Cooperative Research on Centrifuge BeginsSeptember 2000
USEC, UT-Battelle and the U.S. Department of Energy sign an initial cooperative agreement on U.S. centrifuge development. Over the next year, USEC and UT-Battelle perform cooperative research in three key areas: design of key centrifuge components, refurbishment and restart of facilities to manufacture and test centrifuge components and planning for the potential deployment and operation of a centrifuge enrichment plant.
Initial U.S. Centrifuge Technology Development Efforts1960-1985
From 1960 to 1985, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed and began to deploy a centrifuge uranium enrichment technology to ultimately replace the gaseous diffusion enrichment plants in Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. This U.S. centrifuge technology used a gas centrifuge machine with a long rotor and a high rotational speed. DOE successfully demonstrated this technology for more than 1,000,000 machine hours, but terminated the project when utilities stopped investing in new nuclear power plants.
USEC Evaluates Technology1999
USEC began evaluating centrifuge technology.
USEC Commences Development Work2000
USEC commenced development work on centrifuge design and signed a DOE-approved Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with UT-Battelle for cooperative work with Oak Ridge National Lab.
USEC-DOE Agreement SignedJune 2002
USEC signed a comprehensive agreement with DOE that provides a strong, cooperative foundation for deploying American Centrifuge technology in the United States.
USEC, UT-Battelle and DOE Extend Centrifuge CRADASeptember 2002
USEC, UT-Battelle and DOE finalize a $121 million extension for their cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) for to deploy U.S. centrifuge technology.
Demonstration Facility Site SelectedDecember 2002
USEC announced that it would site its American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility at its Portsmouth plant in Piketon, Ohio.
Centrifuge Component Tests BeginFebruary 2003
USEC announced that it had begun testing key centrifuge components at facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
American Centrifuge Plant Site SelectedJanuary 2004
USEC announced that its commercial American Centrifuge Plant would be sited in Piketon, Ohio.
NRC Issues Demonstration Facility LicenseFebruary 2004
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license that authorizes USEC to construct and operate its American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility.
USEC Selects Fluor for EPC WorkJune 2004
USEC selected Fluor Enterprises, a subsidiary of Fluor Corporation, to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for USEC’s American Centrifuge Plant.
Commercial Plant License Application Submitted to NRCAugust 2004
USEC submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission its license application for the American Centrifuge Plant. The NRC accepted the application for detailed review that October.
Initial Centrifuge Manufacturing Suppliers SelectedOctober 2004
USEC announced agreements with the Boeing Company and Honeywell International to support the manufacture of centrifuge machines and components for USEC’s American Centrifuge program.
Centrifuge Machine Testing BeginsJanuary 2005
USEC began testing a full-size centrifuge machine at its K-1600 facility in Oak Ridge.
USEC and Suppliers Begin Centrifuge Component ManufacturingApril 2005
USEC and its contractors begin manufacturing centrifuge machine components in Oak Ridge for use in the American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility.
NRC Issues EIS for ACP LicenseMay 2006
The NRC issued the final Environmental Impact Statement for the American Centrifuge Plant. The NRC found that the plant would create no significant adverse environmental or socioeconomic impacts during its construction or operations.
NRC Assumes Oversight at Demonstration FacilityAugust 2006
The NRC assumed regulatory oversight of the American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility from DOE, allowing USEC to begin operating centrifuge machines with uranium hexafluoride in the Demonstration Facility, as authorized under a license issued by the NRC to the Company in 2004.
NRC Issues Final Safety Evaluation ReportSeptember 2006
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued the final Safety Evaluation Report for the American Centrifuge Plant. The SER found that the commercial plant would create no significant adverse safety impacts during its construction or operation. It also evaluated the facility’s administrative and management programs to ensure the safe design and operation of the plant.
USEC and DOE Execute Centrifuge Facility Lease and Technology LicenseDecember 2006
USEC signed agreements with DOE for the long-term use of the American Centrifuge Plant facilities in Piketon, Ohio and for the gas centrifuge technology license for the U.S. centrifuge technology.
NRC Issues Construction and Operating License for Commercial PlantApril 2007
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a construction and operating license for the American Centrifuge Plant. The license, which is good for 30 years, includes authorization to enrich uranium up to an assay level of 10 percent U235.
American Centrifuge Plant Construction BeginsMay 2007
USEC and Fluor began construction on the commercial plant infrastructure for the American Centrifuge Plant.
B&W Selected for Centrifuge Manufacturing WorkJune 2007
USEC selected Babcock & Wilcox to perform manufacturing work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for USEC’s American Centrifuge Program. B&W will manufacture components for centrifuge machines to be used in USEC’s American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio.
Lead Cascade Test Program BeginsAugust 2007
USEC began the Lead Cascade testing program at the American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility to test prototype centrifuge machines in a closed-loop cascade configuration under various operating conditions.
USEC Contracts with Hexcel and ATK for Centrifuge RotorsAugust 2007
USEC entered into a three-way manufacturing supply agreement with Hexcel Corporation and with Alliant Techsystems (ATK) for carbon fiber for rotor tubes to be used in the American Centrifuge Plant. Hexcel will produce carbon fiber at its facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah, and deliver it to ATK. This fiber will be used by ATK to manufacture composite rotor tubes at its facilities in Rocket Center, West Virginia.
USEC Contracts with Major Tool & Machine for Centrifuge CasingsAugust 2007
USEC awarded a contract to Major Tool & Machine Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, to manufacture steel casings for centrifuge machines that will be used in the American Centrifuge Plant.
