Final shipment completes Megatons to Megawatts program

By Frank Lewis

December 13, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

USEC, Inc., has shipped the last cylinders of low enriched uranium under the Megatons to Megawatts program from the Port of Baltimore to its facility in Paducah, Ky. Since 1995, USEC has purchased more than 14,000 metric tons of low enriched uranium downblended from 500 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium that has been extracted from the equivalent of 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads.

“Together, USEC and Techsnabexport (TENEX), working in close partnership with our respective governments in the United States and Russia, have fueled the production of clean, reliable electricity through an historic nonproliferation program that USEC funded at no cost to taxpayers,” John Welch, USEC’s president and chief executive officer, said. “Over the past two decades, our commercial business operations have greatly advanced the strategic policy goals of our national governments, benefitting all mankind with a safer, cleaner world.”

The Megatons to Megawatts program is a commercially financed government-industry partnership in which bomb-grade uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads was downblended into low enriched uranium and purchased by USEC to fuel American nuclear power plants. The program executed a 1993 government-to-government agreement between the United States and Russia to reduce excess supplies of highly enriched uranium in the former Soviet Union.

In implementing the multi-billion dollar program, USEC, as executive agent for the U.S. government, paid for the downblended uranium at no cost to taxpayers through a contract with TENEX, as executive agent for the Russian government. Under the contract, USEC purchased the low enriched uranium from Russia with USEC corporate funds, adding this supply of fuel to its inventory for sale to its utility customers.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.