Part Five: The Lowdown on the Louisiana Energy Services Uranium Enrichment Facility

Who better than the LES puzzle then explain Jim Ferland? As president of Louisiana Energy Services, Ferland came on board nearly three years ago. At the time, the LES project was still in Tennessee, but quickly losing traction. Ferland admits the situation had gotten so bad in Tennessee that his management team had to look elsewhere.
First, we wanted to clarify exactly who is the owner of LES. Conflicting news, found in the news after LES was awarded the first NRC license for a nuclear facility in almost thirty years, confused us. Ferland straightened us at this point, too. "LES is incorporated in Delaware. It is a limited partnership. I'll give you a quick overview of the property. It's confusing." Six months ago, Westinghouse Electric owned 24.5 percent of the LES. British Nuclear Fuels, which owns a one-third stake in Urenco, Westinghouse property. On 3 March this year, Urenco bought Westinghouse's minority interest in LES.
Wait, it gets even more confusing. "Back in the original LES, which was back in Louisiana in the early 1990s, the utilities had an equity share in that time," Ferland explained. "When the Urenco the backup, project grabbed for it again in 2002, the utilities tagged along. The utilities, though, does not have an equity ownership share." According Ferland, Urenco bought the three U.S. utilities - Entergy, Exelon and Duke - go in exchange for some money and more cash advance. "The only thing that happens is the tool deserves the rest of their money back if LES meets certain milestones going forward," said Ferland. "One of the milestones was (realized) the day LES received the NRC license. Since 2002 these three programs did not manage to say and no equity participation. They just had some rights to future cash flows, depending on whether LES was successful or not. Essentially, we pay the utilities return for the investment they put into the early 1990s. "
The result is simple. Louisiana Energy Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Urenco Ltd. But again, get ready for a tad more confusion about the ownership. Issue
Urenco's UK partner wants to sell. His third interest in the company We asked if perhaps Ferland British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) was unhappy with the New Mexico enrichment facility. "I do not think so," he replied. "This is my personal opinion, because I'm certainly not a member of the management of BNFL. BNFL is looking to get out of nuclear activities entirely. Recognize that BNFL is a government-owned entity. I think the government has decided that they do not need to be in the nuclear business. They have done many things. They are in the process of closing the transaction of sale of Westinghouse. Their nuclear decommissioning group is offered for sale. The last major piece of BNFL nuclear industry is one-third owned by them in Urenco. course, given that they have the sales of the other two, they divest any interest owned piece too. "
Who will ultimately have BNFL, and thus a third owner of Urenco an owner of the New Mexico enrichment facility become, and indirectly? Last week, the London Daily Telegraph reported the French nuclear firm, EDF, BNFL had offered to buy the game for about £ sterling 2000000000. EDF spokesman denied an offer had done. According to Reuters, would both German and Dutch stakeholders oppose participation of EDF.
This latest wrinkle is just one in another of several disturbing episodes as LES moves forward in operations. We spoke with Ferland about the cost of environmental racism in Louisiana, where her long journey LES first began to obtain. An NRC license As with every question and concern we expressed Ferland not hesitate or back down, but instead methodically answered, "Urenco and its partners begin the permitting process for LES around 1990. Bowl in 1997, they still lack the NRC license . Seven years pursuing a license is a long time. There were a variety of topics. One of them was environmental justice. "
Ferland had not yet arrived at the time, but he had studied the cost. "Here's my take on why they took so long," he began. "Environmental justice, at that time, was a relatively new concept. There were not many rules or regulations in place on how to accept or environmental racism was not going on. They spent a long time arguing back and forth about how to make that decision. How do you do those calculations? "
So what happened? "It is my understanding, at the end of it all, was to be in the clear on that particular subject. LES found" Why did it take so long and why the unusual accusation? "I think it was," Ferland began, but paused. "Anti-nuclear opponents will do what they can to slow the permitting process. It was a successful attempt by the anti-nuclear people to put huge delay in the authorization process to the point where the owner finally walked away."
Finally, how did Louisiana Energy Services end up in New Mexico? Abandoning the project in Louisiana, the company moved to Tennessee. Some report the locals chased LES from the state. Ferland surprised us with his answer, "LES never submitted the license application for the NRC."
But what is the real story here? "I will be very blunt about it," Ferland warned us. "The management had lost credibility with the local population in Tennessee. A company like ours doing a project like this, even though it is extremely safe and extremely environmentally friendly, it is a nuclear project." And this is advice to anyone hoping to cash in on the nuclear renaissance, "And if you do not have the credibility and the trust of the public, in all honesty, you can not continue with the project." Ferland cleared the air, "Management had some problems in the way they the public and the press in Tennessee which lose their credibility, and probably rightly to be addressed." The situation was so bad gone, Ferland, "We could not turn that around."
Based on our interviews with state senators and representatives, New Mexico's response was magical compared to what LES endured for the past 16 years. "Marshall Cohen and his team did a very good job in New Mexico," explained Ferland. "We have, as it is done well to sell. Relatively good project we take people to the operational enrichment facility in Europe, where we are seeing being copied." LES did exactly that. We interviewed New Mexico State Senators Leavell and Kernan, who both gave their blessing Urenco Almelo facility. "It is ultra clean, ultra high tech and has a very good environmental record for as long as it has been in existence, which is 25-plus years." Ferland said with steel in his voice, "If you do it right, it is to sell a fairly simple project and if you do it wrong, you can quickly drive it into the ditch."
CONCLUSION
The LES project went along the "selling phase." Groundbreaking is in late August. Ferland told us the construction began this past week. LES will Lea County, New Mexico and Andrews County, Texas with more that 800 construction jobs to build the National Enrichment Facility (NEF). "We expect the first cascade to go online in late 2008," said Ferland. Because this is a modular design, more cascades will go online by 2013, when the plant is at full strength.
"We hope to be delivered in early 2009, our first product," he added. This will be a relatively small amount. "Marge, we come up with roughly 20 percent of our output per year," explained Ferland. This comes to about 600,000 SWU (separative work units).
It takes about 10 pounds of U3O8, which provide tools for the enrichment facility, to create a SWU. "It's a 3 million SWU facility," Ferland told us. Three million SWU is about 25 percent of U.S. demand, he added.
From all indications, it Ferland runs a tight ship. Urenco seems to be behind this persistent but sober corporate executive firmly. He knows how to run this business he built his team, and they have created a miracle in New Mexico - the first step in the Nuclear Renaissance New Mexico.
COPYRIGHT © 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Part One: The Lowdown on the Louisiana Energy Services Uranium Enrichment Facility

