The market for uranium has taken a steep drop, prompting Global Laser Enrichment to cut back and reign in, with plans to move the work from its facilities in Australia and Oakridge, Tennessee, to their home base in Wilmington, North Carolina.
GLE Spokesperson Christopher White says despite the lull in demand, negotiations continue between GLE and the Department of Energy for the purchase of depleted uranium tails at Paducah’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
“What the uranium market is currently being exposed to is the fact that 54 nuclear reactors in Japan are not running," White said. "It’s simple supply and demand, right. The supply for uranium is up, the demand is down, and that has caused us to slow down our pace of investment in this technology.”
White says GLE’s plans to slow development of its enrichment technology has no effect on its plans to apply for a license to build a facility in Paducah, pending successful negotiations with the DOE.
White says the company already holds a license for a laser enrichment facility in Wilmington and is looking only at the Paducah site for a new facility. White says Paducah has enough material for GLE’s possible facility to rival any uranium mine in the world.