DOE defers review on Usec's loan application

6 August 2009

The US Department of Energy will give Usec an extra six months before it issues a final review on the company's loan guarantee application for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio.

During this time Usec can address the financial and technical concerns that DOE has about its application.

According to DOE Usec’s application does not meet all the statutory and regulatory standards that would permit the agency to grant a loan guarantee at this time. DOE has, however, offered Usec $45 million over the next 18 months to support ongoing ACP development activities.

“This agreement [to defer the final review] gives Usec the time it needs to more fully test its technology and develop additional financial support for the project,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

DOE undersecretary for science, Steven Koonin said:

“Usec's operating experience on its lead cascade must demonstrate high confidence that machine reliability is commensurate with its facility operating plan. We have discussed with USEC specific test results that would give such confidence, and we look forward to working with them to that end." It is estimated that this will take at least six months.

Usec's president and CEO John K. Welch said: " We are committed to continuing our development efforts in Oak Ridge and Piketon to prepare the technology for full commercialization. The agreement provides a path forward for consideration of our loan guarantee application."

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