Silex eyes nuclear fuel production with GLE, Dominion Energy cooperation

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Image credit: Silex Systems Limited

Australian laser enrichment technology developer Silex Systems has announced that Global Laser Enrichment (GLE)  and Dominion Energy Services have signed a non-binding letter of intent to spearhead cooperation in the nuclear fuel supply chain. 

The LOI covers a series of key areas of potential cooperation, including supporting GLE’s deployment of the Silex laser enrichment technology in the United States and the potential acceleration of commercialisation activities related to the planned Paducah Laser Enrichment Facility. 

“We are very pleased with the signing of a third LOI with a major US nuclear utility, this one between GLE and Dominion Energy – following on from similar LOIs signed with Constellation Energy Generation and Duke Energy in mid-2022,” said Michael Goldsworthy, CEO and managing director at Silex. 

Goldsworthy said the LOI is another important milestone in advancing GLE’s strategy to commercialise the Silex technology in the United States and to provide additional diversification in the supply of nuclear fuel, including domestic production of natural uranium from legacy depleted tails owned by the Department of Energy, along with new conversion and enrichment capabilities. 

“With the US Government moving to support initiatives to rebuild its domestic nuclear fuel supply chain and lessen its dependence on nuclear fuel imports, particularly from Russia, we anticipate GLE’s engagement with US nuclear power generators will provide vital industry support for the commercialisation of the SILEX technology,” Goldsworthy said. 

As part of the potential cooperation, GLE could become a significant contributor to nuclear fuel production in the United States for the world’s current and future nuclear reactor fleets. 

GLE is the exclusive licensee of the SILEX laser technology for uranium enrichment and is a jointly-controlled venture between Silex and global uranium and nuclear fuel provider Cameco Corporation. 

Silex and Cameco recently established a significant uplift to GLE’s operating budget, providing the joint venture entity to commence commercial operations at the Paducah Laser Enrichment facility as early as 2027 or 2028.