US-based Curio has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Energy Northwest as an industry partner and potential off-taker of products produced through Curio's NuCycle nuclear waste recycling process. This is part of Curio's plans to deploy the first state-of-the-art commercial nuclear fuel recycling facility in the USA. It plans to provide a variety of in-demand commodities and products including domestically produced low-enriched uranium (LEU) nuclear fuel for the current US fleet of nuclear reactors as well as HALEU (high-assay low-enriched uranium) and transuranic based TRUfuel for advanced reactors under development.

Curio CEO Edward McGinnis said: "Yesterday's nuclear waste is holding back tomorrow's reactors. Only approximately 4% of the energy value of our nation's commercial light water reactor used fuel has been utilised. It's time to tap this enormous stockpile of unused energy and repurpose it into non-carbon-emitting fuel that will help power our future clean electricity generation needs. Curio's partnership with such an important nuclear utility leader as Energy Northwest represents an important step in realising the full potential of our NuCycle technology."

Energy Northwest CEO Bob Schuetz said the potential to recycle used low-enriched uranium fuel, which would represent a game-changing development for the future of the commercial nuclear energy industry. “Leveraging used fuel as a resource has numerous benefits: from reducing US reliance on foreign fuel and increasing US energy security and independence, to demonstrating the nuclear industry's long-term commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

Curio developed NuCycle to recycle used nuclear fuel and develop off-take isotopes for a wide variety of industries to include space, advanced batteries, and nuclear medicine. Curio said NuCycle leverages decades of American R&D to create a compact, clean, economical, scalable and proliferation resistant nuclear waste recycling process.