USEC, an international uranium fuel company that has operations in Oak Ridge, learned Wednesday that the federal government could extend its American Centrifuge research, development, and demonstration program for three months.
In a press release, USEC said the U.S. Department of Energy is prepared to extend the program for three months beyond Jan. 15, 2014, subject to Congressional appropriations.
DOE and USEC will share costs of the program on an 80 percent/20 percent basis for a total funding level of about $10 million per month, the release said.
“USEC will continue working closely with stakeholders, including the DOE and Congress, to achieve the three-month extension and identify the best path forward for the technology,” the release said.
It said the American Centrifuge is the only uranium enrichment process employing U.S. domestic technology that can be used for national security purposes. It is also an important potential contributor to the country’s energy security, non-proliferation policy goals, and nuclear high-tech manufacturing industry, the release said.
Earlier this month, the program achieved three important milestones as part of the RD&D program that was originally proposed by DOE in 2011. A full production-scale cascade of 120 centrifuge machines achieved 20 machine-years of operations at commercial plant specifications.
USEC Inc. is a global energy company that is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.