The US Department of Energy has agreed to provide an addition $29.9 million in funding for USEC’s American Centrifuge research, development and demonstration project.

The agreement brings total DOE funding to $227.7 million, and is ‘sufficient’ to fund the programme through September 2013, USEC said.

USEC said that it continues to work with Congress and the administration to obtain funding for the remaining DOE cost-share needed to fund the RD&D programme to completion in December 2013. The cooperative agreement signed in June 2012 established an 80 percent-20 percent cost sharing split between DOE and USEC of ‘up to’ $350 million.

In a statement, USEC said that it believes an additional $48 million "would be sufficient to complete the RD&D programme, though there are no assurances the additional funding will be made available."

The administration included transfer authority of $48 million to fund the programme in the fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, and the same level is in the FY2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, USEC said.

USEC also reported that five of the programme’s nine milestones have been completed and certified by the Department of Energy (DOE). It said that the sixth milestone to test the effects of a power loss to the uranium centrifuge machines was completed in July, and DOE certification of that milestone is pending.


Photo: RD&D cascade (Source: USEC)