Urenco will expand enrichment operations at New Mexico facility

July 11, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
A bank of Urenco centrifuges. (Photo: Urenco USA)

Urenco announced July 6 that it will expand enrichment capacity at its U.S. site in Eunice, N.M.—known as UUSA—by adding new centrifuge cascades to increase capacity by about 700 metric tons of separative work units per year, or a 15 percent increase, with the first new cascades coming on line in 2025.

The U.S. capacity increase project would be the first in what Urenco says is “a long-term plan to extend and refurbish enrichment capacity at our sites to meet increasing customer demand as more countries and utility companies turn to nuclear for the first time, or seek to extend and/or diversify fuel supplies for existing nuclear operations.”

A non-Russian alternative: Urenco says new commitments from U.S. customers for non-Russian fuel prompted its investment.

“This investment is a further sign of the exciting momentum behind nuclear, a reliable and low-carbon source that can maintain baseload energy and help us achieve net zero,” said chief executive officer Boris Schucht. “We have the licenses, designs, technology, and proven capability to expand our capacity, and we are already seeing an increase in demand for our services from existing customers and new ones. . . . We will continue to monitor, forecast, and support our customers and governments as we look to take further investment decisions across our enrichment sites.”

Urenco’s head office is located near London, U.K., and the company has enrichment facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the United States.

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