WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today wrote to President Obama urging critical federal assistance for Piketon. In a series of letters to the President, Brown urged the 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 (GDP)—both at Piketon. Brown has led the fight to fund cleanup and redevelopment of the Piketon site, spearheading the fight to include critical funds in the Recovery Act that will expedite the cleanup completion date by 20 years.
“The cleanup and redevelopment process means thousands of jobs at Piketon. By accelerating cleanup at Piketon, we are helping to put people back to work cleaning up the site, protecting the environment from a legacy of more than 50 years of uranium enrichment activities, and setting the stage for redevelopment and reuse,” Brown said.
“It is crucial that the Obama Administration take the necessary steps to keep the loan guarantee on schedule because timing is critical to this project. Every day the application is delayed is a day of increased costs for the project, and is a day lost in creating valuable jobs.”
Letter to Obama on ACP Loan Guarantee
Brown joined U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH) and U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (OH-3) in a letter to Obama requesting that the Department of Energy expedite the review of ACP’s federal loan guarantee. The $2 billion loan guarantee for USEC’s American Centrifuge Project (ACP) would create 4,000 jobs. In October, Brown visited the American Centrifuge Project (ACP) at Piketon to give an update on progress at the plant.
Brown is working closely with USEC and DOE to ensure facilitated coordination efforts for the American Centrifuge Project. In October 2010, the 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 February 2010, Brown worked with DOE to reach an agreement that USEC will transfer authority over uranium materials to DOE and match at least $45 million to invest in demonstration and technical activities to transition the American Centrifuge Project for commercial technological applications. These funds bolstered USEC’s application for the loan guarantee.
Letter to Obama on Funding of ACP Cleanup
Brown also sent a letter requesting that Obama match last fiscal year’s commitment for clean-up at the Department of Energy’s former GDP in Piketon. In addition to full funding, Brown asked Obama to support the reauthorization of the Decommissioning and Decontamination Fund which oversees the clean-up.
Brown, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has led a bipartisan group of members of the Ohio Congressional delegation urging the acceleration of environmental cleanup work at the site. As a result, the DOE issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Decontamination & Decommissioning (D&D) Project in 2009. This RFP was a huge step forward towards implementing a plan to clean up the site for reuse as a clean energy park. The FY2011 funding request would allow the continuation of the RFP plan, aimed at accelerating the completion of the D&D effort at Piketon from 35 years to 14 years. The expedited schedule means DOE will be investing more money into the project upfront which will bring more businesses and jobs to the area, laying the groundwork for future reuse efforts.