Australia-based Silex Systems Limited has announced the execution of a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) between Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) and Constellation Energy Generation for the purpose of assessing areas of cooperation in the nuclear fuel supply chain. The LOI identifies a number of key areas of potential cooperation, including measures to support GLE’s deployment of the Silex laser enrichment technology in the US and diversifying US domestic uranium, conversion and enrichment capabilities and capacity.
GLE is the exclusive licensee of the Silex laser technology for uranium enrichment and is a 51%/49% jointly-controlled, joint venture between Silex and global uranium and nuclear fuel provider Cameco Corporation. Subject to market conditions, regulatory requirements and other factors, GLE could become a significant contributor to nuclear fuel production in the US for the world’s current and future nuclear reactor fleets. GLE said it is uniquely positioned, through its ongoing commercialisation of the Silex technology, to address the “triple opportunity” emerging in the nuclear fuel supply chain as a result of global climate change and geopolitical issues. These include:
- Tails processing at the Paducah Laser Enrichment Facility in the USA to produce natural grade uranium hexafluoride (UF6) and help alleviate UF6 conversion supply pressure;
- Building capacity to supply enrichment (separative work units) to the market for the production of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) and Low Enriched Uranium plus (LEU+); and
- Building additional capacity to produce High Assay LEU (HALEU) fuel for next generation advanced small modular reactors.