WASHINGTON, D.C. – Funding for the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) in Piketon was included in the final conference committee report of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill is expected to pass the U.S. House of Representatives today, the Senate tomorrow, and be signed by President Obama as early as Friday. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is working to ensure that the ACP receives support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) which would help create 4,000 jobs in southern Ohio.
“Leaders from both parties and both houses support the American Centrifuge Plant because it is so important to our nation’s security and defense,” Brown said. “This Defense bill includes funding that will ensure that the Piketon community is on a path towards continued job creation and economic growth.”
Brown worked with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to include $150 million for the ACP in the NDAA, which passed the Senate earlier this month. He also led the effort to include $150 million in DOE resources for the research, development, or deployment (RD&D) program in the Senate-passed highway bill. Brown’s provision would provide resources in 2012 to help ensure that the ACP is in the strongest position possible to receive a loan guarantee. 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 RD&D funds for the ACP for fiscal year 2013.
Brown is working closely with USEC and DOE to advance the American Centrifuge Project. In April, he met with Vice President Biden to urge the Obama Administration to support ACP. Earlier this year, in letters to White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, 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.