GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s Global Laser Enrichment Receives Nuclear
Regulatory Commission License for Uranium Plant
First-of-a-Kind Facility Licensed by NRC to Make Laser Enrichment of Uranium a
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- September 25, 2012
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH) Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) today
announced receipt of its license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) to build a groundbreaking laser enrichment facility on the 1,600-acre
site of the company’s global headquarters in Wilmington, N.C.
While a commercialization decision must still be made by the company, the
license enables GLE to build a first-of-its-kind uranium enrichment facility
using lasers conceived of by Australian technology company SILEX and developed
by GLE experts. The company has worked with the NRC, the U.S. departments of
State and Energy and independent non-proliferation experts for several years
to ensure the security of this technology and has met—and in many cases
exceeded—all regulations pertaining to safeguarding this technology.
“Receiving our NRC license is a tremendous accomplishment and strong testament
to everyone involved in this project,” said Chris Monetta, president and CEO
of Global Laser Enrichment. “The technology we’ve developed could be one of
the keys to the nation’s long-term energy security. At a minimum, it could
provide a steady supply of uranium enriched right here in the U.S. to the
country’s nuclear reactors. These reactors provide approximately 20 percent of
the nation’s electricity today and will continue to be an important part of
the energy mix for decades to come.”
Today, a majority of enriched uranium made to produce nuclear fuel in the
United States comes from foreign or government-supplemented sources. The GLE
license, applied for in June 2009, will allow the laser enrichment plant to
produce up to 6 million single work units (SWU) per year in the United States.
The next step in the process is for the company to make a commercialization
decision. This decision will be based on several factors.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading
provider of advanced reactor technology and nuclear services. Established in
June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve
the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic
vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities
for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers
around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance
reactor performance, power output and safety.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Christopher White, +1 910-819-6121
Masto Public Relations
Tom Murnane or Howard Masto
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