Existing and potential customers from around the world got a look Monday at the process of making enriched uranium at USEC’s American Centrifuge Plant at Piketon when it becomes completely operational. Enriched uranium is a key component of nuclear fuel used by nuclear power plants worldwide to produce electricity.
USEC hosted dozens of customers representing utility customers from the United States, Europe, Asia and South Africa. They took part in an in-depth briefing with project leaders and engineers to learn more about where the plant stands and what the plans are for the future, then toured the plant.
“It’s important for our customers to see the American Centrifuge Plant first-hand. We were honored that so many could visit,” USEC Vice President of Marketing and Sales John Donelson said in a prepared statement about the tour, which was led by ACP General Manager Dan Rogers.
Both the Ohio House and Senate recently passed resolutions urging the Obama administration to award a $2 billion federal loan guarantee to the project. USEC officials have said the loan is crucial to complete the plant.
USEC has invested about $1.95 billion in the ACP so far.
In mid-February, USEC and the U.S. Department of Energy agreed on a modification to its 2002 agreement that includes new milestones related to deployment of the American Centrifuge Plant at Piketon.
From the time of receiving the anticipated $2 billion federal loan guarantee and additional financing it has applied for, it will take about 24 months to begin initial commercial operations.
The modification shows commercial operation starting in 2014 and the plant reaching top capacity in September 2017.
USEC and government officials say the multi-year construction project would create nearly 8,000 U.S. jobs in 10 states.
The AC100 centrifuge machines have been developed and engineered and will be manufactured in the United States.