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. 

entrifuge-technology-how-it-works
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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
09 December 2022

ETC’s Jülich site under new management

From December 2022, the site of ETC Deutschland is managed by Andreas Scholz, our former Head of Research & Development. He will receive support from Maurice Emunds, who has additionally been appointed Deputy Site Director of Jülich.

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insight $ news
21 October 2022

Why work at ETC?

ETC is an innovative technology company committed to the safe, sustainable delivery of enrichment technology services and advanced high-tech solutions to our customers.

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insight $ news
05 September 2022

ETC goes into orbit with the Ariane 6

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space – its mission is to shape the development of the continent’s space capability and ensure that space investment continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

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