United States Enrichment Corporation
The United States Enrichment Corporation, a subsidiary of USEC Inc. , is a corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 that contracts with the United States Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 to produce enriched uranium
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

 for use in nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant
A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...



The Energy Policy Act of 1992
Energy Policy Act of 1992
The Energy Policy Act is a United States government act.It was passed by Congress and addressed energy efficiency, energy conservation and energy management , natural gas imports and exports , alternative fuels and requiring certain fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles, which are capable of...

, 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
Initial public offering
An initial public offering or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. It can be used by either small or large companies to raise expansion capital and become publicly traded enterprises...

 of USEC stock. The U.S. government received about three billion dollars for USEC.

USEC had gaseous diffusion
Gaseous diffusion
Gaseous diffusion is a technology used to produce enriched uranium by forcing gaseous uranium hexafluoride through semi-permeable membranes. This produces a slight separation between the molecules containing uranium-235 and uranium-238 . By use of a large cascade of many stages, high separations...

 plants at Piketon, Ohio
Piketon, Ohio
Piketon is a village in Pike County, Ohio, United States, along the Scioto River. The village is best known for the uranium enrichment plant located there . The population was 1,907 at the 2000 census...

 near Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Ohio
Portsmouth is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Scioto County. The municipality is located on the northern banks of the Ohio River and east of the Scioto River in Southern Ohio. The population was 20,226 at the 2010 census.-Foundation:...

. In May 2001, USEC ceased uranium enrichment
Gaseous diffusion
Gaseous diffusion is a technology used to produce enriched uranium by forcing gaseous uranium hexafluoride through semi-permeable membranes. This produces a slight separation between the molecules containing uranium-235 and uranium-238 . By use of a large cascade of many stages, high separations...

 operations in Piketon
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant
The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is a facility located in Scioto Township, Pike County, Ohio, just south of Piketon, Ohio that previously produced enriched uranium, including weapons-grade uranium, for the United States Atomic Energy program and U.S. nuclear weapons program...

 and consolidated operations in Paducah, Kentucky
Paducah, Kentucky
Paducah is the largest city in Kentucky's Jackson Purchase Region and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. It is located at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River, halfway between the metropolitan areas of St. Louis, Missouri, to the west and Nashville,...

. The following year, transfer and shipping operations were also consolidated at Paducah.

A demonstration gas centrifuge
Gas centrifuge
A gas centrifuge is a device that performs isotope separation of gases. A centrifuge relies on the principles of centripetal force accelerating molecules so that particles of different masses are physically separated in a gradient along the radius of a rotating container.A prominent use of gas...

 plant was being built at Piketon for initial commercial operation in 2009, with a full-size plant is planned there for operation in 2012. http://www.wise-uranium.org/epusecc.html 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."http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/07/29/Piketon29.ART_ART_07-29-09_A1_VBEK453.html?sid=101http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2009/07/27/daily41.html

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.

At peak operation, the Paducah facility consumes about 3,000 megawatts
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

 of electricity. Power for the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant comes from Tennessee Valley Authority
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

, which operates six nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

s itself and is constructing one more."http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/TVC/928325375x0xS1376986-09-113/1376986/filing.pdf

In November 1996 USEC signed an exclusive licence and development agreement for the application of SILEX
Silex Process
SILEX is an acronym for Separation of Isotopes by Laser Excitation , a technology developed in the 1990s for isotope separation to produce enriched uranium using lasers....

 technology to uranium enrichment with an Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n company, Silex Systems Limited. USEC backed out of the SILEX agreement in May 2003 in order to concentrate resources on the demonstration and deployment of its American Centrifuge program.

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

USEC is the executive agent in the U.S./Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 Highly Enriched Uranium Purchase Agreement, implemented under the Megatons to Megawatts Program
Megatons to Megawatts Program
The Megatons to Megawatts Program is the name given to the program that implemented the 1993 United States-Russia nonproliferation agreement to convert high-enriched uranium taken from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into low-enriched-uranium for nuclear fuel.-Extent of program since 1995:From...


USEC is currently awaiting approval of a 2 billion dollar loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

Furthermore, USEC provides used nuclear fuel solutions through its subsidiary, NAC International.

External links

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