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Department of Energy reaches agreement on Piketon plant

Dispatch – The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to enter into a $350 million research and development project with the Maryland-based company that hopes to eventually launch a uranium enrichment plant in southern Ohio.

Under the agreement, the Department of Energy will pay a $280 million share for research and development at the proposed American Centrifuge Project, including $88 million through the beginning of December.
USEC, meanwhile, would pay a total of $70 million for the research and development project, including $22 million through early December.

“Today, after months of hard work, I am pleased to announce that the Obama Administration has reached a major milestone in our efforts to advance the technology at the American Centrifuge Plant and strengthen U.S. national security,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Under the new agreement with USEC, we will be able to move forward with this critical research, development and demonstration effort while ensuring strong protections for the American taxpayers.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, applauded the agreement.

“The Department of Energy understands how important the (American Centrifuge Project) is to our nation’s security and Ohio’s economy,” Brown said. “I commend the Department of Energy and USEC for working together on a path towards job creation and greater accountability. This federal investment will ensure that the Piketon community is on a path towards continued job creation and economic growth.”