As the world moves away from the use of fossil fuels in favor of renewable energies in an effort to decrease carbon emissions, interest in the use of uranium as a nuclear fuel continues to grow.
Uranium, which is a non-carbon-emitting fuel, is mostly used by nuclear power plants to generate electricity for power grids. However, once the fuel is spent and cannot be used anymore, it becomes radioactive waste. Experts had not found a way to re-purpose this fuel, until now.
Recently, Energy Northwest and Curio entered into a memorandum of understanding that will involve the deployment of a commercial facility to recycle nuclear fuel in the United States. This facility, which is the first of its kind in the country, will offer various in-demand products and commodities. This includes a transuranic-based TRUfuel and high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU) for advanced reactors under development as well as domestically-produced LEU (low enriched uranium) nuclear fuel for the existing fleet of nuclear reactors.
The NuCycle nuclear waste recycling process by Curio was developed for a range of industries, including nuclear medicine, advanced batteries and space. The company is expected to significantly decrease the quantity of radioactive nuclear waste with this facility and establish a new global standard for recycling used nuclear fuel.
Energy Northwest is an off-taker of products produced via this nuclear waste recycling process. The company’s CEO, Bob Schuetz, stated that they were excited about the partnership with Curio because it would allow Energy Northwest to explore the potential to recycle used LEU nuclear fuel, which represents a groundbreaking achievement regarding the future of nuclear energy on a commercial scale.
Schuetz explained that tapping spent nuclear fuel as a raw material also had a number of benefits, including demonstrating the long-term promotion of environmental stewardship and sustainability, growing the country’s energy independence and security, and decreasing America’s reliance on import fuel.
In addition, Schuetz noted that the nuclear fuel recycling process’ development was an important tool and the company took pride in participating in such an undertaking.
Curio CEO Edward McGinnis stated that the company was happy to announce their collaboration alongside Energy Northwest. He explained that currently, roughly 4% of all possible energy value from the country’s used fuel from commercial light-water reactors had been utilized, noting that the time had come to tap into this hidden-in-plain-sight energy and then repurpose it to yield green fuel that could be used to meet America’s future need for clean electricity.
The firm’s partnership with Energy Northwest signifies a crucial step in bringing to life the potential of its NuCycle technology. The commencement of operations for this fuel recycling firm is likely to create a bigger domestic market for the uranium mined by companies such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) as the movement away from fossil fuels gathers steam.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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