2 June 2010
URENCO is pleased to announce the inauguration today of its URENCO USA/LES enrichment facility in Eunice, New Mexico.
The inauguration marks a major milestone for URENCO as well as for the US nuclear industry. Using URENCO’s world-leading centrifuge technology (the first time this technology has been used in the US), URENCO USA/LES will provide safe, cost effective and reliable uranium enrichment services to the US civil nuclear industry.
The facility is currently awaiting final NRC approval to commence commercial operations, which is expected shortly. When fully operational, the facility will produce 5,700 tSW/a, providing enrichment services to the US nuclear generation market. At full capacity it is expected that the facility will produce sufficient enriched uranium for nuclear fuel to supply approximately 10% of the electricity needs for the US.
The facility is operated by URENCO USA/LES, a US subsidiary of URENCO Ltd. In August 2006, groundbreaking took place for the first nuclear facility to receive a joint construction and operational licence. The facility is the most technologically advanced facility of its type in the US and the first to adopt centrifuge technology.
To reflect URENCO’s US interest, Charlie Pryor, who currently serves as Chair to the URENCO USA Inc Board, has also been appointed as Special Advisor to the URENCO Board and in this respect will attend future meetings.
Commenting on the announcement, Helmut Engelbrecht, Chief Executive of the URENCO Group said,
"Nuclear energy generates a safe, reliable supply of electricity and URENCO plays a key role in the provision of enriched uranium to fuel nuclear generation. We are delighted to inaugurate today our fourth enrichment facility which will enable us to provide both US and international customers with a US based supply of nuclear fuel services. We say a particular thank you to the people of Lea County, New Mexico, and to the outstanding teams who have helped to construct this first major commercial US nuclear facility in decades. This is a substantial achievement and we look forward to providing our high-technology services to the industry for many years to come."
Above: URENCO USA aerial shot, May 2010
Notes to editors
LES, LLC 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 fuel 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 United Kingdom. URENCO operates facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and New Mexico in the United States. 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: 001 575-394-6099
Name: Howard Lee, Rachel Lankester or Tom Gough
Title: HeadLand Consultancy
Direct Tel: +44 (0) 207 367 5225 or 5226 or 5228
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