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Revolving Door, Nuclear Power Edition

The former No. 2 official in the Department of Energy (DOE) has accepted a million-dollar job with a nuclear company, prompting criticism from good government advocates over the revolving door of officials taking lucrative deals after they leave government service.

Daniel Poneman was the Energy Department’s second most powerful official for five years before he resigned last fall. He now will become the president and CEO of Centrus Energy Corporation, which previously operated as United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC). Centrus will pay Poneman $1.7 million a year.

Created by Congress in 1992 as a way of privatizing DOE’s uranium enrichment operations, USEC had considerable dealings with DOE, receiving lucrative contracts and federal aid to produce enriched uranium for use in nuclear power plants. Since 2012 it has received more than $440 million from the U.S. Congress to keep it operational.