WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a phone call today with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown urged the Energy Department to further invest in Piketon’s American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) by immediately releasing existing resources the Department has available for Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D). In 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) made a $45 million investment to further advance ACP. Brown urged an additional investment to retain jobs while USEC works to ensure that ACP is in the strongest technical and financial position to secure a conditional loan guarantee.
“The Department of Energy should use its existing resources to help sustain the American Centrifuge Plant,” Brown said. “We have an obligation to work together to realize the thousands of jobs that would be created through ACP. That means USEC working to ensure that the project is in the strongest financial and technical position to secure a conditional guarantee. And that means DOE being a good partner in retaining and creating jobs in Southern Ohio.”
USEC’s application for a government loan guarantee would help build state of the art uranium enrichment technology at the former Department of Energy (DOE) Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. If successful, the ACP could bring as many as 4,000 construction jobs and 400 long-term, full time jobs to Piketon.
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 Jabob 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. A 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. In December, Brown called on the administration to fully fund the Piketon Cleanup.
A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, 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, Piketon doubled the amount of cleanup funding that they received, including $118 million in cleanup funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. President Obama's FY 2011 budget request also includes nearly $500 million for the project. Federal funds for Piketon will have helped to create more than 275 jobs in the region.