USEC Inc. wants to build a commercial enrichment plant by the end of the decade and use new technology in the enrichment process.
The NRC report said the plant would create no safety hazards during its construction and operation.
Enrichment is the process by which the fissionable uranium isotope is increased in order to make fuel for nuclear power plants.
“Receiving the SER is an important step forward in the licensing process for the American Centrifuge plant,” USEC senior vice president Phillip G. Sewell said in a statement. “USEC is working closely with the NRC to fulfill the remaining requirements and obtain the operating license early next year.”
The report is the last step before an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board hearing. Company officials have not yet released the date of the hearing, which will be in Piketon.
USEC Inc. expects to receive its operating license for the commercial plant in 2007.
In the meantime, company officials say USEC plans to open a demonstration plant sometime in late summer this year. Last week, American Centrifuge Public Affairs Manager Angie Duduit would not give a exact date as to when the test plant may open.
The USEC Inc. license application for the American Centrifuge plant predicts an initial annual production of 3.5 million separative work units once the commercial plant opens. It also includes authorization to enrich uranium to an assay level up to 10 percent.
The NRC also examined the possible expansion of the plant to increase the production capacity to 7 million separative work units.
USEC leases the diffusion plant from the Department of Energy.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.