American Centrifuge Project shuts down

Centrus, the company developing the AC100 American Centrifuge, has shut the project down. The AC100 technology was originally developed by the US Department of Energy at a reported cost of over $3 billion over 10 years. It was handed over to the United States Enrichment Corporation, a government agency set up in 1992 and privatized in 1998 as USEC.

USEC had applied for and been granted a combined construction and operating license for a commercial enrichment plant based on the AC100 technology in 2007, and commercial operation was expected by 2010. The plant was never built, although pilot cascades did begin operations in March 2010.

USEC filed for bankruptcy in 2014 and changed its name to Centrus. The company then gave control of the technology back to the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2015, the Department of Energy cut funding by 60 percent and shut down the 120 centrifuge test cascade at the Piketon site in Ohio. Centrus has been funding the work at this since late 2015. This work has now been ended.

Limited work on centrifuge technology development is to continue for now at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee site.