Lead Cascade

Life cycle timeline showing current status, consisting of 6 various stages of status (Pre-Licensing, Licensing, Construction, Operating, Operating with Intent to Decommission, Decommissioning) with the current status shown in bright red color, and the other available status are greyed out

Aerial photo of USEC - Lead Cascade Facility, Piketon, OH  

Location: Piketon, OH
Licensee: Centrus Energy Corp.
Operating License: SNM-7003
License Expires:
Docket Number: 07007003

Facility Type: Uranium Enrichment – Gas Centrifuge
Facility Status: Decommissioning

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Licence Status: Decommissioning
Permanently Ceased Operation: March 2, 2016
Centrifuges De-Inventoried: March 17, 2016
Estimated Closure: TBD
Project Manager: Yawar Faraz

Site Status Summary

The Lead Cascade was a test loop of the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) located in Piketon, OH. The Lead Cascade demonstrated the effectiveness of the centrifuge design and equipment by processing uranium in a closed loop. After the demonstration was completed, the facility made a financial decision to cease uranium enrichment operations in February 2016, followed by removal of uranium gas from the centrifuges and process piping, dismantling of process equipment, and other actions needed to ultimately decommission the facility.

In March 2016, American Centrifuge Operating, LLC (ACO) notified the NRC of Centrus Energy Corp's decision to cease operation at the Lead Cascade and to terminate the Lead Cascade's Materials license (SNM-7003). In May, ACO submitted a proposed amendment to the license to downgrade licensed activities at the Lead Cascade to "Limited Operations" and to remove the regulatory permission to enrich. After conducting a site visit to verify the company's claims, NRC issued an approval to the license amendment in December 2016.

In January 2018, Centrus submitted a revised decommissioning plan for the Lead Cascade facility.  The final status survey report for the facility was submitted in April 2018 and independent confirmatory surveys were conducted in May 2018.  The staff approved the decommissioning in August 2018.  A request to terminate the Lead Cascade facility license was submitted in August following approval of the DP and is currently under review by the staff.

Complex Materials Classification

The Lead Cascade facility is currently classified as a complex materials site because it has ceased all operational activities and entered decommissioning status. However, project management responsibility was retained by the NRC's Division of Fuel Cycle Safety, Safeguards, and Environmental Review due to other Centrus licenses that remain active at the same location.

Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

No regulatory or technical issues are expected.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 09, 2021