Sole U.S.-Owned Reactor-Fuel Enrichment Plant Denied Loan

"The federal government will not lend $2 billion to USEC, the sole American-owned uranium enrichment company, the Energy Department said on Tuesday.

The move casts doubt on the company's ability to commercialize its new technology, and probably leaves the market for making reactor fuel in the hands of European companies now building in the United States.

For the second time, the Energy Department turned down USEC, formerly the United States Enrichment Corporation, which was a government enterprise until it was spun off as a private company in 1998. USEC uses 55-year-old gaseous diffusion technology and is trying to replace its old plant, in Paducah, Ky., with centrifuges that use only about 5 percent as much electricity."

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times July 28, 2009.

See Also:

"USEC Scraps Uranium Plant, Mulls Options" (Reuters)

"U.S. Denies Loan Guarantee" (Greenwire)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009