GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment (GLE), a licensee for the SILEX Technology from Australia's Silex Systems, has entered into an agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the sale and purchase of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6).
As per the terms of the agreement, nearly 300,000 maximum transmission units (MTU) of high-assay DUF6 will be sold to GLE.
This follows the DOE’s selection of GLE’s proposal to construct a SILEX laser enrichment facility in Paducah to re-enrich tails inventories in 2013.
Silex's CEO Michael Goldsworthy said: “The finalisation of the agreement with the DOE is a pivotal step in the path to commercialisation for our unique third generation SILEX laser enrichment technology.
“We wish to thank federal, state, and local partners, including the DOE, the state of Kentucky and the city of Paducah for supporting this opportunity.
“We look forward to working with the many stakeholders involved to make this opportunity become a commercial reality over the next few years.
“In particular, we are enthusiastic about engaging with the local Paducah and Kentucky workforces to bring our cutting edge laser enrichment technology to the traditional heartland of the US enrichment industry, and helping to restore US leadership in nuclear technology.”
Subject to prevailing market conditions and receipt of required regulatory approvals, completion of the technology commercialisation programme and realisation of GLE’s proposed Paducah Laser Enrichment Facility (PLEF) would see the construction and operation of new laser enrichment facility.
GLE will finance, construct, own, and operate the PLEF adjacent to the existing DOE site. It would become a commercial uranium enrichment production facility under a US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license.