USEC and DOE Fund Continued American Centrifuge Activities

A cascade of production-ready machines is operating at USEC Inc.'s American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility in Piketon, Ohio. Operation of this cascade of AC100 commercial machines marks a major step in the American Centrifuge Program. (Photo: Business Wire)

BETHESDA, Md.--()--USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today announced an agreement to provide $45 million in funding to USEC to fund on-going American Centrifuge technology demonstration and manufacturing activities. USEC will match the DOE funding on a 50-50 cost-share basis. The work will support approximately 355 highly skilled jobs, primarily in Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

USEC recently announced the start of the Lead Cascade of production-ready AC100 centrifuge machines in a commercial-plant configuration in Piketon, Ohio. The Company has operated centrifuges for more than 338,000 machine hours during the Lead Cascade testing program, which includes both prototype machines and the AC100 series machines. The funding under the cost-share cooperative agreement supports increased operational run-time of the Lead Cascade as well as production of additional machines by USEC’s manufacturers and rotor process improvement activities in preparation for full, high-rate production.

“We appreciate DOE’s vote of confidence in the American Centrifuge technology,” said USEC President and CEO John K. Welch. “We have made significant progress and continue to work hard to address the recommendations of DOE’s independent engineer. This funding will boost those efforts and preserve approximately 355 jobs dedicated to centrifuge machine manufacturing and operation of the American Centrifuge machines. These activities will give us valuable operational data and experience as we prepare to update our loan guarantee application.”

Under terms of the agreement, DOE will provide financial support for this work by taking the disposal obligation for a limited quantity of depleted uranium tails from USEC, releasing $45 million in cash for investment in American Centrifuge demonstration that USEC had otherwise committed to future tails disposition obligations. USEC will match the $45 million, for a total investment of $90 million.

USEC Inc., a global energy company, is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 — that is, statements related to future events. In this context, forward-looking statements may address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “will” and other words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For USEC, particular risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: risks related to the deployment of the American Centrifuge technology, including risks related to performance, cost, schedule and financing; our success in obtaining a loan guarantee for the American Centrifuge Plant, including our ability to address the technical and financial concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) and the impact of a potential loan guarantee award to a competitor; the impact of the demobilization of the American Centrifuge project and uncertainty regarding our ability to remobilize the project and the potential for termination of the project; our ability to meet milestones under the June 2002 DOE-USEC Agreement related to the deployment of the American Centrifuge technology; changes in U.S. government priorities and the availability of government funding, including loan guarantees; and other risks and uncertainties discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Investors are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made in our filings with the SEC, including our annual report on Form 10-K, that attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of such statements except as required by law.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6225366&lang=en

Contacts

USEC Inc.
Media: Jeff Donald, 301-564-3418
Investors: Steven Wingfield, 301-564-3354

Contacts

USEC Inc.
Media: Jeff Donald, 301-564-3418
Investors: Steven Wingfield, 301-564-3354