Our history begins in 1992, when the Treaty of Washington paved the way for Urenco’s centrifuge technology to be deployed in the United States.
The company originally planned to operate in the state of Louisiana, but due to overwhelming community support, was built in Eunice, New Mexico. Because the original plant was planned in Louisiana, the official licensee is Louisiana Energy Services, or LES; but our operations are based in southeastern New Mexico and we do business as UUSA - The National Enrichment Facility.
UUSA was the first new nuclear project in the U.S. in almost 30 years. We invested around $5 billion our facility, which was one of the largest construction projects in the state of New Mexico.
Our facility was the first project to be issued a combined construction and operating license by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Construction began in December 2006 and was completed in three phases. During construction, UUSA logged over 17 million work hours without a Lost Time Incident (LTI), a testament to our strong safety culture.
The site began producing enriched uranium in June 2010 and the first customer delivery was completed in March 2012. After 12 years of operation, UUSA has never missed a customer delivery and, in May of 2022, our facility celebrated our 500th safe and successful product shipment.
As it stands today, our site has sixty-four cascades online and produces about 5M SWU per year, which is sufficient capacity to meet approximately one-third of the annual U.S. demand for enrichment services.
Operational & Regulatory Timeline
Urenco was founded following the signing of the Treaty of Almelo by the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. An agreement between the Troika states for the development and exploitation of the gas centrifuge process used in the production of enriched uranium. Urenco was incorporated.
Capenhurst and Almelo sites opened.
Gronau site opened.
Treaty of Washington - Agreement between the Troika states and the U.S government permitting the transfer of classified information into the United States.
Urenco Group capacity reaches 5M SWU.
Louisiana Energy Services, LLC. submits license application to build in New Mexico.
June: Construct and Operate License issued to Louisiana Energy Services, LLC. by the NRC.
August: Ground-breaking at the new UUSA site in Eunice, New Mexico.
Urenco Group capacity reaches 10M SWU.
First centrifuge installed at UUSA.
NRC authorized UUSA to operate.
Full enrichment production in the first cascade hall at UUSA.
UUSA Phase I construction is completed. UUSA Phase II construction begins. Board approves construction of UUSA Phase III.
Urenco Group achieved enrichment capacity target of 18M SWU.
48 cascades in production at UUSA.
UUSA Phase III construction is completed.
UUSA celebrated its 500th safe and successful product delivery.