1985 — DOE briefly tests, then abandons about $1.5 billion in centrifuge work in favor of a more promising laser-based process. Uranium enrichment operations cease at Oak Ridge, Tenn.
1992 —Congress creates government-owned U.S. Enrichment Corp. to run Paducah and Piketon plants.
1998 —The government sells USEC for $1.9 billion in a public stock offering.
1999 —USEC abandons $100 million in laser research as not cost-efficient. Research returns to gas centrifuge.
2001 —USEC closes Piketon enrichment plant and merges work with Paducah.
November — After cutting about 350 jobs in the past four years, USEC announces eliminating another 200 positions next year at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant to save about $15 million annually. With early retirement as the primary incentive, the work force will shrink to 1,250 by early next year.
December — USEC names Piketon as site for a 50-job test gas centrifuge plant to be operational by 2005. The plant will run two or three years to test the operational and economic viability of opening a commercial plant by early next decade.
Spring 2003 — USEC applies for a test plant license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Late in year 2004 — USEC names Piketon or Paducah as site for $1.5 billion, 500-job commercial gas centrifuge plant.
Spring 2005 — USEC seeks NRC licensing for the commercial plant.
2010 —The commercial plant opens, if at Piketon.
2011 —The commercial plant opens, if at Paducah.