United States Enrichment Corporation

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Type Public
Traded as NYSEUSU
Industry Basic Materials
Founded 1992
Headquarters Bethesda, Maryland
Key people John K. Welch, CEO & President [1][2]
Products Industrial Metals & Minerals
Revenue 2035 USD millions[3][full citation needed]
Employees 2,949[3][full citation needed]
Website www.usec.com

The United States Enrichment Corporation, a subsidiary of USEC Inc., is a corporation that contracts with the United States Department of Energy to produce enriched uranium for use in nuclear power plants.


The Energy Policy Act of 1992, a U.S. federal law, created USEC to privatize uranium enrichment for civilian use, and in July 1993 USEC took over the facilities. The sale of USEC was completed on July 28, 1998 through an initial public offering of USEC stock. The U.S. government received about three billion dollars for USEC.[citation needed]

USEC had gaseous diffusion plants at Piketon, Ohio near Portsmouth. In May 2001, USEC ceased uranium enrichment operations in Piketon and consolidated operations in Paducah, Kentucky. The following year, transfer and shipping operations were also consolidated at Paducah.[citation needed]

A demonstration gas centrifuge plant was being built at Piketon for initial commercial operation in 2009, with a full-size plant is planned there for operation in 2012.[4][full citation needed] However, in July 2009 the DOE did not grant a $2 billion loan guarantee for a planned uranium-enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio, "causing the initiative to go into financial meltdown," the company USEC spokesperson Elizabeth Stuckle said, adding "we are now forced to initiate steps to demobilize the project."[5][full citation needed][6][full citation needed]

On July 28, 2009 the company said that it was suspending work on the project because of the Department of Energy's decision not to provide loan guarantees. The Energy Department said that the proposed plant was not ready for commercial production and therefore ineligible for the loan guarantees. The department said that if USEC withdraws its application, it will receive $45 million over the next 18 months to conduct further research.

Before its downsizing and final cessation of uranium enrichment on May 31, 2013, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant consumed about 3,000 megawatts of electricity at peak operation.[7] Power for the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant came from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). In 2012 the majority of the TVA grid was generated by coal fired plants, with three nuclear power plants counting for about 30 percent of TVA's energy.[8]

The Department of Energy remains responsible for clean-up of the sites of materials left there prior to 1993.[citation needed]

USEC was the executive agent in the U.S./Russia Highly Enriched Uranium Purchase Agreement, implemented under the Megatons to Megawatts Program.[citation needed]

On December 16th, 2013, USEC announced that it had reached an agreement with a majority of its debt holders to file a prearranged and voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring in the first quarter of 2014.[9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "USEC Officers". Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "USEC Directors". Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ Sea, Geoffrey (May 31, 2013). "Uranium Enrichment Ends at Paducah (Part 3)". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Nuclear Energy". TVA. [November 2012]. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "USEC Inc. Reaches Agreement with Noteholder Group To Move Forward with Balance Sheet Restructuring". USEC. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.