“DOE is in active negotiations with USEC and cannot comment on the status of applications,” Katinka Podmaniczky, with the DOE’s office of public affairs, said Monday. “DOE is committed to processing applications as quickly as possible, while ensuring that taxpayer dollars are protected.”
USEC applied for the loan more than two years ago.
Gov. Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly last week called on the U.S. Department of Energy to issue the conditional loan guarantee to USEC Inc.
Kasich said it’s time for the Obama Administration to issue a conditional loan guarantee commitment so the project can move forward.
The governor played a round of golf later in the week with President Barack Obama, but it was not clear if he had the opportunity to speak with the president about the Piketon project.
“I do not know if they talked about it on the course or not,” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said Monday. “Whatever they discussed was candid. I can tell you that the American Centrifuge Project was certainly on the governor’s mind. It’s been a frustration for him.”
USEC said at the end of April it must have the conditional loan guarantee “commitment” by June 30 or risk losing a $200 million strategic investment in the ACP by Toshiba and Babcock & Wilcox.
Title XVII of the 2005 Energy Policy Act authorizes DOE to provide loan guarantees to qualified projects to accelerate the commercial use of new or significantly improved technologies that reduce air pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions.
Congress authorized $38.5 billion for the program in December 2007, including $2 billion for front-end nuclear fuel cycle facilities. USEC and the French company, Areva, were the only applicants under the 2008 solicitation.
In March 2010, DOE announced its intention to transfer an additional $2 billion for front-end nuclear fuel cycle loan guarantees. In May, DOE announced a $2 billion loan guarantee conditional commitment for Areva using the additional transferred funding.
DOE has made it clear that $2 billion remains available under the original solicitation.
USEC has invested more than $1.9 billion in the American Centrifuge Project. USEC has operated centrifuges as part of its Lead Cascade test program for more than 500,000 machine hours, demonstrating that the machines can be successfully manufactured and installed for commercial use.
USEC has also secured $3.1 billion in committed sales for the output of the ACP.
However, USEC needs additional financing to complete plant construction and has significantly demobilized construction and machine manufacturing activities for the project until it has that financing.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236, or email@example.com.