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United States Enrichment Corporation

Public (NYSE: USU)
HeadquartersBethesda, Maryland
Key peopleJohn K. Welch, CEO & Chairman
IndustryBasic Materials
ProductsIndustrial Metals & Minerals

The United States Enrichment Corporation, a subsidiary of USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU), is a corporation that contracts with the United States Department of Energy to produce enriched uranium for use in nuclear power plants.


The Energy Policy Act of 1992, a U.S. federal law, created USEC to privatize uranium enrichment for civilian use, and in July 1993 USEC took over the facilities. The sale of USEC was completed on July 28, 1998 through an initial public offering of USEC stock. The U.S. government received about three billion dollars for USEC.

USEC had gaseous diffusion plants at Piketon, Ohio near Portsmouth. In May 2001, USEC ceased uranium enrichment operations in Piketon and consolidated operations in Paducah, Kentucky. The following year, transfer and shipping operations were also consolidated at Paducah.

A demonstration gas centrifuge plant is being built at Piketon for operation in late 2007 or early 2008, and a full-size plant is planned there for operation in 2010 (if funding can be secured). One advantage of a gas centrifuge plant is that it would consume far less electricity than a gaseous diffusion plant.

At peak operation, the Paducah facility consumes about 3,000 megawatts of electricity. Power for the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant comes from Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates five nuclear reactors itself and is restarting one more.

In November 1996 USEC signed an exclusive licence and development agreement for the application of SILEX technology to uranium enrichment with an Australian company, Silex Systems Limited. USEC backed out of the SILEX agreement in May 2003 in order to concentrate resources on the demonstration and deployment of its American Centrifuge program.

The Department of Energy remains responsible for clean-up of the sites of materials left there prior to 1993.

USEC is the executive agent in the U.S./Russia Highly Enriched Uranium Purchase Agreement, implemented under the Megatons to Megawatts Program.

See also


    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "United_States_Enrichment_Corporation". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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