EXCLUSIVE: Tri-Cities Selected As 1 of 5 Potential Sites worldwide for a Uranium Enrichment FacilityPosted: Updated:
TRI-CITIES, Wash.--This is big news for TRIDEC and the Tri-Cities.
According to TRIDEC Vice President, Gary Petersen, the Tri-Cities is one of five possible site locations for a Gas Centrifuge Enrichment plant. Petersen says the building would contain hundreds, if not thousands of rotating cylinders. They would all be spinning to produce enough U-235. U-235 is an isotope in Uranium that needs to be increased to a certain percentage in order to be used as a nuclear fuel. This fuel would then be used in power plants.
Petersen mentioned that Tri-Cities is not being favored over the four other sites at this time. But if our area prevails, the facility would create 500 permanent jobs. The average starting salary would be between $40-45,000 dollars.
Also, more than 700 construction workers would be needed to build the facility.
Now, what could help Tri-Cities is the fact that AREVA has been investing in our community, particularly in Richland, for a number of years.
"That gives us an advantage because a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant would provide their current fuel fabrication plant with material to make fuel for nuclear power reactors," mentions Petersen. So, it would be in proximity to that fuel fabrication plant."
Here's a list of four other locations across the United States in contention for the facility. Idaho Falls, Idaho. Petersen says they are already offering tax incentives to entice AREVA. New Mexico, Ohio and Texas round out the list.
A final decision as to which state wins isn't expected for one to two months. Petersen also added if Tri-Cities is selected, the product will not add to the nuclear waste already in our area.
Petersen said it would simply be an extension of the current AREVA plant in Richland.