Sonal Patel of Power reports that Centrus has received the regulatory green light to begin uranium enrichment.
- Centrus is working with the Department of Energy to produce high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), which is needed to power many advanced nuclear reactors, in the United States.
- The U.S. currently relies on Russia for a large share of its HALEU needs, which threatens energy innovation and security.
- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has given Centrus the go-ahead to introduce uranium into its novel enrichment centrifuge, a step that brings the U.S. closer to having a domestic supply of HALEU.
“Centrus’s American Centrifuge cascade uses gas centrifuge machines, which feed uranium hexafluoride (UF6)—heated to a gaseous state—into a rotor inside the centrifuge machine. A rotor spinning at high speed inside a steel casing uses centrifugal force to concentrate the heavier U-238 isotopes at the outer wall of the rotor and the lighter U-235 isotopes toward the rotor center. The streams are then fed to the next machines in a ‘cascade’ to achieve the desired level of enrichment. Centrus will use a 4.95% LEU feed material for its planned HALEU 16 AC100M-centrifuge cascade. It suggests roughly 85% of the separative work units (SWU)—a measure of enrichment needed to produce HALEU—is already contained in the LEU feed material.”
Read the full article here.