Obama okays funding for American centrifuge RD&D

1 October 2012

President Obama has signed a six-month spending measure for the federal government that contains funding for continued work on the American Centrifuge research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programme, USEC announced, 1 October.

The “continuing resolution” signed by the president provides funding at an annual rate of $100 million for the RD&D programme. It is part of the government’s $280 million (or 80%) share of the $350 million programme to demonstrate America’s next generation enrichment technology.

The US government had previously provided $87.7 million of cost share funding to support RD&D through the end of November 2012. Additional funding will still be needed to complete the 19-month RD&D programme in December 2013, USEC said.

The programme, which involves the manufacture and operation of 120 uranium enrichment centrifuge machines in a commercial cascade configuration, seeks to accomplish five key technical milestones to retire technical risk (two of which have already been met), and to lay the groundwork for the commercial deployment of the American Centrifuge technology.

USEC said that to date its suppliers have built approximately 70 machines for the RD&D programme. “Machines continue to be built, and the programme is on time and on budget,” it said.

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