NM uranium enrichment plant considering expansion

EUNICE, N.M. (AP) - A uranium enrichment plant in southeastern New Mexico is eyeing a third expansion that would double the $3 billion plant's capacity.

But the president and chief executive officer of Urenco USA, Gregory Smith, says it's not a done deal.

The facility near Eunice is using an enrichment process that employs centrifuges to separate uranium isotopes.

The enriched uranium will supply fuel for nuclear power plants in the United States and overseas.

Last June, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorized startup of the plant, which is the first major nuclear facility licensed in the United States in three decades.

An expansion would extend the plant's construction for three more years to 2017.

Smith says the potential expansion would help Urenco meet demands for enriched uranium from its current customers.