S 1135

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1135

To provide for the reenrichment of certain depleted uranium owned by the Department of Energy, and for the sale or barter of the resulting reenriched uranium, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 26, 2011

Mr. MCCONNELL (for himself and Mr. PAUL) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To provide for the reenrichment of certain depleted uranium owned by the Department of Energy, and for the sale or barter of the resulting reenriched uranium, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Energy and Revenue Enrichment Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) DEPARTMENT- The term `Department' means the Department of Energy.

      (2) ENRICHMENT PLANT- The term `enrichment plant' means a uranium enrichment plant owned by the Department of Energy with respect to which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made a determination of compliance under section 1701(b)(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2297f(b)(2)).

      (3) QUALIFIED OPERATOR- The term `qualified operator' means a company that has experience in operating an enrichment plant under Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorization and has the ability and workforce to enrich the depleted uranium that is owned by the Department of Energy.

      (4) REENRICHMENT- The term `reenrichment' means increasing the weight percent of U-235 in uranium in order to make the uranium usable.

      (5) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Energy.

SEC. 3. REENRICHMENT CONTRACT.

    (a) In General-

      (1) REQUIREMENT- The Secretary shall enter into a contract with a qualified operator for a 24 month pilot program for the reenrichment at an enrichment plant of the depleted uranium described in section 2(3) that the Secretary finds economically viable. The Secretary shall seek to maximize the financial return to the Federal Government in negotiating the terms of such contract.

      (2) AMOUNT OF ENRICHMENT- The Secretary shall, during each year of the pilot program under this subsection, conduct uranium reenrichment under such program in an amount (measured in separative work units) equal to approximately 25 percent of the aggregate uranium enrichment conducted in the United States during calendar year 2010.

      (3) ECONOMIC VIABILITY- For purposes of paragraph (1), uranium shall be considered economically viable if the cost to the United States of the reenrichment thereof, including the costs of the contract entered into under paragraph (1), are less than the revenue anticipated from the sale of the reenriched uranium.

    (b) Commencement of Reenrichment Activities- Reenrichment activities under the contract entered into under subsection (a) shall commence as soon as possible, but no later than June 1, 2012.

    (c) Sale of Reenriched Uranium- The Secretary may from time to time sell the reenriched uranium generated pursuant to the contract entered into under subsection (a).

    (d) Allocation and Use of Proceeds- Any funds received by the Secretary from the sale of reenriched uranium generated pursuant to the contract entered into under subsection (a) shall be allocated as follows:

      (1) First, such funds shall be available to the Secretary, without further appropriation and without fiscal year limitation, to carry out this section, including amounts required to be paid under the contract entered into under subsection (a).

      (2) Any amounts not required for the purposes described in paragraph (1) shall be transferred to the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund established in section 1801 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2297g), to be available for use, without further appropriation and without fiscal year limitation.

SEC. 4. DEPLETED URANIUM.

    (a) Title and Responsibility for Disposition- The Secretary shall assume title to, and responsibility for the disposition of, all depleted uranium generated pursuant to the contract entered into under section 3(a).

    (b) Funding for Reenrichment- To provide funding for payments under the contract entered into under section 3(a), the Secretary may--

      (1) assume title to, and responsibility for the disposition of, depleted uranium in addition to the depleted uranium specified in subsection (a); and

      (2) transfer to the qualified operator title to uranium generated as a result of the reenrichment pursuant to the contract entered into under section 3(a).

SEC. 5. LIMITATION ON FEDERAL URANIUM SALES.

    (a) Initial Period- Notwithstanding section 3112(d) of the USEC Privatization Act (42 U.S.C. 2297h-10(d)), during the 24 month pilot program and the subsequent 24 months after that program is complete, the Secretary may not during any calendar year sell an amount of uranium that exceeds 15 percent of the United States' domestic uranium supply for that year.

    (b) Subsequent Period- After the expiration of the 48 month period described in subsection (a), the Secretary may not during any calendar year sell an amount of uranium that exceeds 10 percent of the United States' domestic uranium supply for that year, except to the extent that the Secretary determines that such sales will have no significant effect on uranium markets.

END