Columbus Dispatch: Loan for Piketon plant gets bipartisan support

March 28, 2011 | Portman Difference

Sens. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and Rob Portman, a Republican, joined 14 members of the Ohio congressional delegation last week in urging the Obama administration to approve a $2billion loan guarantee to build a uranium-enrichment plant in southern Ohio.

In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the lawmakers wrote that the project "offers a unique capability for the United States and is worthy of national priority."

They also wrote that "this project will create an enormous number of jobs at a time when unemployment in Ohio is 9.6percent and in Pike County, where this project would be located, is at 14.8 percent."

USEC, the suburban Washington company attempting to build the plant, needs the administration to approve the loan guarantee to complete the $4 billion plant that would produce fuel for nuclear power plants.

In 2009, the administration rejected the loan guarantee application, raising doubts about the commercial viability of its technology.