[Platts, 26 March] Usec Inc could be given a contract to enrich 25 million kg of the US Department of Energy's (DoE's) high-assay (over 0.4% uranium-235) tails, under legislation currently being drafted in the USA. According to Usec, the re-enrichment of the tails to the same level as natural uranium would not only provide Usec with income but would also help to provide the industry with uranium. The 25 million kg of tails would yield over 7711 tonnes of U3O8 equivalent. Usec has already argued that it needs government help to ensure the funding of its American Centrifuge Program. However, utilities are arguing that the high-assay tails should be put up for auction. The draft legislation would also see a loan of 3000 t UF6 to Louisiana Energy Services (LES) as "startup inventory" for its National Enrichment Facility (NEF) plant under construction in New Mexico. LES is a subsidiary of Urenco.
National Enrichment Facility
US Departmern of Energy