Wednesday, August 05, 2009

USEC Gets a Reprieve

piketon-usec-300x187 Or even wins. Note the two posts about USEC below – it’s all about the company’s American Centrifuge project and DOE’s rejection of its loan guarantee application to move it to the next stage – and USEC’s almost ferocious response to that rejection.

And now, DOE issues a press release:

The Department of Energy and USEC Inc. today announced an agreement to delay a final review on the company’s loan guarantee application for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, OH.

There’s a good deal of give on both sides of the issue. From USEC:

As it has indicated, the Department sees promise in the ACP technology, but USEC’s application does not meet all the statutory and regulatory standards that would permit the agency to grant a loan guarantee at this time.  Both DOE and USEC recognize that meeting these criteria will likely take six months or more.

Okay, so USEC accepts that the application needs more work. From DOE:

The Department plans to defer review of the application until a series of specific technology and financial milestones have been met. The milestones that have been conveyed to USEC are in line with the criteria and legal requirements of the 2005 EPACT statute and the subsequent Title 17 loan guarantee regulations.

Okay, okay, so DOE seems ready – or at least willing - to grant a loan guarantee if USEC meets some milestones. We expect USEC can do that and that DOE will be open to granting the guarantee.

However you slice it, a big win for USEC and a demonstration – which we’ve seen multiple times – of the Obama administration’s willingness to roll over an issue a second time to see if it can be done better. It’s unusual – since it raises questions of indecisiveness – but the results are usually pretty good. We’ll take it.

The USEC Piketon Plant – this is where the American Centrifuge will live.


Joffan said...

Well this is only a slight rephrasing of the DOE's prior verdict that the USEC application is not yet ready for a loan guarantee. I'm glad USEC sees it as a win, but even more bemused that they chose to hold a knife at their own throat from the original outcome. Kudos to the DOE for persuading them to put it down.

Anonymous said...

this is not an actual comment, just an idea - perhaps you've heard about the Clean Skies News Network featured by Rod Adams on his blog. Here is a suggestion from a commenter: " I think it would be a shame if people gave up on CleanSkies because of fear. While anti-nuke stories can certainly be found on the site and the Sierra Club enjoys its own small subsection in the VIEWPOINTS area there are also several examples of fine interviews with effective nuclear proponents like Dr. Patrick Moore (formerly of Greenpeace)

I think Dr. Moore got in some terrific points for nuclear in this interview and the performance of CleanSkies' reporter was intelligent and balanced.

I have some hope for CleanSkies. I hope nuclear advocates will visit and keep the intelligent news staff honest with extended comments that the website is liberal enough to permit.
Robert Steinhaus"

Would the NEI would be the perfect crew to have a "channel" or so there?

And if you try to get a news piece there and get rejected it still counts as epic win. :D

Anonymous said...

I don't think the people who are being laid off during the six month waiting period would consider it a "win", and they likely would prefer not to "take it".

Look, it's simple. Obama said during the campaign he would support the loan guarantee for the ACP. He said that, plain as day. The question is, was he being truthful, or not? The people took him at his word, and the DOE (Obama's agency now) pulled the rug out from under them. Either Obama keeps his word, or shuts his yap about it.