PIKETON -- U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown once again sounded optimistic about a loan guarantee for USEC Inc. after touring the American Centrifuge Plant on the Piketon site and touted the increased cooperation that could make it happen.

Brown applauded USEC Inc. officials for working closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to address concerns that were on the company's original loan application that was rejected in the summer of 2009.

"USEC is now cooperating in every way with the DOE," Brown said during what he called one of his "fairly regular trips" to the site.

There was no new information about the status of a government-backed $2 billion loan guarantee application that USEC Inc. says is necessary to complete the Centrifuge Plant construction, but Brown said communications between the DOE and USEC have been improving.

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