centrifuge-technology-how-it-works

HOW IT WORKS

Before naturally mined uranium can be used as fuel, it must be enriched to the point where the concentration of one isotope, Uranium-235, is high enough for the fuel to be used in a nuclear reactor.

ETC’s gas centrifuge technology uses highly efficient centrifuges, rotating at high speed. Uranium, converted into a gas, is fed into the centrifuges where it is spun at high speeds. The centrifugal forces inside mean that lighter molecules move to the centre of the centrifuge, while heavier molecules move to the outside. This allows uranium gas with a higher concentration of the lighter molecule to be drawn off.

The process is repeated a number of times to increase the concentration, while depleted gas is drawn off to be recycled in the process. The gas passes through a number of centrifuges in series, known as a cascade. Once the desired concentration is reached, the uranium is processed back into solid form, where it can be transported to a nuclear power plant for processing.

ETC’s gas centrifuge technology

ETC has developed a very efficient and reliable gas centrifuge technology, which has proven its effectiveness over many years of operation. Our technology is proven to be 50 times more energy-efficient than its main alternative, the gas diffusion process. 

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INNOVATION

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

As a company ETC invests 20% of its annual revenue on Research and Development, putting us in the very top tier of companies worldwide for re-investment in innovation.

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NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE

THE PROCESS

ETC’s technology holds a key position in the nuclear fuel cycle – the process by which natural uranium is converted into fuel that can be used in a nuclear reactor to produce power.

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INSIGHT & NEWS

insight $ news
03 February 2022

European Commission categorises nuclear power as a sustainable energy source

Following consultations with the member states the European Commission has classified nuclear power as an environmentally sustainable energy source. The decision is part of the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities, a system that mobilises and guides future investments required to achieve climate neutrality across Europe by 2050.

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insight $ news
28 January 2022

2022: the year of sustainability at ETC

2022 has been set as ETC’s Year of Sustainability, in which the company aims to leverage its skills and expertise in high-tech, clean energy production to make a significant difference to the business’ sustainability performance. CFO Laure Claquin is leading an engaged team of colleagues, drawn from all ETC sites, that plan to deliver a series of activities and events focused on sustainability issues.

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insight $ news
11 October 2021

ETC Nederland: founder of the Triple T High Tech Academy

In the Twente region of the eastern Netherlands ETC Nederland has collaborated with other local high-tech employers to create a unique new programme to improve the skills of young trainees doing technical roles.

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