France’s Orano group said on 11 October that it recently celebrated the construction of the stable isotope laboratory on the Orano Tricastin site (Drôme).

“This is a unique laboratory in France,” Orano noted, adding that it was developing a new activity on the site: the production of stable isotopes. The new 3200 square metre facility represents an investment of some €15 million and will employ around 20 highly qualified staff. The first production is expected in the second half of 2023.

Stable isotopes, non-radioactive forms of atoms, are used in many applications and their demand continues to grow. Although they are not radioactive they are used in the medical field (cancer diagnosis and treatment), in the industrial sector (increase in laser performance) and in the field of fundamental research (quantum computing).

Orano CEO Philippe Knoche  said: “This new high-level activity technological level is a first in France. With the production of stable isotopes we are innovating and exploring new fields for application of our technologies outside the nuclear field.”