Congressional Leaders Call on DOE to Create and Save Jobs by Re-Enriching Depleted Uranium and Advancing American Centrifuge

January 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressional leaders from the Kentucky and Ohio delegations sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday urging him to take immediate action to create and protect jobs and maintain U.S. access to a vital resource by moving forward with the American Centrifuge and the re-enrichment of depleted uranium "tails." These tails are the byproduct from previous uranium enrichment conducted by the federal government -a public resource that is not currently being developed. Re-enrichment of these existing federal supplies has the potential to save thousands of jobs, raise billions of dollars in federal revenue, and bolster our national security. The members requested DOE take action to advance the re-enrichment programs at the existing U.S.-owned facility located in Paducah, Kentucky, as well as advancing the American Centrifuge Project in Ohio.

The members wrote, "According to the Government Accountability Office, a tails enrichment program would provide over $4 billion in federal revenue.  Moreover, re-enriching the tails could immediately save nearly 1,200 jobs located in Paducah, Kentucky and solve several problems that DOE currently faces should the Paducah plant close; namely, how to pay for maintaining the plant in cold storage.  Thousands more jobs would be supported by American Centrifuge projects.  Instead of losing thousands of jobs in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and other parts of our nation, we can create thousands more through re-enrichment and commercialization of American Centrifuge

"It is imperative that we move forward with American Centrifuge, and that the Paducah plant continues to operate so we have the ability to provide uranium from a reliable and secure source for our national security and domestic needs.

"The expedient resolution of these matters is within your authority, and prompt action by the DOE is the only way to protect thousands of jobs and strengthen America's energy and national security."

To view the full letter, click here.