11 June 2010
The URENCO USA uranium enrichment facility, located in Eunice, New Mexico, today received authorisation from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it may begin accepting operational delivery of uranium hexafluoride feed stock. The authorisation allows URENCO USA (formerly the National Enrichment Facility) to begin commercial operations enriching uranium for use as nuclear fuel.
Over the next few weeks, URENCO USA will begin the methodical process of safely transitioning the plant to fully operational status. When done, the company will provide both the US and international customers with a US based supply of nuclear fuel.
Gregory OD Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer for LES and its URENCO USA facility, commented on the NRC approval, “This marks a major milestone for URENCO USA as we officially move from construction status to operational. It’s the culmination of more than twenty years of commitment by URENCO to this project and a decade of dedicated work by all who made this a reality. It’s a proud moment for the state of New Mexico and the community that welcomed us here. It’s also a turning point for the US nuclear industry. URENCO USA will provide safe, cost effective and reliable US based uranium enrichment services to the commercial nuclear industry.”
The URENCO USA facility is the first to use URENCO’s world-leading centrifuge technology in the US. At full capacity, the facility will produce sufficient enriched uranium for nuclear fuel to supply approximately 10% of the electricity needs for the US.
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Notes to editors:
URENCO USA / LES
LES is a wholly owned subsidiary of URENCO Ltd. The URENCO USA, New Mexico, plant is the nation’s most advanced uranium enrichment facility and will provide a secure domestic enrichment supply source to US nuclear energy companies for many years to come.
The URENCO Group
URENCO is an independent international energy and technology group with its head office based in Marlow in the UK. URENCO operates facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and New Mexico in the US. It operates in a pivotal area of the nuclear fuel supply chain, which enables the sustainable generation of electricity for consumers around the world.
Utilising its own world-leading centrifuge technology, URENCO provides safe, cost-effective and reliable uranium enrichment services for civil power generation within a framework of high environmental, social and corporate responsibility standards. Currently URENCO fulfils around 25% of the global enrichment market, and aims to establish itself as the leading global supplier of enrichment and enrichment technology.
Name: Jayne Hallett
Title Head of Group Communications
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Name: Don A Johnson
Title Communications Manager, URENCO USA
Direct Tel: +1 575 394 6099
Name: Howard Lee, Rachel Lankester or Tom Gough
Direct Tel: +44 (0) 207 367 5225 or 5226 or 5228
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