Washington Group International Inc. has been awarded a contract by Louisiana Energy Services to provide construction management services for a uranium enrichment facility in Eunice, N.M.
The National Enrichment Facility (NEF) will provide the U.S. with an alternative domestic source of the enriched uranium required to operate the country's commercial nuclear power plants.
The NEF will provide more than 200 permanent jobs and more than 400 multi-year construction jobs in southeast New Mexico. Preconstruction activities have begun, and the project is scheduled to be completed in 2009.
Most of the low-enriched uranium essential for fueling commercial power plants is produced abroad, and the new NEF will help provide a reliable sustainable domestic supply of the material. When the NEF is operating at full capacity, it will produce enough material to meet approximately one-fourth of the current U.S. enrichment services demand.
"The increased interest in nuclear power and desire for energy independence makes this an important project," said Lou Pardi, president of the company's Power Business Unit. "Washington Group has maintained a substantial core of expertise in nuclear services since the inception of the commercial nuclear era, and providing this essential nuclear fuel will help reduce the nation's dependence on the worldwide energy market."