ETC prepares for growing demand for nuclear energy

Wind, sun, and hydrogen are the future energy sources. However, the sun doesn’t always shine, there are calm days without wind, and the development of (green) hydrogen as a fuel is still in progress. According to ETC, a producer of ultracentrifuges for uranium enrichment, the solution may lie in nuclear energy.

“Nuclear energy can contribute to making the world carbon-free,” says Leon Lagendijk, director of ETC in Almelo. “Colossal changes are happening due to global climate agreements and the war in Ukraine, where geopolitical aspects have also come into play. If a country’s gas tap can suddenly be closed, the necessity for countries to tap into other energy sources becomes even greater. I believe a mix of solar, wind, and nuclear energy is the solution.”

Preparations for supplying more nuclear energy are underway in various countries. They are reopening nuclear power plants, building new ones, or discussing plans for them. In our country, the government wants to keep the Borssele plant open longer and aims to build two new plants. According to the government, nuclear energy is clean, can be supplied continuously, and reduces our dependence on imports from other countries. “Just like in the mid-1970s. During the oil crisis, nuclear energy production was increased.”

Increased demand

For ETC in Almelo, this is a reason to prepare for increased demand for ultracentrifuges. “Building new nuclear power plants takes time, and so does increasing our production,” says Lagendijk. ETC is working hard to ramp up production. In 2022, the company in Almelo had 200 employees. This year, it’s already 330. The director expects to double the number of staff in two years. So far, finding people has been successful. “Twente is known as a high-tech region, attracting people. You see that today’s employees, besides having a great job, increasingly find it important to work for a company with social impact. They find that purpose at ETC due to its contribution to solving climate problems. Also, our collaboration with all regional tech companies helps us showcase our region. We don’t engage in competition for personnel. If other major companies attract people, it helps us too.”


In addition to recruiting people, ETC focuses on innovation. According to Lagendijk, the company’s innovation lies mainly in automating and digitizing processes in Almelo. “We can’t disclose specifics due to the sensitivity in this industry, but linking data effectively helps us make qualitative and quantitative improvements. In our German branch, we continuously develop ultracentrifuges, making them last longer and increase output. That’s also innovation.”


Due to the expected increase in production (as ETC’s customers, Urenco and Orano, enrich uranium and plan to supply more in the future), a physical expansion is likely needed. “We can probably continue at our current location for many years. There’s still space,” says Lagendijk. “We want that too. Firstly, because the building, with all safety requirements, can’t be easily relocated. Secondly, we attract the right people here, and that’s uncertain elsewhere. And, of course, Urenco, our customer, is just around the corner. So, for now, we’re expanding right here in Almelo.”

Date: 6 September 2023 |

Source of tekst: ETC |

Author: Maaike Thüss


ETC Nederland
Planthofsweg 77
7601 PJ Almelo
+31 (0)546 54 55 00

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