WASHINGTON — Ohio’s U.S. senators are interested in going straight to the secretary of energy to discuss the future of the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon.

Sens. Rob Portman, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, in December 2011 jointly introduced a bill to move the project along by providing $150 million in research, development and demonstration funds that used Department of Energy resources and assets in Piketon. They now have requested a formal meeting with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to discuss the long-term viability of the Centrifuge plant.

The request, conveyed in a joint letter to the energy secretary, comes after passage of an appropriations package last month that provided additional RD&D funding.

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