USEC ships final tons of uranium under Megatons to Megawatts program

Uranium mine

USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) shipped the last cylinders of low enriched uranium under the Megatons to Megawatts program from the Port of Baltimore to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Facility in Kentucky.

The Megatons to Megawatts program is a commercially financed government-industry partnership that downblended bomb-grade uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads and sold to USEC to help fuel U.S. nuclear power plants. Since 1995, USEC has purchased more than 14,000 metric tons of low enriched uranium downblended from 500 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium extracted from the equivalent of 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads. Nearly 10 percent of all the electricity generated in the U.S. has been fueled by this uranium since the late 1990s.

In 2011, USEC and Techsnabexport (TENEX) signed a multi-year contract to supply low enriched uranium to USEC starting in 2013, and ramp up the supply until it reaches a level in 2015 that is approximately one-half the level supplied by TENEX to USEC under the Megatons to Megawatts program.

“Together, USEC and Techsnabexport (TENEX), working in close partnership with our respective governments in the United States and Russia, have fueled the production of clean, reliable electricity through an historic non-proliferation program that USEC funded at no cost to taxpayers,” said John Welch, USEC’s president and chief executive officer. “Over the past two decades, our commercial business operations have greatly advanced the strategic policy goals of our national governments, benefitting all mankind with a safer, cleaner world.”

Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), said that its Farley, Hatch and Vogtle nuclear power plants used the uranium from the equivalent of 847 dismantled Russian nuclear warheads to power the reactors.

"Megatons to Megawatts was a remarkable program that promoted the peaceful reuse of former nuclear weapons material," said Southern Nuclear President and CEO Steve Kuczynski. "Southern Nuclear has been a great advocate of the peaceful reuse of former nuclear weapons material; this program demonstrated that we can turn swords into plowshares to benefit all parties involved."

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