Business, Freight News

DOE Seeks to Build Domestic Uranium Supply

[ February 2, 2024   //   ]

The U.S. Department of Energy has established request for proposals for uranium enrichment services.
The RFP is for establishing a reliable domestic supply of fuels using high-assay low-enriched uranium, or HALEU, a crucial need for smaller, more versatile nuclear reactors.
“HALEU is not commercially available from U.S.-based suppliers, and boosting domestic supply could spur the development and deployment of advanced reactors in the U.S., the DOE said.
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will provide up to US$500 million for HALEU enrichment contracts, selected from DOE requests for proposal. Biden has set the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy, said nuclear energy “provides about half of the nation’s carbon-free power,” and would benefit the transition to clean energy.
The existing U.S. fleet of reactors runs on uranium fuel enriched up to 5 percent with uranium-235. However, U.S. advanced reactors require HALEU enriched to between 5 percent and 20 percent to enable smaller, more versatile reactor designs.
The enrichment contracts will have a maximum duration of 10 years, with each contractor guaranteed a minimum order vale of US$2 million.

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