200) p. 61411-61416 (download full text )
> View NRC release Oct. 7, 2004
> Download USEC application (Aug. 23, 2004)
USEC files license application for commercial centrifuge enrichment plant
On August 23, 2004, USEC filed with NRC the license application for its commercial centrifuge enrichment plant project "American Centrifuge Plant " in Piketon, Ohio. The plant will be housed in existing process buidlings leased from DOE and is expected to be operational by the end of the decade. USEC seeks an initial annual production capacity of 3.5 million SWU (separative work units).
(USEC Aug. 23, 2004)
USEC selects Portsmouth as site for centrifuge enrichment plant
On Jan. 12, 2004, USEC announced that it has chosen Piketon, Ohio as the site for its so-called "American Centrifuge" commercial uranium enrichment plant project. The plant is expected to reach an initial annual production level of 3.5 million SWU by 2010, at costs of up to $1.5 billion. USEC plans to submit its license application for the plant to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August 2004.
In 2005, USEC expects to begin operating the American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility. The demonstration facility, also to be sited in Piketon, will contain a lead cascade of full-size centrifuge machines. A lead cascade is the basic building block of a commercial enrichment plant.
NRC Docket No. 07007003, License No. SNM-7003
USEC Inc. Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Facility Licensing (NRC)
NRC provides opportunity to request a hearing and provide comments on proposed license transfer of American Centrifuge Plant to USEC subsidiary
> see here
NRC takes regulatory oversight of USEC lead cascade, authorizes processing of radioactive material
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has assumed regulatory oversight responsibility of USEC Inc.'s American Centrifuge Lead Cascade Facility in Piketon, Ohio, and has authorized USEC to process uranium at the facility.
The transition of regulatory oversight to the NRC from the U.S. Department of Energy was finalized in a letter to USEC signed on Aug. 24, 2006, by Robert Pierson, director of the NRC's Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, and Larry Clark, director of DOE's Office of Nuclear Fuel Security and Uranium Technology. The transfer becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2006.
> View NRC News Release Aug. 24, 2006
NRC issues license for USEC lead cascade centrifuge enrichment facility
On February 24, 2004, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to the U.S. Enrichment Corporation Inc. (USEC) to construct and operate a uranium enrichment test and demonstration facility at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site in Piketon, Ohio.
> Download Materials License SNM-7003 (PDF, ADAMS Accession No. ML040550379)
> View NRC release Feb. 25, 2004
NRC releases Environmental Assessment and issues Finding of No Significant Impact for USEC's Lead Cascade Facility
Federal Register: January 27, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 17) p. 3956-3957
(download full text )
> View NRC release Jan. 29, 2004
> Download: Environmental Assessment of the USEC American Centrifuge Lead Cascade Facility at Portsmouth, Ohio, January 2004 (NRC ADAMS: ML040160806 , or DOE NEPA: DOE/EA-1495 )
Draft Memorandum of Understanding between DOE, Oak Ridge Operations, and NRC on USEC's Lead Cascade Facility
On Sep. 22, 2003, NRC provided USEC with a Draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Operations, and NRC: COOPERATION REGARDING THE GAS CENTRIFUGE LEAD CASCADE FACILITIES AT THE PORTSMOUTH GASEOUS DIFFUSION PLANT.
USEC ahead of schedule with centrifuge enrichment demonstration project
"A successful year of experience with its American Centrifuge has given USEC the confidence to accelerate its schedule for commercial plant deployment by one year. [...] We now plan to submit our commercial plant NRC license application in
August 2004, seven months ahead of schedule."
(USEC July 30, 2003)
USEC ends funding of research on SILEX enrichment process and focuses on centrifuge technology
> view details
NRC announces opportunity for hearing re USEC's Centrifuge License Application
Federal Register: April 9, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 68) p. 17414 (download full text )
No petitions for a hearing were received by NRC within the allotted time period.
NRC Accepts USEC’s Centrifuge License Application For Technical Review
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has completed its initial review of USEC Inc.’s license application for the American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility in Piketon, Ohio and found the application acceptable for technical review. (USEC Mar 14, 2003)
USEC Files Application with NRC to License Centrifuge Enrichment Demonstration Facility
On Feb. 12, 2003, USEC Inc. submitted a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to construct and operate the so-called American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility at its Portsmouth plant in Piketon, Ohio. "Scheduled to begin operation in 2005, the demonstration facility will contain a lead cascade of up to 240 centrifuge machines, the first new centrifuge enrichment machines in the United States. The lead cascade is the basic building block of a commercial enrichment plant. It will yield cost, schedule and performance data before USEC begins construction of a $1 billion to $1.5 billion commercial plant later in the decade."
As of March 24, 2003, the license application is available for download from ADAMS .
USEC sites centrifuge test facility in Portsmouth, Ohio
On Dec. 4, 2002, USEC Inc. announced that it will site its Lead Cascade centrifuge uranium enrichment test facility at its Portsmouth plant in Piketon, Ohio.
DOE releases Environmental Assessment for the Leasing of Centrifuge Facilities and Equipment to USEC Inc.
DOE/EA-1451, Environmental Assessment for the Leasing of Facilities and Equipment to USEC Inc., October 2002.
"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Operations Office (DOE-ORO) has prepared this Environmental Assessment (EA) for the lease of facilities and equipment to USEC Inc. (USEC), which would be used in its Gas Centrifuge Research and Development (R&D) Project at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) [hereinafter referred to as the USEC EA]. The USEC EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of DOE leasing facility K-101 and portions of K-1600, K-1220 and K-1037 at the ETTP to USEC for a minimum 3-year period, with additional option periods consistent with the Oak Ridge Accelerated Clean-up Plan (ACP) Agreement. In July 2002, USEC notified DOE that it intends to use certain leased equipment at an off-site facility at the Centrifuge Technology Center (CTC) on the Boeing Property. The purpose of the USEC Gas Centrifuge R&D Project is to develop an economically attractive gas centrifuge machine and process using DOE’s centrifuge technology. This EA is prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, P.L. 91-190, 42 U.S. C. §4321 et seq."
> Download full report (7.8M PDF)
USEC and DOE sign agreement on construction of centrifuge enrichment plant
The Energy Department announced on June 18, 2002, it had signed an agreement with USEC Inc., of Bethesda, Md., for the company to build a new centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in either Kentucky or Ohio within a decade.
Other terms of the agreement cover the delivery of Russian warhead material under the Megatons to Megawatts program, the continued operation of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant until the new plant is operational, and the remediation or replacement of out-of-specification uranium transfered to USEC. In exchange for USEC's expected expenses of $21 million necessary for the latter, the government will take possession of three years worth of depleted uranium tails from the USEC production process.
> View DOE release June 18, 2002 · USEC release June 18, 2002
USEC revives centrifuge enrichment technology plans
On October 2, 2001, Dennis Spurgeon, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of USEC Inc. presented a speech at Nuclear Energy Institute's International Uranium Fuel Seminar 2001 on USEC's efforts to develop more efficient enrichment technologies. While, in the long term, USEC still pursues the development of the SILEX laser-based enrichment technology, USEC now also is working to revive in the mid term the centrifuge enrichment project shelved by DOE in 1985. USEC believes that, with today's technology, the centrifuges developed by DOE can now be manufactured at significantly lower cost, reducing the capital cost per SWU to about half that of competitors.
USEC plans to demonstrate centrifuge performance in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Based on the success, a "lead cascade" of centrifuges will be built and operated at a gaseous diffusion plant. Later, construction of a commercial centrifuge plant is planned, incrementally replacing the current gaseous diffusion enrichment capacity.
> Download full text of the speech