The Canada-based uranium company has an option to attain a majority interest of up to 75% ownership in GLE. GLE is the exclusive licensee of the proprietary Silex laser enrichment technology, third-generation uranium enrichment technology that is in the development phase.
Cameco president and chief executive officer Tim Gitzel said there are still a number of development milestones before the Silex technology can be commercialised, but “we believe it has excellent potential to expand Cameco’s reach in the nuclear fuel cycle in the future”.
GLE has an agreement with the US Department of Energy to enrich about 300,000 tonnes of depleted uranium tails to natural-grade uranium at a Silex plant to be built at Paducah, Kentucky.
The company plans to produce high-assay low-enriched uranium (Haleu), the primary fuel stock for most small modular reactor and advanced reactor designs.
It also says it will provide 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”.