USEC Inc. announced Friday that it had not been able to conclude a deal for the short-term extension of uranium enrichment at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky, and the company will begin ceasing uranium enrichment at the end of May. The Paducah plant is the only U.S.-owned and operated uranium enrichment facility in the United States. USEC, which has operations in Oak Ridge, leases the Kentucky plant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“While we have pursued possible opportunities for continuing enrichment, DOE has concluded that there were not sufficient benefits to the taxpayers to extend enrichment,” said Robert Van Namen, USEC senior vice president and chief operating officer. “I am extremely disappointed to say we must now begin to take steps to cease enrichment. [Read more…]