GAO examines transactions between DOE and former USEC

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report that examines 23 transactions between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the uranium enrichment company formerly known as USEC.

Following USEC’s bankruptcy reorganization, the company is now known as Centrus Energy (NYSE:LEU).

GAO did not make any recommendations in the Oct. 13 report. DOE reviewed a draft of this report and provided technical comments that GAO incorporated as appropriate.

DOE has had a long and complex relationship with USEC Inc. and its successor, Centrus Energy.

Until 2013, USEC, a government corporation that was privatized in 1998, was the only company enriching uranium that, according to DOE, could meet DOE’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) needs for tritium production.

But USEC ceased enrichment operations in May 2013, and the future of its planned next-generation American Centrifuge enrichment facility is uncertain. GAO has previously reported on financial and other transactions involving DOE and USEC, including transactions that involved the transfer of uranium.

GAO was asked to report on the history of the financial relationship between DOE and USEC. This report (1) identifies transactions involving DOE and USEC since USEC was privatized and (2) describes the costs and benefits, if any, of these transactions to DOE, as identified by DOE.

GAO defines a transaction as a contract or agreement providing for an exchange of monetary payments, uranium of any type, or services between or involving DOE and USEC occurring from USEC’s privatization on July 28, 1998, through July 1, 2015.

GAO analyzed key DOE and USEC documents and interviewed DOE and Centrus Energy officials. GAO issued a full 65-page report along with a one-page summary of its work.

For more information, contact David C. Trimble at (202) 512-3841 or trimbled@gao.gov.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.