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July 28, 2015

USEC Maintains Involvement in Centrifuge Project

Workers test a centrifuge (USEC)

Workers test a centrifuge (USEC)

The financially troubled company that had been bumped from managing the American Centrifuge Project, USEC Inc., expects to remain involved in the facility until March and possibly into September of 2015.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in May took over management of the Piketon, Ohio, project to maintain technology that could be used to manufacture weapons material. At the end of last month, Oak Ridge signed USEC as a subcontractor under UT-Battelle for an additional six months to March 31, with an option to extend to Sept. 30, 2015, according to a statement from the company.

The diminished role for the company, which is dealing with bankruptcy, includes continued cascade operations, research and reporting, but does not include construction or engineering.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has said that he hopes to procure funding for the project in a continuing resolution when Congress returns from recess.

Other members of Congress have questioned Energy Department transfers of uranium to the company and the value of propping up the project.

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