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Areva Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility project (Bonneville County, Idaho, USA) - Current Issues   flag

(last updated 24 May 2013)


NRC Docket No. 07007015
NRC License No. SNM-2015

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Areva no longer projects build date for proposed Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant

French nuclear services giant Areva SA no longer projects a date for building its proposed Idaho uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls, aiming to avoid dashing expectations while its hunt for financing lingers on.
Work on the $3 billion Eagle Rock enrichment plant was originally to start in 2011. That was delayed to 2012, then 2013 and 2014. Now, Areva says only the facility remains a priority but that it would be imprudent to give a ground-breaking date amid unresolved talks over money. (Idaho State Journal May 23, 2013)

NRC issues revised Environmental and Safety Analysis Reports for Areva's proposed Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant

On Dec. 6, 2012, Rev. 4 of the Environmental Report and of the Safety Analysis Report for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility have been made available in NRC's ADAMS external link document system (Docket No. 07007015).

Areva's Eagle Rock enrichment plant project could be delayed further

Areva still hasn't announced a partner to help build its proposed gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls. If it can't find an investor, construction on the $3 billion project will likely be delayed until 2014. (Idaho Statesman July 6, 2012)

Areva eyes 2013 to begin work on Eagle Rock enrichment plant

Officials for the French nuclear power company Areva are now looking to 2013 to begin construction on a $3 billion uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls. Areva had hoped to begin construction on the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility this year, but backed off that timeline after executives last year announced the company instead needed to focus on returning to profitability after a dismal 2011. (AP Jan. 31, 2012)

Areva suspends Eagle Rock enrichment plant project

On Dec. 13, 2011, Areva announced the suspension of the Eagle Rock enrichment plant project in Idaho. (AFP Dec. 13, 2011)

Rumors growing that Areva plans delay or cancellation of Eagle Rock enrichment plant project

According to the Internet site L'Expansion, Areva plans to delay or cancel the Eagle Rock enrichment plant project as part of a massive restructuring program that is to be set up in reaction to a drop in demand caused by the German nuclear phase-out and the Fukushima disaster. (Le Monde Oct. 18, 2011)

NRC issues license for Areva's Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to AREVA Enrichment Services LLC (AES) to construct and operate a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Bonneville County, Idaho. The license for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility authorizes AES to enrich uranium up to 5 percent by weight in the fissile isotope U-235 for use in the manufacture of nuclear fuel for commercial nuclear power reactors. AES plans to begin construction in 2012.
> Download NRC release Oct. 12, 2011 external link (PDF)
> Download NRC license SNM-2015 external link, Oct. 12, 2011 (PDF)

NRC issues revised Environmental and Safety Analysis Reports for Areva's proposed Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant

On June 17, 2011, Rev. 3 of the Environmental Report and of the Safety Analysis Report for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility have been made available in NRC's ADAMS external link document system (Docket No. 07007015).

NRC ASLB to conduct Environmental Hearing on Areva's proposed Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will conduct an evidentiary hearing on environmental issues concerning the license application of AREVA Enrichment Services (AES) to construct and operate a uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Among the issues to be heard are the impact of the Fukushima Daiichi accident on the need for enrichment services; AES's plans for remediation of any NRC-authorized preconstruction activities; and greenhouse gas impacts of the facility’s operation and power consumption. The hearing will begin July 12, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time, and continue daily until finished.
The Board will also conduct "limited appearance sessions" at which members of the public will have an opportunity to present oral comments to the judges on issues related to the hearing. The limited appearance sessions will be held on July 10 and 11, 2011. Anyone wishing to make a statement is requested to register by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on July 1.
> Download NRC release June 9, 2011 external link (PDF)
Federal Register: June 10, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 112) p. 34103-34105 (download full text external link)

NRC issues Final Environmental Impact Statement for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility project in Idaho, finds no significant environmental impacts

> Download NRC release Feb. 14, 2011 external link (PDF)
Federal Register: February 16, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 32) p. 9054-9055 (download full text external link)
> Download: Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Bonneville County, Idaho, Final Report, NUREG-1945, Feb. 2011: Vol.1: Chapters 1 through 10 external link (36.8M PDF) · Vol.2: Appendices A through I external link (46.2M PDF)

NRC ASLB to hold evidentiary hearings on Areva's Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant project

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hold evidentiary hearings Jan. 25-27, 2011, on safety-related aspects of an application by AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (AES) for a license to construct and operate a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility in Bonneville County, Idaho.
In addition, the ASLB will accept "limited appearance" written statements from members of the public on matters involving the hearing. The ASLB is particularly interested in comments regarding the NRC staff’s SER on the application (see below).
> Download NRC release Jan. 5, 2011 external link (PDF)
> Federal Register: January 4, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 2) p. 387-388 (download full text external link)

