Producing Commercial Low Enriched Uranium
Most of the buildings required for the commercial plant were constructed in Piketon during the 1980s by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These existing structures include a centrifuge assembly building, a uranium feed and withdrawal building, and two enrichment production buildings with space for approximately 11,500 centrifuges.
USEC began renovating and building the American Centrifuge Plant following receipt of a construction and operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC issued the Construction and Operating License for the American Centrifuge Plant in April 2007, and USEC began construction on the American Centrifuge Plant in May 2007.
Construction of the physical plant includes various systems such as electric, telecommunications, HVAC and water distribution. Other plant infrastructure that must be completed include the piping that enables UF 6 gas to flow throughout the enrichment production facility, process systems to support the centrifuge machines and cascades, a distributed control system to monitor and control the enrichment processing equipment, and facilities to feed natural uranium into the process system and withdraw enriched uranium product. USEC demobilized most construction activities in August 2009 due to project funding uncertainty. In 2012, USEC resumed construction in one process building to replace legacy systems with new plant systems and infrastructure required for the RD&D program. In addition, plant design activities related to the uranium feed and withdrawal facility continue under the RD&D program.
Fluor Corporation is the primary engineering supplier for the commercial plant and will perform certain construction activities. Other commercial plant work will be performed by other contractors, with USEC performing construction management for those activities.
Construction of the American Centrifuge Plant is expected to result in more than 800 construction jobs and more than 2,000 indirect jobs in the local community at its peak.
When completed, the plant would employ more than 450 workers at full production and would support more than 1,000 indirect jobs in the community.