Now this potentially billion dollar deal involves some major players in the nuclear energy industry. First is USEC itself, then of course you have to throw in the DOE, TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority), and Energy Northwest all of which are government owned or ran agencies. The only one of which should be unknown to people of this area is Energy Northwest, so there is a link to said entity. By the way they only operate one nuclear powerhouse, Columbia Generating Station.
Now what gets me about this is that Energy Northwest only operates one nuclear plant, while TVA has a plethora in comparison. Furthermore, Mitch McConnel, Rand Paul, and Ed Whitfield were 100% behind this deal. What is even more alarming is that all of this was done in secret proceedings, and it is now announced that TVA will be receiving low-enriched uranium which they will be further enriching to tritium. Am I lost here, I thought the Cold War was over!
Now I am certainly not a nuclear physcist, but I will attempt to walk you through the life cycle of tritium. First of all tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It is produced in nuclear fission reactors of uranium-235, plutonium-239, and uranium-233 and more or less is a byproduct of said fission. And here is a fact sheet on Tritium via Argonne National Laboratories
Oh yeah, there was one other government agency that I neglected to tell you about. That was the National Nuclear Security Administration, the entity who is going to get tritium from the TVA. Said tritium is only used for one thing-- nuclear weapons. I do not know why the NNSA is needing it unless their existing supplies of it has naturally decayed on them, a process which takes about twelve years.
Now let me see if I understand this correctly-- it is perfectly fine to want to spend the government's money if you are trying to help save the jobs of thousands of people. Oh wait, that was exactly what George W Bush started and Obama finished with the TARP funds and it involved much more people than USEC does. Wait just a minute-- Bush and Obama were not part of the TEA Party and this Party of No which Mitch McConnel helped to found. Never heard of the Party of No, well it was Republican Senators and Congressmen who met on the night of Obama's swearing in who vowed to vote no on everything he tried to pass. This is the real reason why Obama has not been able to accomplish much-- because McConnel has fought tooth and nail and more or less filibustered everything Obama and the Democrats tried to pass. Now I am more or less certain that our founding fathers like Ben Franklin would be very, very disappointed in them for doing such! I can say this because much debate was taken place in secret back in 1776. And for more on this subject you are urged to visit congressman Markey's website.
As is noted on his website, the government could save millions of dollars if they allowed Nuclear Fuel Services to downblend their highly enriched uranium, instead of relying on USEC to do so!