Groups oppose US loan guarantees for Areva's Eagle Rock enrichment plant project

The heads of some non-proliferation organizations and two former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission members on Monday (Nov. 15) asked the Obama administration not to award loan guarantees to projects involving French state-owned companies.
The US should not support nuclear projects proposed by EDF and Areva until the French government adopts stricter standards for selling nuclear technology to third countries, wrote the 16 people who signed the letter to the president. Among those signing the letter were Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center external link; Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists external link; and former NRC commissioners Peter Bradford and Victor Gilinsky.
Areva received a $2 billion conditional loan guarantee earlier this year to build a uranium enrichment plant in Idaho. (Platts Nov 15, 2010)
> Download Letter to President Obama, Nov. 15, 2010 external link (50k PDF - NPEC)

NRC releases Safety Evaluation Report for Areva's Eagle Rock enrichment plant project (Idaho)

"The NRC staff concludes, in this safety evaluation report, that the applicant's descriptions, specifications, and analyses provide an adequate basis for safety and safeguards of facility operations-and that operation of the facility does not pose an undue risk to worker and public health and safety."
> Download Safety Evaluation Report for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Bonneville County, Idaho, NUREG-1951, U.S. NRC, Sep. 2010 external link · alternate source (17.2MB PDF) external link
> Federal Register: October 13, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 197) p. 62895-62896 (download fullt text external link)

Advocacy group opposes pre-construction exemption for Areva's Eagle Rock enrichment plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should not have allowed Areva to level land, build roads and connect power lines to their proposed uranium enrichment plant before an environmental review is completed on the $3.3 billion facility, said Snake River Alliance external link energy policy analyst Liz Woodruff. The NRC isn't considering the impacts of these "pre-construction activities" in its draft environmental impact statement - and these activities, including the destruction of an historic homestead, could threaten sage grouse and other desert species, she said. "This pre-construction exemption shows a bias toward licensing," Woodruff said.
She was among the people at a public meeting of the nuclear commission in Boise on Monday (Aug. 9) that gave Treasure Valley residents a chance to speak about French energy giant Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Plant proposal. (Idaho Statesman Aug. 10, 2010)

NRC issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility project in Idaho for comment

Comments must be submitted by September 13, 2010.

Federal Register: July 21, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 139) p. 42466-42469 (download full text external link)
> View NRC release July 28, 2010
> Open Docket ID NRC-2009-0187 external link
> Download NUREG-1945, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Bonneville County, Idaho (Draft Report for Comment) external link (17.6M PDF - ADAMS Acc. No. ML101890384) · alternate source external link

DOE offers conditional US$ 2 billion loan guarantee for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility project in Idaho

On May 20, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the Department's first conditional commitment for a front-end nuclear facility. The $2 billion loan guarantee will support AREVA's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

NRC establishes Atomic Safety and Licensing Board over Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility project

Federal Register: April 2, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 63) p. 16869 (download full text external link)

NRC approves exemption from Commencement of Construction Requirements for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, Idaho

NRC issues Notice of availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Exemption from Commencement of Construction Requirements:
Federal Register: March 16, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 50) p. 12581-12583 (download full text external link)

On March 17, 2010, NRC approved Areva's license amendment request.

NRC issues Notice of Hearing for Areva's License Application for Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, Idaho

By September 28, 2009, any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written petition for leave to intervene.
> View Commission Order CLI-09-15, July 24, 2009 external link
Federal Register: July 30, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 145) p. 38052-38062 (download full text external link)

Areva requests exemption for early site preparation works for Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, Idaho

On June 17, 2009, Areva requested from NRC an exemption to allow for early site preparation activites at its Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility site prior to the NRC's completion of its environmental review and the NRC's issuance of a Materials License.

Revision 1 of Areva's License Application for Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, Idaho, available for download

On May 4, 2009, NRC made Revision 1 of Areva's License Application for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility project available for download (ADAMS Acc. no. ML091210558 external link). The revision contains the changes to address the expansion of the facility from 3.3 to 6.6 million SWU per year, among others.

