Sens. Brown, Portman Introduce Path Forward to Advance Piketon's American Centrifuge Project

Brown, Portman Spoke with Energy Secretary Steven Chu Today About Working Together to Advance ACP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today outlined path forward to advance USEC’s American Centrifuge Project (ACP) in Piketon, Ohio. Brown and Portman spoke with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and agreed to work with the Administration to advance the project. Following the call, the senators announced bipartisan legislation that would utilize existing resources to provide $150 million in Research Development & Deployment funds for ACP.

“Our fight for the American Centrifuge Project and the 4,000 Ohio jobs it would create is far from over,” Brown and Portman said. “Today we spoke with Energy Secretary Chu.  During our conversation with the Secretary, we agreed that we would work together with him to ensure that the American Centrifuge Project has the funding necessary to continue its important work.”

“This isn’t about politics,” the senators continued. “This is about national security, protecting tax-payer investments, and preserving good-paying Ohio jobs.”

Brown and Portman announced a bipartisan bill to advance the American Centrifuge Project. The bill would provide $150 million in RD&D funds by reprogramming $106 million of existing DOE funds while utilizing $44 million of assets at Piketon in the form of “tails,” a byproduct of uranium enrichment.

Brown first suggested this approach – utilizing existing resources – in a letter to DOE on October 31, 2011. In April 2009, he introduced legislation with Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) to help realize the monetary value of tails housed at Portsmouth and the now-closed Paducah facility.

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.

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