The United States, which once led the world in uranium enrichment, shut down the last of its outdated and increasingly uneconomical Cold War-era enrichment plants in 2013 – leaving the Nation without a domestic, industrial-scale uranium enrichment capability for national security purposes for the first time since the Manhattan Project.
In addition to the needs of America’s commercial nuclear reactors, over the long term the United States will need to deploy a domestic enrichment technology at industrial scale for many reasons – including providing a fuel source for advanced reactors, strengthening energy security, advancing U.S. nonproliferation goals, providing fuel for the long-term needs of the nuclear Navy, and ensuring a supply of tritium, which is needed to maintain the effectiveness of America’s nuclear deterrent.
Centrus’ American Centrifuge technology is the only technology available now to restore this critical capability. An October 2015 report by the U.S. Department of Energy found that Centrus’ AC100 centrifuge is the “most technically advanced and lowest risk option” to meet the nation’s long-term national security needs.
Fact Sheet: National Security Importance of U.S. Enrichment Capability