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Idaho Company Holds off on NM Uranium Decoversion Plant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Idaho-based company has put its plans for a uranium deconversion plant in southeastern New Mexico on hold because of a funding shortage. But the president and chief executive of International Isotopes Inc., Steve Laflin, says the company is committed to building the $125 million plant near Hobbs.

Laflin tells the Albuquerque Journal that the plant is expected to employ 300 during construction and create up to 150 permanent jobs. The company had planned to complete construction by the end of 2012, but the need for additional funding has extended the timeline.

Laflin says construction could begin four to six months after the company receives the necessary funding — a mix of equity and debt financing. Work at the plant would make the byproducts of uranium enrichment safe for long-term disposal.

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