The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Tuesday, July 23, 2002

USEC rival adds enrichment firm based in Canada
Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia seem favored for a competing plant.

Staff Report

Cameco Corp. has joined a consortium of other energy-related companies that plans to build a uranium enrichment plant in the United States that would compete with USEC Inc., now the nation's only producer of enriched uranium used in nuclear fuel.

The consortium is headed by Urenco Limited, a major producer of nuclear fuel in Europe. Urenco is expected to announce later this summer a location for the new plant. Company officials have confirmed that Paducah has been considerd for the plant, but recent news reports say that three sites are under active consideration in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

The proposed plant would cost $1.1 billion and use centrifuge technology similar to what Urenco uses at its plants in Europe. The capacity would be 1 million units of nuclear fuel when it begins operating in 2007, and 3 million by 2012. It would employ about 200 people.

Cameco, with headquarters in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world's largest uranium enrichment supplier.

USEC Inc. also has announced it will build a new centrifuge plant that would be in operation in about eight years. The plant will be built in either Paducah or Piketon, Ohio, and replace the plant currently operating in Paducah that uses the 50-year-old gaseous diffusion process.