USEC and UT-Battelle Extend CRADASeptember 2007
USEC and UT-Battelle signed an extension to the USEC-funded Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that will continue USEC’s ability to utilize ORNL employees and resources for developing USEC’s centrifuge technology through 2012.
USEC Contracts with Kerotest for ValvesOctober 2007
USEC awarded a contract to Kerotest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for manufacturing the process gas valves for the American Centrifuge Plant.
Lead Cascade Meets ObjectivesNovember 2007
USEC announced that the Lead Cascade test program of the American Centrifuge technology is producing results that achieve USEC’s objectives. Data gathered from groups of Lead Cascade prototype machines operating together in a closed-loop cascade configuration were consistent with the predictions of USEC’s analytical models regarding cascade and machine performance, and the product assays generated.
USEC Contracts with Teledyne Brown for Service ModulesFebruary 2008
USEC awarded an initial contract to Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. of Huntsville, Ala, for the fabrication and assembly of the first 36 service modules.
USEC Purchases Centrifuge Manufacturing Center BuildingMarch 2008
USEC purchased the former Boeing site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and renamed it the American Centrifuge Technology and Manufacturing Center. The site features 440,000 square feet of buildings, including a 200,000 square-foot building with a high bay structure specifically built in the 1980s by Boeing for manufacturing, balancing and testing centrifuge machines. Since 2007, USEC has made significant building improvements such as upgrading electrical systems and installing foundations for new production machining equipment, robotics, computer controls and testing systems to support the manufacturing ramp-up in centrifuge parts production.
Initial AC100 Centrifuge Machine Design FinalizedMarch 2008
USEC finalized the initial design for the AC100 machine and released 75 percent of the drawings to USEC’s strategic suppliers to begin manufacturing components. Additional component validation testing will be completed and the remaining drawings released to the strategic suppliers by June 30.
USEC Expands Teledyne Brown ContractMay 2008
USEC awarded a contract to Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., to fabricate and assemble an additional 540 gas centrifuge service modules for USEC’s American Centrifuge uranium enrichment program.
USEC Submits First Part of DOE Loan Guarantee ApplicationJuly 2008
USEC submitted part I of its application to DOE for $2 billion from the loan guarantee program. In supporting its application, USEC noted the project represents the early commercial use of a new or significantly improved technology and will significantly reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
USEC Submits Part II Of Loan Guarantee ApplicationAugust 2008
USEC completed its application to DOE for $2 billion from the loan guarantee program.
USEC Awards Fluor EPC ContractSeptember 2008
USEC awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and construction management services contract to Fluor Corporation to complete construction of the American Centrifuge Plant.
USEC Moderates ACP SpendingFebruary 2009
USEC announced it would moderate the growth in spending on the American Centrifuge Plant until it gained more clarity on a loan guarantee decision.
USEC Announces Customer Contracts for ACP ProductionMarch 2009
USEC announced that it had commitments valued at $3.3 billion from 10 customers to buy more than half of the initial, planned output of the American Centrifuge Plant.
Second AC100 Design Release CompletedMarch 2009
USEC completed a second design release for the AC100 series centrifuge machine.
USEC and B&W Sign MOU to Form Centrifuge Manufacturing CompanyMay 2009
USEC and Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc. announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture that will provide integrated manufacturing and assembly of AC100 centrifuge machines for USEC’s American Centrifuge Plant. The joint venture will also provide spare parts and other maintenance support services for centrifuge machines at the American Centrifuge Plant under a long-term service agreement.
DOE Defers Decision on Loan Guarantee ApplicationAugust 2009
DOE and USEC announced an agreement to defer a decision on USEC's loan guarantee application. As a result, USEC initiated steps to demobilize the American Centrifuge project until greater certainty regarding financing to finish the project could be obtained. Plant construction work was suspended and manufacturing was curtailed.
AC100 Cascade Begins OperationsMarch 2010
USEC began operations of a cascade of approximately two dozen production-ready AC100 centrifuge machines in cascade configuration simulating commercial plant conditions and assay levels.
USEC and DOE Cost Sharing Agreement AnnouncedMarch 2010
USEC reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy that provides $45 million in funding to USEC to fund on-going American Centrifuge technology demonstration and manufacturing activities, which USEC will match on a 50-50 cost-share basis. The funding 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.
B&W and Toshiba Agree to Invest in USECMay 2010
Toshiba Corporation and Babcock & Wilcox sign a definitive agreement to make a $200 million investment in USEC.
USEC Submits Update to Loan Guarantee ApplicationJuly 2010
USEC submits a comprehensive update to its DOE Loan Guarantee application for a $2 billion guarantee and announces a go-forward cost of $2.8 billion to complete the American Centrifuge Plant from the point of a closing on a DOE loan guarantee.
DOE Completes Initial Technical Review on Loan Guarantee ApplicationOctober 2010
USEC Inc. is informed by DOE that it has largely completed its initial technical review of USEC’s application for the American Centrifuge Plant and is proceeding to the next stage of the loan guarantee process. DOE provides USEC with a draft term sheet that will serve as a framework for discussions between USEC and the DOE.
USEC and DOE Modify 2002 AgreementFebruary 2011
USEC and DOE agree on a modification to their 2002 agreement that includes milestones related to the deployment of the American Centrifuge uranium enrichment technology. In agreeing to these modifications, DOE recognizes the substantial progress that USEC has made to commercially deploy the American Centrifuge, as well as the promise of this U.S. technology and the importance of its deployment.
Loan Guarantee Application Moves to Next StageApril 2011
DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program Office substantially completed the due diligence and negotiation stage of the application process and advanced the American Centrifuge Plant application to the next phase.