Maryland-based United States Enrichment Corp. (USEC) formally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Mar. 5.
The action has been expected since last December. USEC’s finances have been hammered by persistently low prices and weak demand for low-enriched uranium (LEU), as well by difficulties with a long-delayed project to develop a new centrifuge enrichment technology in Ohio. That initiative is being run in part via a cost-sharing arrangement with the Department of Energy, an arrangement that has had substantial political overtones in recent years.
USEC has spent $2.5 billion on the project but says it needs another $4 billion to complete it.
The filing with the bankruptcy court listed $70 million in assets and $1.07 billion in liabilities. USEC shut down its two gaseous diffusion plants last year but will continue supplying customers from its stockpile during the proceedings.
—Thomas W. Overton is a POWER associate editor (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine)