Enrichment: Global Laser Enrichment
Global Laser Enrichment LLC (GLE) is the exclusive licensee of the proprietary Separation of Isotopes by Laser Excitation (SILEX) laser enrichment technology, a third-generation uranium enrichment technology. We are the commercial lead for the GLE project with a 49% interest and starting in February 2023, an option to attain a majority interest of up to 75% ownership.
Subject to completion of the technology development program, and its progression through to commercialization, GLE has the potential to offer a variety of advantages to the global nuclear energy sector over the long-term, which include:
- re-enriching depleted uranium tails leftover as a by-product of previous-generation enrichment technologies, repurposing legacy waste into a commercial source of uranium and conversion products to fuel nuclear reactors and aiding in the responsible clean-up of enrichment facilities no longer in operation, as per GLE’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy
- producing commercial low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel for the world’s existing and future fleet of large-scale light-water reactors with greater efficiency and flexibility than current enrichment technologies
- producing high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), the primary fuel stock for the majority of small modular reactor (SMR) and advanced reactor designs that are proceeding through the development stage and continuing toward commercial readiness
In 2022, GLE made progress with the first full-scale laser system module, successfully completing eight months of testing in Australia, and the system was delivered to GLE’s commercial pilot demonstration facility in the US. In addition, GLE signed letters of intent to collaborate with two major US utilities to help diversify the US nuclear fuel supply chain, including measures to support its deployment of laser enrichment technology in the US.
The development timeline for GLE will be dependent on several factors, including market fundamentals, securing government funding, support for HALEU availability in the US and GLE’s ability to secure long-term contracts to underpin the deployment of a commercial facility.