GE, SILEX Receive U.S. Government Authorizations Required To Proceed With Uranium Enrichment Technology Deal
WILMINGTON, N.C. - October 4, 2006 :- GE Energy’s nuclear business and Australia materials technology developer Silex Systems Limited have received the U.S. government authorizations required to proceed with an agreement granting GE exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Silex’s advanced, laser-based uranium enrichment technology.
The ‘SILEX’ Technology is the world’s first, third-generation process for enriching uranium used as fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. It is designed to be an ultra-efficient, more cost-effective production system than existing, extremely energy-intensive gaseous diffusion or capital-intensive centrifuge enrichment methods.
The agreement provides for a phased approach to the commercialization of the SILEX technology and the potential construction of a commercial enrichment facility. These operations would be funded by GE and built at GE’s existing nuclear energy headquarters and technology site in Wilmington, N.C. or another suitable location in the United States. In return, GE will provide Silex with a series of scheduled payments as specific technology development milestones are reached, and ultimately royalty payments based on revenues generated by commercial operations using the SILEX Technology.
“GE’s agreement with Silex comes at an ideal time, just as the global nuclear industry is preparing to build new reactors around the world,” said Andy White, president and CEO of GE Energy’s nuclear business. “These new reactors will require a steady supply of enriched fuel. We expect the SILEX Technology to help us fulfill the industry’s growing fuel demands.”
Dr. Michael Goldsworthy, who founded Silex in 1988, noted that the commercial arrangement with GE presents Silex with its best opportunity to see its years of work come to fruition.
“We are excited to proceed with GE towards completion of the various phases of the process contemplated by the agreement, including a test loop demonstration facility and full-scale commercial production,” he said. “We anticipate that the SILEX Technology will play a crucial role in supporting the expansion of carbon-free nuclear electricity generation throughout the world.”
GE already provides a number of nuclear products and services. With the SILEX Technology, GE will be able to expand into the enrichment sector and enhance its ability to serve customers in the nuclear industry.
“GE’s commercialization of the SILEX enrichment technology is a crucial part of our long-term growth strategy for the nuclear business, positioning GE to be a leading global competitor in the industry for decades to come,” White said.
GE Energy’s nuclear business develops advanced light water reactors and provides a wide array of technology-based products and services to help owners of both boiling and pressurized water reactors safely operate their facilities with greater efficiency and output.
About GE Energy
GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) ) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2005 revenue of $16.5 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.
Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.
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