LES Plant to Double in Size

EUNICE, N.M. (AP) - Louisiana Energy Services plans to double the size of a southeastern New Mexico plant that will make fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

The company's chief executive officer and president, Reinhard Hinterreither, says the larger factory was prompted by customer demand.

An expanded factory would produce 50 percent of the nation's enriched uranium needs by 2015 instead of the originally expected 25 percent.

The new plans will increase construction costs for the National Enrichment Center near Eunice from $1.5 billion to $3 billion and will extend construction by at least two years, to 2014.

LES is made up of European-based Urenco, British Nuclear Fuels Unlimited and minor U.S. partners.