U.S. Strikes Agreement with Centrus Energy to Produce HALEU

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and a unit of Centrus Energy signed an agreement for the production of high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU), which is to be used in the next generation nuclear reactors. The department said it and Centrus Energy’s American Centrifuge Operating will share the $150 million cost 50-50 to demonstrate production of the fuel. Under the agreement, the company’s plant in Ohio will produce 20 kg of HALEU, enriched up to 19.75% by the end of 2023. Output is expected to continue in 2024 at 900 kilograms a year, depending on congressional appropriations, with additional options to produce more material under the contract in the future.

“This demonstration shows DOE’s commitment to working with industry partners to kickstart HALEU production at commercial scale to create more clean energy jobs and ensure the benefits of nuclear energy are accessible to all Americans,” Energy Secretary Granholm said.

HALEU is expected to be used in reactors in the works by companies including X-energy and TerraPower, that Biden administration sees as critical in cutting carbon emissions to fight climate change.

Meanwhile, critics of next generation nuclear plants say they pose a risk because they produce plutonium, a nuclear explosive that terrorists could try to obtain.

Currently, the only company sells HALEU is TENEX, a unit of Russia’s state owned atomic energy company Rosatom.

The Biden administration projects that more than 40 tonnes of HALEU will be needed before the decade ends, with additional amounts required each year, to deploy reactors to support its goal of reaching 100% clean electricity by 2035.

The United States has struggled to produce commercial HALEU. Washington awarded a shared-cost contract in 2019 to Centrus to build a demonstration facility which was due to start making HALEU this year. Production got pushed back to 2023, partly because of delays in obtaining storage containers due to supply chain issues during the global pandemic.

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now


Do you need to access special insights on this matter?

Start your 7-day free trial  and become a member today


Subscribe to Top Insights Today

Subscribe to Executive Newsletter Top Insights Today

The Executive Newsletter -Top Insights Today- puts global business events in perspective through special insights

Join the ranks of global executives and subscribe to Top Insights Today

Top Insights Today covers insights on energy, clean-tech, oil&gas, mining, rare earths, defense, aviation, infrastructure, manufacturing, electrical vehicles, big-tech, finance and politics of business

By clicking subscribe you agree to our privacy and cookie policy and terms and conditions of use.

Read more insights

US Blacklisted 38 Huawei Affiliates

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said in a statement that the US Commerce Department blacklisted 38 Huawei affiliates from 21 countries. Earlier this month, Pompeo hinted at additional sanctions against Chinese companies and mobile applications in his visit to Prague. 

Italy’s Eni, Snam to Jointly Manage Algeria Gas Pipelines

Italian energy company Eni and energy infrastructure firm Snam, a former Eni subsidiary, have signed a partnership to jointly manage their assets in the gas pipelines delivering Algerian natural gas to Italy, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Algeria has become Italy’s largest supplier of natural gas last year after Russia cutoff most of its gas flows to Europe. This makes the network from Algeria to Italy strategically more important for Rome’s energy security. 

Volkswagen Struck Three Deals to Secure Raw Material Supply

Volkswagen announced three key partnerships to secure raw materials needed to reach its electric vehicle strategy. VW has been planning to invest 30 billion euros to build battery plants and purchase materials in order to catch up with rivals Tesla. 

Stay informed

error: This content is protected !!