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NRC hosts public meeting on proposed uranium enrichment plant tonight

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission hosts a meeting tonight to discuss the recently issued Safety Evaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement for a laser-based uranium enrichment facility proposed to be built in Wilmington.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Ballroom A of the Burney Center at UNCW. NRC staff will be available beginning at 6 p.m. to informally discuss the documents and findings with the public.

The SER and the EIS effectively complete the staff's review of the license application filed by General Electric Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC to construct and operate the facility at the site of the General Electric-Hitachi Global Nuclear Fuel-America's fuel fabrication plant. The NRC's Atomic and Safety Licensing Board must complete its hearing on the staff's review before a license could be issued. That hearing is expected to take place this summer.

The SER contains the staff's conclusion that GLE's descriptions, specifications and analyses provide an adequate basis for safety and safeguards of facility operations and that operation of the facility would not pose an undue risk to workers or public health and safety.

The final EIS on the facility contains the staff’s conclusion that the project would have small to moderate impacts on the local environment, primarily during preconstruction activities.

The Safety Evaluation Report (NUREG-2120) and final EIS (NUREG-1938) are available through the NRC's ADAMS online document database (ML12060A007) and (ML12047A040 and ML12047A042). Both documents are available on the NRC's website.

GEH submitted its application in June 2009. GEH proposes to use laser-based technology to enrich uranium in the U-235 isotope to concentrations up to 8 percent by weight. The enriched uranium would be used in manufacturing fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

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