Press Release: LES Submits License Application to Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Louisiana Energy Services
December 16, 2003

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Louisiana Energy Services (LES) today announced submission of its license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the construction and operation of the National Enrichment Facility (NEF), a uranium enrichment plant to be located in Southeast New Mexico. The application was completed on December 12th, 2003.

When approved, the NEF will introduce the world's most advanced uranium enrichment technology into the U.S. and provide an alternative, domestic enrichment supply source to U.S. nuclear energy companies.

Lou Long, Vice President-Technical Support for Southern Nuclear said, "The submittal of this application and plans to construct the NEF are good news for the U.S. nuclear power industry. Those of us in the industry, from uranium mining to electrical generation, should offer our full support to this effort."

The documents making up the application cover: 1) an analysis of the safety of the design, construction, and operation of the proposed facility; 2) the impact on the environment, including traffic, housing, and schools, of building and operating the facility; 3) the coordination with state and local emergency agencies; and 4) the steps taken to maintain the site, facility, equipment, and information secure from potential threats or diversion of material.

In addition, the application addresses the strategic need stated by the U.S. Congress as well as the Departments of Energy and State, and the role an increased domestic uranium enrichment capability will play in ensuring national security.

"Domestic competition can only be good for the industry, and ultimately the consumer," said Jim Levine, Executive Vice President of Arizona Public Service Company (APS). "We look forward to the NEF's start-up, and to multiple domestic supplies of enriched uranium fuel that support APS's long- term commitment to nuclear power" he added.

LES expects the NRC to spend about 18 to 20 months reviewing the application, including holding public meetings in the Lea County area and collecting feedback from residents on the impact of the proposed facility on the community. The NRC will also hold public hearings to address safety and environmental concerns.

Mike Sellman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nuclear Management Company, LLC, added "We look forward to a comprehensive and timely NRC review of this application for a new U.S. enrichment facility, as well as any other fuel cycle facility license application. A thorough, well-managed, and expedited review process is key to new nuclear investment in the U.S."

LES also announced the signing of the first round of contracts with several U.S. nuclear energy companies. Deliveries under these contracts represent 50% of the NEF's first ten years of production.

"This is important for LES and for the entire nuclear power industry," said LES President, Jim Ferland. "The signing of the first round of contracts and the support we have received for NEF in Lea County, New Mexico give us a great deal of confidence in the future of this business."

LES is a partnership of major nuclear energy companies. Partners include Urenco, Westinghouse and U.S. energy companies Duke Power, Entergy and Exelon.

At a ceremony in early September featuring New Mexico representatives including U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman, Governor Bill Richardson, Congressman Steve Pearce and numerous other state and local officials, LES announced its plan to build the NEF 5 miles east of Eunice, New Mexico.

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