Areva receives license for uranium enrichment plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Oct. 12 issued a license to Areva Enrichment Services LLC (AES) to construct and operate a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The license for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility authorizes AES to enrich uranium up to 5 percent by weight in the fissile isotope U-235 for use in the manufacture of nuclear fuel for commercial nuclear power reactors.

AES submitted its application Dec. 30, 2008 and the NRC staff completed thorough safety and environmental reviews of the proposed facility. A safety evaluation report was published in September 2010, with the staff’s conclusion that AES’s proposed facility complies with NRC regulations and would not pose an undue risk to the health and safety of workers or the public. An environmental impact statement was published in February 2011, with the determination that there would be no significant environmental impacts that would preclude licensing of the facility.

AES plans to begin construction in 2012.

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