January 05, 2009, 12:29 PM — ERWIN, Tenn. (AP) ? A Virginia company that specializes in nuclear technology services has completed its acquisition of Tennessee-based Nuclear Fuel Services Inc. for an undisclosed price, the companies announced Monday.
A subsidiary of Lynchburg-based Babcock & Wilcox Co. has acquired the 793-employee NFS facility in Erwin, about 120 miles northeast of Knoxville. The deal combines the only commercial enterprises in the country licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to manufacture, possess and store highly enriched uranium.
Privately held Nuclear Fuel Services had been looking for a buyer following stepped-up efforts to improve safety after the belated disclosure of a uranium leak in 2006.
"Certainly we will look to make improvements," Babcock & Wilcox spokesman Jud Simmons said Monday. "But also we recognize that improvements have been made here ... and the NRC has also recognized that improvement."
NFS spokesman Tony Treadway said the merger "should have no initial impact on employment" in Erwin.
"No doubt there is a lot of synergy between what B&W does and what NFS does, which is why we pursued the acquisition," Simmons said. "We think it really positions us to pursue work in the future commercially and for the government."
NFS has produced nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy since the 1950s. More recently it has been converting highly enriched uranium into fuel for the Tennessee Valley Authority's power reactors.
B&W executive David Kudsin will become president of NFS, succeeding the retiring president Dwight Ferguson.
Babcock & Wilcox, which employs more than 20,000 people worldwide, is a subsidiary of McDermott International Inc.