Portsmouth DOE Plant Gets Green Light To Produce Low Enriched Uranium

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. House Representative Brad Wenstrup has released the following statement commending the Department of Energy’s (DOE) a $150 million award to produce High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) in southern Ohio:

“I strongly believe that as a nation, we must have the capability to enrich uranium right here in the United States. As the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown, we absolutely cannot rely on adversarial nations like Russia and China for products that are key to our national security,” said Rep. Wenstrup. “The High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium Demonstration Project is a significant step forward for this fully domestic enrichment technology, and I am proud to have fought for funding to ensure this project continues to move forward. There is no place better suited to tackle the challenge of safely supplying our nation’s enriched uranium needs than southern Ohio.”

HALEU is a crucial material needed to develop and deploy advanced reactors in the United States. Having a domestic uranium enrichment capacity is also critical for our military, as both the U.S. nuclear arsenal and Navy require fully domestic enriched uranium. Representative Wenstrup has consistently fought for funding to ensure the demonstration project moves forward, and he will continue to support efforts to expand uranium enrichment capacity at the DOE Portsmouth site going forward.

Background:

  • Today’s announcement ensures that the U.S. has a source of domestically enriched HALEU.
  • HALEU is an important fuel for the advanced reactors of the future and for national security applications.
  • Piketon is the only domestically owned uranium enrichment facility in the United States, and the only U.S. plant licensed to produce HALEU. 
  • In 2019, the Trump administration announced a new, three-year, $115 million contract with Centrus to produce HALEU after the Obama administration ended an earlier iteration of the project, the American Centrifuge Plant, in 2015.