Skip to main content

NRC Issues License for Gas Centrifuge Uranium Enrichment Plant in Ohio

From NRC:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to USEC Inc. to construct and operate a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant reservation near Piketon, Ohio.

The facility, to be known as the American Centrifuge Plant, will use a design based on gas centrifuge technology developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to enrich uranium for use in fuel for commercial nuclear power reactors. The license authorizes USEC to enrich uranium up to 10 percent of the fissile isotope uranium-235.

USEC submitted its application for the license Aug. 23, 2004. The NRC staff published an environmental impact statement (NUREG-1834) on the facility in April 2006, finding that there would be no significant adverse environmental impacts that would preclude granting a license. The staff’s safety evaluation report (NUREG-1851), published last September, documents the staff’s review of the application.

Comments

WEVidalin said…
I think a lot of us “old timers” would like to see these guys succeed. That centrifuge design they inherited from the DOE was 25 years ahead of its time, back in the 1980’s. Fast forward to today, and it is still more advanced than anything else in the world. If they succeed this time around, the electrical consumption should be only 5% of the old gaseous diffusion method.

Currently our enrichment capacity as a nation supplies only half the needs of our 104 operating nuclear plants (5 million SWUs vs. 11 Million SWUs). The Europeans are beginning to question the wisdom getting so much of their natural gas supply from the Russians, yet HALF our nation’s enriched uranium is provided courtesy of Mr. Putin. So have those Europeans have been foolhardy? Neyt?

There is a take home message here. At $2.5 Billion, that American Centrifuge Plant in Ohio may not be entirely economic. You guy in the government listening?

--Bill V

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…