Agreement with technology innovator moves GE Energy into nuclear sector

By Control Engineering Staff June 7, 2006

Wilmington, NC — GE Energy expands into the nuclear sector signing an exclusive agreement with Silex Systems Ltd. , an Australia-based technology innovator, to license Silex’ technology and develop its uranium manufacturing process in the United States. The transaction is subject to governmental approvals and regulatory controls on the design, construction, and operation of the process.

The agreement provides for a phased approach to technology development and potential construction of a test loop, pilot plant, and full-scale, commercial enrichment facility. GE is considering its existing nuclear energy headquarters in Wilmington, NC, as a possible site.

Silex’s technology is a third-generation, laser-based isotope separation process for enriching uranium solely for use in civilian nuclear power plants. The process is reportedly more efficient than other methods, such as gas diffusion or gas centrifuge plants. The low-grade enriched uranium would be used in industry.

The agreement puts GE Energy in a strong position to support demands for enriched uranium, said Andy White, president and CEO of GE’s nuclear business. The global uranium enrichment sector is valued at approximately $5 billion annually.

— Control Engineering Daily News Desk Jeanine Katzel , senior editor