Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.

Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…