United States Enrichment Corporation
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2010)|
|Traded as||NYSE: USU|
|Key people||John K. Welch, CEO & President |
|Products||Industrial Metals & Minerals|
|Revenue||2035 USD millions[full citation needed]|
|Employees||2,949[full citation needed]|
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.
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.
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.[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."[full citation needed][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. 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.
The Department of Energy remains responsible for clean-up of the sites of materials left there prior to 1993.
In October 2011 the Department of Energy turned down the USEC revised request for a 2 billion dollar loan guarantee.
Between 2005-April 2012 SEC spent $15.6 million on congressional lobbying.
Geoffrey Sea of “Neighbors for an Ohio Valley Alternative” wrote a series of articles on the USEC in the ecowatch news site. Although in 1996 the National Academy of Sciences estimated that total costs of gaseous diffusion cleanup ranged from $8 billion to $46 billion, it was reported that USEC plant's decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) fund was diverted and the surcharge was waived. The reporter further asserted that USEC had threatened the Department of Energy with "a sudden shutoff of power at Paducah at the end of May (2013)" despite its charter "to return the facility to DOE 'in safe condition.'”
In May 2013, Paducah mayor Gayle Kaler said “Our priority as a community is first and foremost demanding clean up dollars. We cannot accept a dirty shut down.” When USEC ceased enrichment operations at its Portsmouth gaseous diffusion plant in Piketon, Ohio in May 2001, it reportedly did not purge the diffusion cells although it had nine years time and had received the funding. In late May 2013 the reporter predicted a dirty power down at Paducah. As of late June 2013, it was reported that USEC had shut down about 60 percent of the cascade, with the remainder to be shut down over the summer.
On November 17, 2013 a tornado damaged the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant. A spokesman for the plant operator, USEC Inc., reported that damage was limited to the exterior of one of the four enrichment production buildings, adjacent cooling towers and an electrical switch yard. The spokesman stated that there was no release of hazardous or radioactive materials. In the previous year, on March 2, 2012 the "Camp Creek tornado" reportedly stopped a few miles short of the Piketon, Ohio plant.
Geoffrey Sea wrote in September 2013, USEC's demise will be either by creditors (by October 2014 loan repayment deadline), "regulators who find their spines", or by "repeal of the USEC Privatization Act by Congress."
- nuclear fuel cycle
- nuclear power
- Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
- Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant
- Paducah plant history on USEC site
- Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Deactivation Project, Home Page (US DOE)
- U.S. Department of Energy's Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office - or pppo.energy.gov
- Uranium Enrichment Current Issues, USEC Paducah and Portsmouth plants, USA. (WISE Uranium Project, World Information Service on Energy, www.wiseinternational.org)
- USEC Portsmouth "American Centrifuge Plant" project (wise-uranium.org/ page)
- Paducah gaseous diffusion enrichment plant (Kentucky) - Decommissioning Issues (wise-uranium.org/ page)
- Portsmouth gaseous diffusion enrichment plant (Ohio) - Decommissioning Issues (wise-uranium.org/ page)
- "USEC Officers". Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "USEC Directors". Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (May 31, 2013). "Uranium Enrichment Ends at Paducah (Part 3)". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Nuclear Energy". TVA. [November 2012]. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (March 30, 2012). "USEC Bailout Dies Yet Again". ecowatch. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Korte, Gregory (April 27, 2012). "Politics stands in the way of nuclear plant's future". USA Today. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "USEC Event Report ER 13-01, June 28, 2013". NRC document archive. June 28, 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013. Unknown parameter
- "Uranium Enrichment - Current Issues (USEC Paducah and Portsmouth plants, USA)". last updated August 10, 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (March 6, 2012). "Tornado Nearly Strikes USEC Centrifuge Facility". ecowatch. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (March 23, 2012). "Paducah Closure Throws Nuclear Policy into Chaos". ecowatch. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (May 22, 2013). "Countdown to Nuclear Ruin at Paducah (Part 1)". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (May 28, 2013). "Slow Cooker at Paducah Comes to a Boil (Part 2)". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (June 4, 2013). "Stiffed USEC Sues Feds in Nuclear Slugfest (Part 4)". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (June 26, 2013). "Kentucky’s Nuclear Future Melts Down to Lawsuits (Part 5)". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (September 19, 2013). "USEC’s Tsunami: Uranium Company Washes Out". ecowatch. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Committee on Decontamination and Decommissioning of Uranium Enrichment Facilities, National Research Council (1996). "Affordable Cleanup? Opportunities for Cost Reduction in the Decontamination and Decommissioning of the Nation's Uranium Enrichment Facilities". The National Academies Press. p. 79. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Sea, Geoffrey (July 12, 2013). "Uranium Titan Tumbles". ecowatch. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Bruggers, James (November 17, 2013). "Tornado damage reported at Paducah nuclear fuel factory". Watchdog Earth. Courier-Journal. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Bruggers, James (November 18, 2013). "Damage assessment continues at storm-damaged Paducah nuclear fuel plant". Watchdog Earth. Courier-Journal. Retrieved 20 November 2013.