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Areva plans uranium enrichment facility expansion

Source: Power Engineering International (PEI) | April 22nd, 2009
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

Areva Enrichment Services plans to double the capacity of its Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant to 6.6 separative work units (SWU) a year.

The company told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) it would revise the application to double the plant’s capacity from an originally planned 3.3 million SWU.

Areva decided to revise the application to give it flexibility to build a bigger plant if market conditions warrant.

If approved, full capacity production would occur in 2022, four years later than under the original application.

Doubling capacity requires building two additional separations buildings. These would be identical to the two specified in the original application. Each building would have its own uranium hexafluoride handling area and two cascade halls. The expanded plant would hold 96 cascades and be capable of producing eight different tails assays at any one time.

Areva said it plans to submit the formal application revision by April 23 and expects the revision to have little effect on the NRC’s application review schedule. Areva hopes to start construction in 2011.