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Ohio senators sponsor a bill to keep nuclear development going
Bill sets aside $150 million for Piketon uranium enrichment plant

Mark Urycki
In The Region:

Ohio's two U.S. senators are introducing a bill to put $150 million in federal money into the uranium enrichment project in southern Ohio. A spending bill passed Saturday did not include the money for the Piketon plant.

Piketon was first used to enrich uranium during the Cold War. Its new process would help nuclear power plants produce electricity.

Both Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman have advocated the project. They met with Energy Secretary Steven Chu Saturday.

Portman says the project transcends politics.


PORTMAN on Piketon importance

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“The alternative is laying off not just hundreds of people at the plant and about 2,000 people in the supply chain, but also losing a lot of talent. … I’ve talked to a bunch of them who are thinking about leaving because there’s so much uncertainty about funding going foward. And the problem there is you’re not going to have the expertise to have a domestic source of enriched uranium, which I think you have to have as a country.”

A Maryland company, USEC, has applied for a $2 billion dollar loan guarantee from the energy department  to get the project moving. The application is pending, and the energy department said in October that it plans to work with USEC to come up with ways to reduce the technical and financial risks. 

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