Stock sale of uranium agency approved

The Treasury Department has approved a plan to privatize the U.S. Enrichment Corp. through a public stock offering that could net the government more than $2 billion.

Under the plan, USEC, which supplies enriched uranium for use in commercial nuclear power plants, would offer 100 million shares of stock for $13.50 to $16.50 each, resulting in proceeds of $1.35 billion to $1.65 billion. USEC says it will also borrow $550 million from banks and pay $500 million to the Treasury in connection with the sale. As a result, the government could receive up to $2.15 billion in what will be one of the largest privatizations in American history.

According to USEC officials, the corporation has a 75 percent share of the North American market for enriched uranium and 40 percent of the world market.

The announcement of the stock sale culminates a lengthy privatization process that began with the creation of USEC in the 1992 Energy Policy Act as the first step in transferring federal uranium enrichment operations to the private sector. In 1995, USEC officials proposed exploring "dual-path" privatization, saying they would consider both a stock sale and the sale of the corporation to a private company.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Treasury Department had rejected bids from two groups of companies, one led by Lockheed Martin Corp. and the other by General Atomics Corp. William J. Rainer, chairman of USEC's board of directors, said the board unanimously voted to go with a public stock offering instead.

The Journal also reported that Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., has asked the Clinton administration to conduct a new national security review of the USEC proposal. Domenici is concerned about reports showing that USEC has 30 million more pounds of unenriched uranium on its hands than had previously been reported. Efforts to sell that material could hurt the government's plan to have USEC purchase $8 billion worth of uranium from Russia as part of an ongoing effort to remove weapons-grade materials from the former Soviet Union.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.