The US Department of energy (DoE) has signed a lease agreement with the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) for their use of the Department’s gas centrifuge enrichment plant (GCEP) facilities in Piketon, Ohia for the American Centrifuge Plant.

The DoE has also granted a non-exclusive patent license to USEC for use of centrifuge technology for uranium enrichment at the plant.

The initial term of the GCEP lease is through to June 2009, and may be extended in five-year increments for up to 36 years following the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issuance of a construction and operation licence for the facility.

USEC will pay monthly fees to DOE to cover the costs of administering the lease.

USEC plans to install a 3.5 million separative work unit enrichment plant, which could be expanded to double the size at the site.