Duke Power Co. and Fluor Daniels Inc. have reached an agreement to build the country's first privately owned uranium enrichment plant.
The $750 million facility to be built in Louisiana will provide enough enriched uranium to meet the need for about 15 percent of the 110 nuclear power plants in the United States, Duke spokesman Andy Thompson said Friday.The U.S. Department of Energy currently supplies all of the enriched uranium used by utilities.
Thompson said the plant will help the utility reduce its fuel costs.
"We want our fuel costs to be as low as possible, and through our involvement in this, we are able to meet our fuel needs in the most economical way that we can," Thompson said.
"That's going to mean a savings for our customers down the road because they will be paying less for the fuel," he said.
Thompson said the utility expects to spend about $1 million on enriched uranium alone over the next 10 years.
Construction will begin in 1992 and the plant should be operating by 1996, Thompson said.
The plant will be built in Clair-borne Parish in the northwest part of Louisiana, said Sen. Bennnett Johnston, D-La.