European uranium enrichment company Urenco said on 31 August that it expects to commission the Tails Management Facility (TMF) at Capenhurst in the UK in 2018.
Urenco's board approved the construction of the facility, which comprises a tails deconversion plant and associated storage, maintenance and residue processing facilities, in 2009 for operation at the end of 2015. This date was later revised to 2017. The TMF will treat depleted uranium tails by converting them from uranium hexafluoride to uranium oxide. The Urenco Group invested €151.2m ($179.5m) in the first half of 2017, 71% of which was associated with the TMF.
Urenco CEO Thomas Haeberle said the company had delivered a "strong operational performance" in the first half of 2017. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation improved compared to the same period in 2016, reflecting increased sales, lower operating costs and reduced net charges for nuclear provisions. However, Haeberle noted that the enrichment market “remains challenging and this is having an impact on our new contracts”.
Urenco operates uranium enrichment plants in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK.