Tenex and USEC sign LEU supply contract, discuss enrichment facility in the U.S.

U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) and Russia's Tekhsnabexport (Tenex) signed a contract that will provide USEC with access to Russian low-enriched uranium after 2013, when the current HEU-LEU deal ends. The contract reportedly includes supply of 21 million SWU over ten years at the cost of $2.8 billion. USEC will return to Russia the natural uranium component of the LEU supplied under the contract.

The two companies have also agreed to conduct a feasibility study that would explore a possibility of building in the United States of an enrichment facility that would use Russian gas centrifuge technology. Rosatom has been expressing interest in this project for several years now (see reports from 2008, 2009, and 2010). The project, however, is likely to encounter some resistance in the United States - economic as well as political. 

In addition to the USEC arrangement, Tekhsnabexport is also signing direct contracts with the U.S. utilities - agreements with Excelon and Fuelco have been reported so far.