UT-Battelle, the contractor that operates Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has added another six months to an agreement being used to develop new uranium-enrichment technology through operations in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Piketon, Ohio.
The six-month extension was announced Friday by Centrus Energy Corporation, formerly known as USEC. UT-Battelle has exercised its option to extend the American Centrifuge Technology Demonstration and Operations Agreement, or ACTDO Agreement, by six months from March 31 to September 30, 2015, Centrus said.
ORNL had previously exercised an option to extend the agreement through March 31, 2015.
The six-month extension allows the continued demonstration and operation of the only uranium enrichment technology in the United States, Centrus said in a press release.
The company has invested more than $2.5 billion to develop the only U.S.-origin uranium enrichment technology available for national and energy security purposes. It now acts as a subcontractor to ORNL through its wholly owned subsidiary American Centrifuge Operating LLC.
The press release said ORNL has been tasked by the U.S. Department of Energy to help find a reliable and economic domestic uranium enrichment capability that supports national security.
The ACTDO Agreement requires the company to furnish technical reports and data to ORNL from the cascade operations at the Centrus facility in Piketon, Ohio, and from the core American Centrifuge research and technology activities at the company’s facilities in Oak Ridge, including at the former Boeing plant in south Oak Ridge.
“Our American Centrifuge team continues to make solid progress executing the ACTDO agreement,” said Steven R. Penrod, vice president, American Centrifuge. “We are operating a cascade of machines and demonstrating this remarkable uranium enrichment technology that is capable of supporting our country’s national security objectives. We appreciate ORNL’s confidence in our team’s work through their support of this six-month extension.”
Under the extended subcontract, Centrus will continue these operations in Ohio and Tennessee. The Fiscal Year 2015 omnibus appropriations bill signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014, provides $97.2 million in funding for domestic uranium enrichment research, development, and demonstration. This appropriation provides funding for the continuation of the ACTDO Agreement for the remainder of the federal government’s fiscal year through September 30, 2015.
“A bipartisan consensus in Congress and the administration recognized the importance of maintaining the American Centrifuge technology for national and energy security purposes,” the press release said.
The ACTDO Agreement is a firm fixed-price contract. The agreement provided two options to extend the contract for six months, each at a price of $41.7 million for each option period. The total price of the contract including options is approximately $117 million.
“Pursuant to the FY2015 omnibus appropriations bill, DOE is currently examining long-range options for meeting the government’s need for enriched uranium to support national security,” the release said. “DOE is expected to report its findings to Congress later this year. Centrus remains committed to working closely with DOE and Congress to maintain and deploy this technology to serve national security and energy security needs.”
See previous American Centrifuge stories here.
Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Leave a Reply