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What: Shares of USEC (NYSE: USU) have traded up as much as 11% today. The low enriched uranium (LEU) producer announced last night that the Department of Energy is proceeding to the next stage of a $2 billion loan guarantee for the company's American Centrifuge Project.

So what: According to the company, "The American Centrifuge Plant is an advanced uranium enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio, which will produce low enriched uranium, a key component for the fabrication of commercial nuclear fuel."

Now what: USEC says the plant's capacity would equal about one-third of the fuel requirements for all commercial power reactors in the U.S. It began construction on the plant in 2007 but needs more funding to complete it -- even beyond the $2 billion DOE loan guarantee, if that comes to fruition. As the company itself says that it has "no assurance that it will be successful in obtaining any or all of the financing it is seeking," this is obviously a high-risk investment.

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Fool analyst Rex Moore owns no companies mentioned here. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.