"Company Struggles to Keep U.S. in the Uranium Enrichment Game"

"EUNICE, N.M. — While the only American-owned company that enriches uranium prepares for bankruptcy, its competitor is zooming ahead with construction of what it describes as a cluster of far more economical and efficient new centrifuges."

"Urenco, a German-Dutch-British consortium that began producing here in 2010, is on its way to doubling its size, and is apparently competing successfully even as the market for its product shrinks because of reactor shutdowns in Japan and elsewhere after the Fukushima Daiichi accident three years ago. At the same time, the American company, USEC, continues to ask for a $2 billion loan guarantee from Washington as it tries to prove, despite the impending bankruptcy, that its American Centrifuge project is close to commercial operation.

The end result may be that uranium enrichment, which was pioneered by the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the atomic bomb, may become primarily a European and Russian technology."

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times January 27, 2014.

Source: NY Times, 01/28/2014