Fuel Services

Learn how uranium is mined, milled and processed at Cameco

In Uranium Part 2 - watch how uranium is turned into fuel at our fuel manufacturing facilities in Ontario.

Watch Uranium Part 1 - mining and milling

 
Video courtesy of How It's Made, a Discovery Communications, Science Channel program

Cameco is a prominent supplier of uranium processing services required to produce fuel for the generation of clean electricity. We operate the world's largest commercial refinery in Blind River, have about 25% of the world UF6 primary conversion capacity in Port Hope, and are a leading manufacturer of fuel assemblies and reactor components for CANDU reactors at our facilities in Port Hope and Cobourg.

Our focus is on cost-competitiveness and operational efficiency. We offer a range of products and services to customers helping us broaden our business relationships and expand our uranium market share.

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    2019 Q4 Update

    Production

    Fuel services produced 3.7 million kgU in the first quarter, 3% lower than the same period last year due to the timing of scheduled production.

    Temporary shutdowns

    On April 8, 2020, due to the increasing challenges of maintaining an adequate workforce as a result of COVID-19 screening protocols put in place to align with the directives and guidance of government and public health authorities, we announced our plans to temporarily shutdown our UF6 conversion plant for approximately four weeks. The UF6 plant is a complex operation, designed to run as a continuous process without interruptions in production.

    Since the majority of the UO3 produced at the Blind River Refinery is used to produce UF6 at the conversion plant, we also announced the temporary suspension of production at the refinery. Where possible, we plan to advance the summer maintenance work scheduled at both facilities.

    Both plants are now in a safe state of care and maintenance.

    Vision in Motion suspension

    In addition, consistent with actions taken by the Ontario government to limit all non-essential construction activity, work on VIM was suspended.

    Continued production

    UO2 production at the conversion facility, as well as fuel pellet and fuel bundle production at CFM will continue. The UO2 and CFM facilities are important links in the supply chain for Canada’s nuclear energy sector and these plants are designed and operated to shut down and start up every week. Although they may experience workforce fluctuations as a result of the ongoing circumstances, they are better able to adapt quickly to changes in staffing levels and more frequent starts and stops in production if required.

    See full Quarterly Report

    Refining

    Cameco's Blind River operation is the world's largest uranium refinery producing an intermediate product in the nuclear fuel cycle.

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    Conversion

    The Port Hope Conversion Facility provides uranium dioxide (UO2) and uranium hexafluoride (UF6) conversion services for nuclear operators around the world.

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    Fuel Manufacturing

    Cameco Fuel Manufacturing produces fuel bundles for CANDU reactors and also provides reactor components and consulting services to CANDU operators around the world.

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