BETHESDA, Md. – Centrus Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: LEU) announced today that the text of 2016 Omnibus Appropriations legislation under consideration by Congress authorizes a total of $100 million in continued funding to the U.S. Department of Energy to maintain and advance American leadership in uranium enrichment technology. This includes $50 million in direct appropriations, which the Department had previously stated it would use to support critical centrifuge research and testing at Centrus’ facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The legislation also authorizes the Department to continue operating America’s only industrial-scale cascade of advanced centrifuges — located in Piketon, Ohio – by providing authority to use an additional $50 million from other accounts in the Department’s budget.
“This legislation reflects a broad, bipartisan consensus about the need for a domestic uranium enrichment technology,” said Centrus President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel B. Poneman. “Centrus looks forward to continuing the essential work we are doing to support America’s national security and is grateful to the Members and staff from both parties and both houses of Congress who have helped advance this funding through this legislation in support of the President’s budget.”
“The research and testing capability in our Tennessee facilities help define solutions that are validated at cascade scale at our Ohio facility – which houses America’s only operating cascade of advanced centrifuges,” said Steve Penrod, Centrus’ vice president for American Centrifuge. “We have presented a number of alternatives that would assure taxpayers continued benefits from Piketon, and we hope that the Department acts quickly to use this additional funding authority. We need to arrive at a decision as soon as possible so that we can avoid dismantling a critical national security capability and complete the important work that remains to be done there.”
Absent a decision to utilize the newly-passed reprogramming authority, Centrus will need to begin demobilization of the centrifuge activities at Piketon early next year, including dismantling the centrifuge cascade and implementing workforce reductions.
Since 2012, Centrus has worked jointly with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop, build and demonstrate America’s only cascade of advanced U.S. centrifuges in operation today. This work built upon more than $2.6 billion that the company had already invested of its own funds to develop and advance the technology. In its October 2015 report, the Department found that this technology, called the American Centrifuge, is the “most technically advanced and lowest risk option” for restoring U.S. uranium enrichment capability to meet long term national security requirements.
Centrus has been operating the cascade in Piketon, Ohio, along with state of the art centrifuge research and testing facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, staying on budget and meeting all technical and program requirements since the joint effort began in 2012. The goal is to further advance and demonstrate the centrifuge technology, under actual operating conditions, so that it can be deployed when needed to support U.S. national security requirements.
While some important work remains to be done, our team of scientists, engineers, and technicians have validated the safety and effectiveness of the machines. In addition, the team has been identifying, implementing, and testing upgrades to the design to deliver further improvements in cost, performance, and reliability. Centrus welcomes the commitment of Congress and the Department of Energy to completing this essential work, given the importance of the technology to national security and energy security of the United States and its allies around the world.
Centrus Energy Corp. is a trusted supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants in the United States and around the world. Our mission is to provide reliable and competitive fuel goods and services to meet the needs of our customers, consistent with the highest levels of integrity, safety, and security.
Media: Jeremy Derryberry (301) 564-3392
Investors: Don Hatcher (301) 564-3460