Last updated: January 02. 2014 1:54PM - 4289 Views
By - flewis@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Two days after USEC Inc. operators of the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon, announced, as a part of their restructuring program, that they would file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the U.S. Department of Energy gave the company $24 million. That according to a story at 4-Traders online.

The company announced Dec. 16 that it plans to file “a prearranged and voluntary Chapter 11 petition for relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in the first quarter of 2014.”

Two days later, the company announced: “USEC Inc. was informed today by the United States Department of Energy that it is prepared to extend the American Centrifuge cooperative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program for three months beyond January 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 approximately $10 million per month.”

In addition to the restructuring announcement, there was also word that USEC is seeking new investor money by touting its viability because of “the implementation and deployment of a National Security Train Program utilizing American Centrifuge technology with an expected total program cost to be funded by the government of not less than $750 million.”

USEC announced in December a full production-scale cascade of 120-machines achieved 20-machine years of operations at commercial plant specifications. During that performance run, USEC successfully completed three important milestones set by the Department of Energy (DOE) for the American Centrifuge research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program.

“The demonstration cascade is operating as expected, exceeding the SWU production, machine availability and cascade performance criteria established by DOE,” John K. Welch, USEC president and chief executive officer, said. “Our teams in Oak Ridge and Piketon rose to the challenge of the RD&D program and are showing once again why they are considered to be the best in the world.

Welch said the RD&D program is designed with DOE to demonstrate the technological readiness of the American Centrifuge to meet national security needs.

The June 2012 cooperative agreement, as amended, that established the RD&D program with DOE includes nine technical milestones for the RD&D program. Six of the milestones have been completed and certified by DOE. The remaining three milestones that have just been completed, subject to DOE certification, involve demonstrating centrifuge manufacturing quality, centrifuge operational reliability and demonstration of sustained production of 340 SWU at commercial conditions for 20-machine years.

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

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