President Obama recently signed a six-month federal spending measure with money for more work on the American Centrifuge research, development, and demonstration program, including in Oak Ridge, a USEC press release said.
The funding is part of the governmentâ€™s $280 million, or 80 percent, share of the $350 million cost-share program with USEC Inc. It’s meant to prove Americaâ€™s next generation of uranium enrichment technology and help national security and nuclear nonproliferation, the press release said.
TheÂ research, development, and demonstration, or RD&D, program will support about 1,200 jobs, mostly in Ohio and Tennessee, along with jobs in 26 other states including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan, and Alabama, the press release said.
It said the program was proposed by the Obama administration in its Fiscal Year 2013 budget submission to Congress and has received bipartisan backing from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The â€œcontinuing resolutionâ€ signed by the president provides funding at an annual rate of $100 million for the RD&D program.
USECâ€™s cost share is 20 percent, or $70 million of funding for the full RD&D program, the release said.
“USEC has already invested more than $2.3 billion and assembled a robust U.S. supply and manufacturing infrastructure to develop and deploy this U.S. technology,” the release said.
Here’s more information from the press release:
The federal government had previously provided $87.7 million of cost share funding to support RD&D program operations through the end of November 2012. Additional government funding beyond that included in the continuing resolution will be needed to meet the government cost-share of $280 million and complete the 19-month RD&D program in December 2013. USEC will continue working with Congress and the administration to identify funding sources to accomplish that objective.
The program calls for the manufacture and operation of 120 uranium enrichment centrifuge machines in a commercial cascade configuration. It seeks to accomplish five key technical milestones to retire technical risk, two of which have already been met, and to lay the groundwork for the commercial deployment of the American Centrifuge technology, which will create nearly 8,000 jobs and provide nuclear fuel to reactors around the world.
To date, USEC and its suppliers have built approximately 70 machines for the RD&D program and conditioned them with uranium gas. Machines continue to be built, and the program is on time and on budget.