We’ve seen some questions floating around recently – most notably by Idaho Samizdat – about AREVA Enrichment Services’ recent submission for a revision of its license application to the Nuclear Regulation Commission for the possibility to increase facility capacity. As noted yesterday, AES has requested an increase in the future licensed capacity of the Eagle Rock facility from 3.3 million separative work units (SWU) to 6.6 million SWU per year. We’d like to take this chance to explain why we’re doing this.
Quite frankly, our plans have not changed. We still intend to build a 3.3 million SWU facility. As AREVA indicated before, the plant can be expanded if market conditions favor such expansion. The expansion decision will be made in the future based on the conditions at the time. Having said that, however we have higher level of confidence in new reactor construction in the U.S. and other parts of the world, which will contribute to higher demand for enrichment. To be ready for such possibility, and to reduce time and cost for both the NRC and AREVA we decided to apply for a license for a larger facility so in case AREVA decides to expand, it would be able to so without further licensing.
The decision to leave open the possibility of expansion demonstrates our confidence in the revival of the U.S. nuclear energy sector and our commitment to making this revival a reality. We’re seeing a lot of promise in the nuclear market worldwide and we are taking the prudent steps to prepare for it.
Please don’t hesitate to comment if you’ve got any more questions… we’d be glad to answer them! This kind of dialogue is exactly what this blog is designed for.
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