Leave no stone unturned. That's how professionals perform a program to a project. The reversal of Louisiana Energy Services (LES) is nothing short of spectacular. Resurrected from the dead, the LES enrichment facility fast forward. After being shunned by two states, in a grueling saga takes fifteen years, LES finally found a home in New Mexico for its uranium enrichment plant. Our brief encounter with LES president Jim Ferland and his right hand, Marshall Cohen, vice president of Communications, they showed his serious players with a no-nonsense approach to making the LES uranium enrichment facility operational. How did we come to this conclusion? It began with a story that we wrote.
While on vacation in Maine, an alert Marshall Cohen called offices StockInterview's, within hours of the publication of our Market Outlook Journal article entitled "Will Cameco Supply the Uranium for New Mexico Proposed Enrichment Facility" He believed that we wrong the story? and quickly scheduled an afternoon interview with Jim Ferland, President of LES to clarify the matter. It might even have been before, but Mr. Ferland was in a plane at the time.
When we finally spoke, we did not mince words that Thursday afternoon. Ferland wanted to make clear that there is no secret deal between Cameco and LES. "Cameco thought about investing in the project, at one time," Ferland explained. "Cameco had a memorandum to basically investigate whether it makes sense to invest, and chose not to." Yet Ferland agreed Canada would be the likely source of the uranium, "The majority of the uranium is mined from Canada or Australia." He admitted, "I do not know exactly where it is going to come from, I'm just guessing, because obviously no use to us all make this point, most of which came from Canada or (ConverDyne, Illinois) Metropolis facility. "
Other eye fell on our article. Julian Steyn, head of the DC-based Energy Resources International and co-author of U.S. Senator Pete Domenici's book, "A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the promise of nuclear energy," fired us an e-mail he wrote. "It uranium enriched in the LES Lea County plant will be provided by the plant's utility customers, all of whom are expected to be U.S. utilities. It will be the U.S. utilities that enter into supply arrangements strictly on the basis of commercial considerations. "Steyn has noted," Yes, Cameco will undoubtedly be one of the producers, but so will Hydro Resources (a subsidiary of Uranium Resources, Inc.). "Steyn not believe that there is no unusual offers cutting between Cameco and LES.
Other potential producers may also Strathmore Minerals, Energy Metals Corporation and UR Energy. They are aggressively moving forward with their In Situ Recovery operations in New Mexico, Wyoming, and / or Texas. Hydro Resources (HRI) President Craig Bartels told us, "With so much uranium left in northwestern New Mexico, we certainly hope that it helps supply LES." HRI's In Situ Recovery (ISR) have undergone intense regulatory controls, uranium projects for many years. As was found with the LES, projects HRI's have also been found safe for the environment. Bartels wholeheartedly endorsed the LES project, says: "It is not only good for New Mexico, but also for the United States."
COPYRIGHT © 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. All rights reserved.

