DOE runs concept up flagpole with House Appropriations Committee
The Chillicothe Gazette, a southern Ohio newspaper, reports March 27 that Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the House Appropriations Committee this week he wants to give $2 billion loan guarantees to both USEC and Areva for new uranium enrichment plants.
At the same time Steve Isakowitz, DOE’s Chief Financial Officer, also reportedly sent a letter to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.
In it he said the agency will use $4 billion in loan guarantee authority split two ways. The first $2 billion will be allocated to Areva for “front-end nuclear fuel facilities.” The other $2 billion will be used for “innovative technologies.”
USEC’s American Centrifuge Facilities has been delayed by technology issues. DOE’s latest efforts to get it into the success column has been to provide $45 million for additional technology development.
Areva’s project in Idaho will use proven gas centrifuge technology already installed in two other uranium enrichment plants. An NRC license for the Idaho plant is expected in 2011.
# # #