The US Department of Energy (DOE) said on 31 May that it had asked American Centrifuge Operating (a subsidiary of global nuclear fuel provider Centrus Energy) to deploy a high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) fabrication system by June 2022 and establish approaches to utilise US-made technology in production efforts, according to a FedBizOpps notice.
American Centrifuge Operating received a $115 million contract to demonstrate a method of producing HALEU to support DOE's research and development work on advanced nuclear reactors.
The contractor will also provide HALEU technology to support nuclear energy, national security and related R&D initiatives within three years, the notice said.
The HALEU manufacturing process involves uranium enrichments of 5- 19.75% and is intended for advanced reactors that do not require constant refuelling.
DOE in January completed an environmental assessment, which determined that there would be no significant impact on the environment from using DOE-owned HALEU fuel. It then also announced plans to award a contract to a subsidiary of Centrus to demonstrate the production of HALEU using US-origin enrichment technology at the American Centrifuge Plant site in Piketon, Ohio.