NRC invites public comment on scope of EIS to be prepared for Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, Idaho

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating Areva's proposed Eagle Rock Enrichment facility in Idaho Falls, ID. NRC invites public comments on the appropriate scope of issues to be considered in the EIS.
Comments should be submitted no later than June 19, 2009.
Federal Register: May 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 84) p. 20508-20509 (download full text external link)

Areva plans to double capacity of Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility

On March 31, 2009, AREVA Enrichment Services LLC (AES) notified the NRC of its intent to revise the License Application for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility by expanding the capacity of the facility from 3.3 million separative work units (SWU) per year to 6.6 million SWU per year.

Areva Enrichment Services (AES) has submitted a "roadmap" to US regulators defining changes it plans to make to its licence application in order to double the capacity of the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility (EREF). According to documents submitted to the NRC, the expansion would add four years to the planned construction time for the site, revising the date for full capacity production from 2018 in the initial application (for 3.3 million SWU per year) to 2022 for full production at 6.6 million SWU per year. The expansion would involve the construction of two more Separations Building Modules, referred to in the document as SBM 3 and 4. These would be identical to the two SBMs in the original application with each module having its own uranium hexafluoride handling area and two cascade halls. The expanded plant would contain a total of 96 cascades and be capable of producing 8 different tails assays at any one time. (WNN April 22, 2009)

Areva files application for proposed U.S. uranium enrichment plant

An application has been made to build and operate the Eagle Rock uranium enrichment facility that Areva plans for Idaho, USA. An Areva subsidiary submitted the application for a combined construction and operating licence to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on 30 December, 2008. The company said it hoped to begin construction in 2011. (World Nuclear News Dec. 31, 2008)
On March 18, 2009, NRC made the license application available for download (ADAMS Acc. No. ML090300658 external link).
> See also: NRC web page external link

Areva selects Idaho site for proposed U.S. uranium enrichment plant

On May 6, 2008, AREVA Inc. announced that it has selected the state of Idaho for its new U.S. uranium enrichment facility. The site is located in Bonneville County, 18 miles west of Idaho Falls, close to the Idaho National Lab.

Areva Inc. is building its $2 billion uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls, Idaho, according to New Mexico state Rep. John Heaton. (Carlsbad Current-Argus May 5, 2008)

Areva delays site decision for proposed U.S. uranium enrichment plant

French nuclear company Areva has postponed its choice of a site for a US centrifuge uranium enrichment plant until the first quarter of 2008, a company spokeswoman said Dec. 19, 2007. Earlier, Areva had announced it would choose a site by the end of 2007. (Platts Dec. 20, 2007)

Areva discloses sites considered for proposed U.S. centrifuge enrichment plant

Under consideration are sites in Virginia (where Areva NP Inc. external link already operates a nuclear fuel facility at Lynchburg), New Mexico, Texas, South Carolina and Idaho, AREVA NC Inc. external link President Mike McMurphy said. "We're looking for places where the geology and seismic conditions are correct and public acceptance is good," he said. (The News & Advance, July 4, 2007)

NRC discloses Areva's proposal to build centrifuge enrichment plant in USA

On June 21, 2007, NRC disclosed a meeting summary of a pre-application meeting held with Areva external link on May 21, 2007, on Areva's proposal to build a centrifuge enrichment plant with an initial capacity of 3 million SWU in the U.S.
Areva and Urenco external link joint venture Enrichment Technology Company, Limited external link (ETC) will supply the centrifuge technology. According to Areva, the Cardiff agreement provides for transferring technology to other countries. (The Cardiff agreement, signed in 2006, provides the framework for the transfer of Urenco's centrifuge technology to the ETC joint venture. It was concluded to allow for the construction of Areva's Georges Besse II enrichment plant based on Urenco centrifuge technology. It extends the Treaty of Almelo of 1970 which forms the basis for the Urenco consortium.)
The schedule proposed by Areva is to select a site by the end of 2007 (thereby trying to "Incorporate lessons learned from LES and other nuclear facility site selection activities"...), submit an application by mid-2008, have a license issued by mid-2010, start construction in late 2010 and begin operating in 2013. Full capacity is to be attained in 2017.
Regarding management of depleted uranium tails, Areva plans to either convert and dispose of tails by a private, commercial company, or have DOE dispose of the tails in accordance with Section 3113 of the USEC Privatization Act (Title III of Public Law 104-134 external link (1.2M PDF)).

> Download NRC Meeting Summary May 21, 2007 external link (ADAMS: ML071720019)
> Download Areva presentation May 21, 2007 external link (ADAMS: ML071650116)

> Download text of the Cardiff agreement: Agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of the Netherlands regarding collaboration in centrifuge technology: Cardiff, 12 July 2005 external link (UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office - 399k PDF)
> View details on the history of the Cardiff agreement

 

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