GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's Global Laser Enrichment announced plans late Wednesday night to slow the pace of work on their uranium enrichment technology citing adverse conditions in the uranium market.
GLE will consolidate their efforts to the Wilmington facility, suspending most contract based work at their Tennessee facility. The assignments for the approximately two dozen contract workers at the Wilmington location will conclude in the coming weeks.
The announcement was unexpected according to a news release from Silex Systems Limited, the company that licenses the technology to GLE. Silex CEO Dr. Michael Goldswory says " the global nuclear industry is still suffering the impacts of the Fukushima event and the shutdown of the entire Japanese nuclear power fleet in 2011."
In September 2012, the company announced it had received a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a laser enrichment facility on the same site where the company's headquarters are located in Wilmington.
A news release said the license would allow GLE to build a first-of-its-kind uranium enrichment facility which "could be one of the keys to the nation's long-term energy security."
The statement released Wednesday night said GLE "plans to pace development of the technology in alignment with market conditions".
The entire email statement sent from Jon Allen of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy reads as follows:
Today, Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) announced its plans to pace development of the technology in alignment with market conditions.
GLE intends to concentrate its efforts on technology development activities being performed at its Wilmington, N.C. facility.
Most contractor-based work on the project will be suspended and the project facility in Tennessee will be placed in a safe storage mode.
GLE remains optimistic about the technology and will continue to negotiate with the U.S. Department of Energy on the opportunity in Paducah, Ky.
These business decisions support the long-term viability of the program.
For background information about GE Hitachi's Global Laser Enrichment business venture click here: http://bit.ly/1kd3RHF.
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