WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today secured resources for Piketon’s American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) in the Senate’s Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Working with members of Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle, Brown led the effort to include $150 million in merit-based funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) research, development, or deployment (RD&D) program. The funds will help ensure that the ACP is in the strongest position possible to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy (DOE), which would help create 4,000 jobs in Southern Ohio.
“The ACP isn’t just an important job creator in southern Ohio, it’s also a critical component of our national security,” Brown said. “That’s why we see bipartisan support in the Senate for continued research and development. The ACP is too important to terminate. I will continue working to keep these jobs in Piketon and to ensure that our nation is secure.”
The RD&D funding will keep Ohioans at work, expedite commercialization of ACP technology, and protect our national security. President Obama’s budget, proposed earlier this year, includes $150 million in Research, Development & Deployment funds for the ACP. The Piketon site will also receive more than $120 million in cleanup funds through the DOE Office of Environmental Management program in the president’s budget request.
Brown has led the fight in Congress to accelerate the Piketon cleanup and to create new jobs. He successfully secured an expedited timeframe for the cleanup, moving the completion date up by more than 20 years. As a result of Brown and President Obama’s efforts, cleanup funding at Piketon doubled, including $118 million in cleanup funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Federal funds for Piketon have helped to create more than 2300 jobs in the region.
Late last year, the Senate proposed, with support of the Administration, to include $150 million in Research Development & Deployment funds for ACP, but the House rejected this bipartisan approach. In December, Brown and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced a bill to advance the ACP. The bill would provide $150 million in RD&D funds by reprogramming $106 million of existing DOE funds while utilizing $44 million of assets at Piketon in the form of “tails,” a byproduct of uranium enrichment.
Brown is working closely with USEC and DOE to advance the American Centrifuge Project. 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.