LEU for U.S. tritium: enrichment plants in the USA
AtomInfo.Ru, PUBLISHED 22.11.2014
The DoE can not simply appeal to the global market for the purchase of the LEU for the military tritium production. The ministry needs the non-obligated LEU not bound by the peaceful use demand.
Furthermore, such obligations should be absent at all stages of the LEU production, beginning with the natural uranium mining.
After Paducah plantclosing, the only operating commercial uranium enrichment plant at the U.S. land is the URENCO USA plant.
The URENCO USA uses the European enrichment technology, and the LEU products should only be used for peaceful purposes in accordance with the agreement between the United States and three European countries, URENCO owners, signed on July 24, 1992.
The French nuclear group AREVA is also planning to build the enrichment plant in the USA. They will use the same enrichment technology like the URENCO. The plant will be operated in accordance with the five-sided agreement between the USA, France and three URENCO owners. This agreement has been signed on February 24, 2011 and it also limits the consumers by the civilian sector exclusively.
The GLE company has plans to commercialize in the USA the laser uranium enrichment technology SILEX. However, this technology was acquired from Australia, and it was also signed an agreement on the peaceful use in 1999.
Thus, none of the enrichment plants operating or planned for construction in the United States will be able to produce the non-obligated LEU.
This conclusion is valid for the case if the DoE will not be making efforts to bring to commercial application the American Centrifuge program.
The completion of the unit is going ahead of schedule.
Contract for construction of two power units of Bushehr Phase II was signed.
180 fresh assemblies are still left in the pool.
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