The American Centrifuge Project is an advanced U.S. gas centrifuge uranium enrichment technology for fueling commercial nuclear power plants in the United States and around the world.
The American Centrifuge Plant will be a long-term, reliable and secure source of fuel for America’s nuclear plants, which provide 20 percent of the country’s electricity.
The American Centrifuge Plant will play a major role in supporting U.S. energy and national security.
Construction of the plant and manufacturing of the centrifuge machines by companies in America involved in the project could create nearly 8,000 jobs in the United States. Manufacturing activities will also help re-establish a high tech infrastructure for producing nuclear-grade components and support systems.
USEC Inc. intends the American Centrifuge Plant to replace its previous energy-intensive, Cold-War era production facility. This transition will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions related to USEC’s existing enrichment technology by millions of tons annually.
Completion of the project will be the successful result of decades of research by American scientists and engineers and a substantial investment of capital and resources by the U.S. government and American companies to develop the most productive uranium enrichment technology in the world.
What's At Stake?
If the American Centrifuge Project does not proceed, America will lose an important national energy asset that offers many potential benefits:
- America’s nuclear power plants risk becoming totally dependent upon sources of nuclear fuel controlled by foreign companies. In 1993, America produced more than 90 percent of the enriched uranium used in its nuclear reactors, but by 2008 only 15 percent of the enriched uranium fueling American reactors had been produced domestically.
- The nearly 700 existing U.S. jobs and more than 7,000 potential jobs that could be created because of the project will disappear.
- The extensive nuclear manufacturing base that has been created to support centrifuge machine and balance-of-plant manufacturing will go unused and likely disappear.
- America risks losing its prominent place in global discussions about nuclear nonproliferation and restricting access to sensitive enrichment technologies.
- The American taxpayers’ investment of more than $3 billion dollars and USEC’s investment of more than $2.5 billion will only pay off if the plant is built. Additionally, royalties that would be paid to the U.S. government from USEC’s commercialization of the technology will not be generated.