USEC Inc. (USU) Reports $13.6M of New Funding for American Centrifuge Project

October 29, 2013 3:49 PM EDT
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On October 25, 2013, USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) and its subsidiary American Centrifuge Demonstration, LLC (“ACD”) entered into Amendment No. 009 to the cooperative agreement dated June 12, 2012 between the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) and USEC and ACD (the “Amendment”) for the research, development and demonstration (“RD&D”) program for the American Centrifuge project. The Amendment amends the cooperative agreement to provide for additional government obligated funds of $13.6 million, bringing total government obligated funding to $241.3 million. The cooperative agreement provides funding for a cost-share RD&D program to demonstrate the American Centrifuge technology through the construction and operation of a commercial demonstration cascade of 120 centrifuge machines and sustain the domestic U.S. centrifuge technical and industrial base for national security purposes and potential commercialization of the American Centrifuge technology. The cooperative agreement provides for 80% DOE and 20% USEC cost sharing for work performed during the period June 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013. DOE’s contribution is incrementally funded. The other terms and conditions, including the milestones and performance indicators under the RD&D program were not changed by the Amendment.

The $13.6 million of additional government funding provided by the Amendment is for the RD&D program funding period November 2, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Although the $13.6 million of funding ($17 million, including USEC’s $3.4 million cost share) is not sufficient to fund the RD&D program through December 31, 2013, the Amendment states that there is an expectation that DOE would provide additional funding for the RD&D program for the funding period ending December 31, 2013. The remaining funding would be made through a subsequent modification to the cooperative agreement, with the amount of such funding to be determined. USEC expects cumulative spending for the RD&D program for the period June 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013 to be approximately $320 million. This amount is less than the originally estimated cost of the program of up to $350 million as a result of cost savings achieved by the Company and spending reductions made by the Company to complete the program technical milestones within the reduced government funds anticipated to be available for the program.

The government fiscal year 2014 continuing appropriations resolution passed by Congress and signed by the President on October 16, 2013 provided for continued funding for the U.S. government from October 1, 2013 through January 15, 2014. This resolution continued funding for the RD&D program at the government fiscal year 2013 annual rate of $110 million, less any automatic spending cuts applied to U.S. government spending. USEC believes that this level of funding, if provided, will be sufficient to fund the RD&D program through December 31, 2013 and achieve the remaining technical milestones within the reduced spending plan described above.

There is no assurance that additional funding will be made available. DOE’s remaining cost share is conditioned upon USEC continuing to meet all milestones and deliverables on schedule, USEC continuing to demonstrate to DOE’s satisfaction its ability to meet future milestones, and the availability of such government funding.

The Company, or its subsidiaries, is also a party to a number of other agreements or arrangements with the U.S. government, as described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

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