What's next? Fish & Chips at Salt Lake's EnergySolutions Arena?
EnergySolutions, the big nuclear firm just down the road from Idaho Falls in Salt Lake City, bought itself a really big piece of the British nuclear industry this week. They might not be serving Fish & Chips just yet at EnergySolutions Arena in SLC, but the way things are going that's not outside the realm of the possible.
EnergySolutions announced it will buy British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) Reactor Sites Management business that holds licenses to operate 10 nuclear sites and 22 reactors employing 3,500 people in the UK. The deal is worth $688M at this week's currency rates. EnergySolutions beat competition from another US firm, Jacobs Engineering, for the package.
Two of the facilities, Oldbury and Wylfa, are still producing electricity, but the rest are in the process of being dismantled and decommissioned. Oldbury in Gloucestershire is set to shut next year and Wylfa in Anglesey in 2010. The main role of EnergySolutions will be to decommission the bulk of the nuclear plants coming under its control.
EnergySolutions, based in Salt Lake City, UT, is a growing player in the field of nuclear decommissioning and has federal government contracts for nuclear waste cleanup, spent fuel management, and nuclear facility engineering services. The firm has submitted proposals to the US Department of Energy for GNEP sites in Idaho, New Mexico, and South Carolina.
It has not had sole operating responsibility for sites that generate electricity from nuclear energy. Steve Creamer, the chief executive, said,"We take on this responsibility with the same commitment to safety and the environment that has always characterized our company."
BNFL said the deal offered "good value" for its shareholder, the government. The Prospect trade union told the Guardian, a UK newspaper, it was aware that EnergySolutions did not have operating experience with nuclear plants, but believed the company's strong track record in safety and employee relations meant it was a welcome new owner for the business.
EnergySolutions recently announced plans for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. It is thought by some to be interested in becoming a partner in new nuclear reactors built in Britain.
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PS: Not that the food matters (Fish & Chips) . . . normally I'd root for the Utah Jazz, with a hot dog and a beer thank you, and based on geography. After all SLC is only 200 miles away, but this year I'm a Cleveland Cavaliers fan :-) Ah, the magic of television!