PDT Staff Writer
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says funding for the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) in Piketon was included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Brown worked with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to include $150 million for ACP in the NDAA, passed Tuesday. Brown said he is working to ensure that ACP receives support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) which would help create 4,000 jobs in southern Ohio.
“The American Centrifuge Plant is critical for our nation’s security and southern Ohio’s economy,” Brown said. “This funding will ensure that the Piketon community is on a path towards continued job creation and economic growth.”
Brown also led the effort to include $150 million in DOE resources for the research, development, or deployment (RD&D) program in the Senate-passed highway bill. Brown said his provision would provide resources in 2012 to help ensure that the ACP is in the strongest position possible to receive a loan guarantee. He said the RD&D funding will “keep Ohioans at work, expedite commercialization of ACP technology, and protect our national security.”
The Obama budget, proposed earlier this year, includes $150 million in RD&D funds for the ACP for fiscal year 2013.
Brown said he has made it a priority to work closely with USEC and DOE to advance the American Centrifuge Project. In April, he met with Vice President Biden to urge the Obama Administration to support ACP. Earlier this year, in letters to White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew earlier this year, Brown emphasized that an expeditious loan approval process would ensure the domestic enrichment of uranium for national security activities.
At the end of 2010, Brown urged the Obama Administration to move forward in approving the loan guarantee for the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) and to fully fund cleanup at the former Gaseous Diffusion Plant. In 2009, Brown worked with DOE to reach an agreement that resulted in DOE devoting $45 million in new funds to advance the ACP. In October 2010, Brown visited Piketon. One week later, DOE announced that efforts to secure a loan guarantee for USEC have taken a significant step forward. DOE and USEC had reached a framework for further discussions.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com