Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Sole US Uranium Enrichment Corp Tumbles

For the contrarian uranium bug, there is one firm that's a little cheaper today. "Uranium enricher USEC Inc. on Wednesday said it will stop paying its common stock dividend in order to divert funds toward construction of its $1.7 billion American Centrifuge enrichment plant. The company also said it plans to access the equity markets this year."

"Shares of USEC fell more than 12 percent and were the top percentage losers on the New York Stock Exchange in afternoon trading. USEC, which supplies enriched uranium fuel to nuclear power plants, said in a statement it does not expect to pay a dividend until the plant is completed. The dividend requirement over the next five years would be nearly $250 million, the company said."

"USEC currently operates the only uranium enrichment facility in the United States, a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky. The company hopes to receive the license to begin construction of the American Centrifuge plant in Piketon, Ohio, late in 2006 or early 2007."

"'We know the cost of deploying the American Centrifuge technology will be significant,' said Chairman James Mellor. 'Every dollar of internally generated cash that we use to build our..plant is one less dollar USEC needs to raise in the capital markets.'"

"Louisiana Energy Services, a partnership of nuclear energy companies and utilities, has also filed to receive a license to build a uranium enrichment plant in New Mexico."

I have a friend who just got a job at the KY plant. They are operating at full capacity. While no new nuclear plants have been built, capacity factor improvements and re-rates have increased nuclear generation in the U.S. The political attitude toward nuclear is also improving. Many Democrats who want to regulate global warming are starting to see nuclear generation as part of the solution.
Do you like this one, Ben?
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