Part Four: The Lowdown on the Louisiana Energy Services Uranium Enrichment Facility

After the uranium is enriched, about 90 percent waste. "Initially, it will be stored on site in the form of depleted UF6", Ferland explained. "Of course, the majority of the U-235 will be taken from the tailings at that point. Certainly, there will be a little about." But where will the tailings go? Ferland has a beat not skip in his reply, "We have two options for removing the tails. Wherever we go right this minute, and I would expect this is where we will end up, is we will have a private deco version facility to build. Or someone else will build a private party for us. "
And who would deco version facility to build? "To the extent that builds and operates the plant, it would be us or someone else," Ferland said. "We have a memorandum of understanding in place with Areva, which would allow us access to their technology. They have a current version deco factory in France that we could choose to copy well." According to Ferland, the plant will not be built in New Mexico, "Part of the settlement agreement with Governor Richardson and (New Mexico) Attorney General Madrid was we agreed not to build. Deco version a factory in the state"
Ferland suggested the plant could be in Texas, but perhaps elsewhere. He believes it can build to take a few years and would cost between $ 100 and $ 200 million to build. Ferland added: "It would create between 50 and 80 new jobs." Ferland said LES would the permitting process for the deco version plants begin in the next few years. "You have to go through the entire NRC licensing process to build one of those," he noted. "We're looking at two to three years, approximately. And then we start building and begin to work at that facility. That is where we are headed with deco version." Which meshes with operational plans enrichment facility. "I would not be surprised to see within a year or two after we reach full capacity (with the enrichment facility) online version deco plants" Ferland said.
Not to provide a more accurate predictions about how long the tailings remain in storage in New Mexico, the LES enrichment facility, our Ferland suggested some possible destinations for the waste, "You just send that to any of a variety of low- level landfills across the country. The closest is in Utah. There may be a day in Texas in Waste Control Specialists (WCS) facility. They are in the process of getting a license. "Will the deco version factory are located in Texas? "It would be good," he replied. "The facility is just a few miles from our site. Inherently, it makes sense. The missing link is of course that the WCS facility is not licensed today."
COPYRIGHT © 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. All rights reserved.

Part Two: The Lowdown on the Louisiana Energy Services Uranium Enrichment Facility

Which countries Source Uranium for New Mexico Facility Could?
We asked Ferland as the uranium might come from Kazakhstan, Niger, Namibia or elsewhere. He could not say where, "Again, it comes from the U.S. utilities. I'm sure the U.S. utilities will comply with whatever laws or regulations that are out there, about where the source material can come."
Julian Steyn shed some light on the subject, "The uranium that is sent to New Mexico LES plant for enrichment will probably come from many countries around the world, including USA, Canada, Australia, Niger, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The latter country is fast becoming a major supplier. "
Is based on what is, can be enriched uranium come from anywhere. In fact, on January 27 this year, John Bors Hoff, managing director of the Australian-based Paladin Resources (TSX: PDN), announced securing a contract of sale of an unnamed American assistance for the purchase of more than 2 million pounds of U3O8 for delivery between 2007 and 2012. The uranium would come from the company's Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia, which is scheduled to open in september. About thirty kilometers away is Rio Tinto Rossing uranium mine, where ironically the country of Iran remains are minority shareholders. Could be heading for future uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico? Namibian uranium As Ferland reminded us, "I do not know at this point." Ferland adds: "As far as LES is concerned, it is provided by the utilities on our website."
When we asked Uranium Producers of America Executive Director Jon Indall the LES entry in New Mexico, he told us, "They are welcome in New Mexico until the U.S. uranium they are enriching." Indall, a highly respected lawyer who is located in Santa Fe, is eager to help rebuild the U.S. uranium industry. We found his comments on Ferland, who responded, "There is very little uranium mined in the U.S. But I certainly hope that there will be, whether it's mined in Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, or anywhere else. If the U.S. wants to be energy independent, and we want nuclear part of that, then we probably need some mines reopened in this country. "
Strathmore Minerals president David Miller was quick to respond, "We are on some of our uranium properties. By the time LES reached full capacity by the prefeasibility stage in 2013, we were able to produce more than two million pounds per year." Miller pointed out the speed of the permitting process will mainly determine how quickly his company exceeds two million production level. Other companies, developing real estate in New Mexico, Wyoming and Texas, would also contribute between one and two million pounds of uranium in the years prior to reaching the National Enrichment Facility of full capacity.
COPYRIGHT © 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. All rights reserved.