Our expertise lies in the design and delivery of high-quality manufacturing, engineering and technology solutions for the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s global energy market. ETC’s activities are focussed on two areas, thanks to many years of experience in the nuclear sector:
- Producing ultra-gas centrifuges; the most efficient technology for producing enriched uranium as fuel for nuclear power generation.
- Supplying advanced high-tech solutions; manufacturing high-tech products, and providing services such as design engineering for customers in the aerospace, semiconductor, Textiles and Packaging & Printing industries.
Enrichment is an essential step in the nuclear fuel cycle. Enrichment increases the amount of U-235, an isotope in natural Uranium, and makes it suitable for effective nuclear use.
ETC’s unique, internationally leading ultra-gas centrifuge technology uses its centrifuges to gradually separate the two most common isotopes in natural Uranium. Uranium hexafluoride (UF6) is fed, as a gas, into a centrifuge that quickly turns vacuum. The centrifuge motor produces heat at the bottom of the centrifuge. This creates an increase in temperature, which intensifies the separation process.
The rotating motion hurls the heavier U-238 molecules towards the wall of the centrifuge, while the lighter U-235 molecules congregate in the middle. A single centrifuge does not enrich uranium enough for use as nuclear fuel. Centrifuges are therefore used in series, to raise the level of enrichment. Enriched UF6 is piped to another centrifuge, while the depleted gas can be returned into the system. To increase the throughput of a system, centrifuges are also set up in parallel. These serial and parallel systems of centrifuges are known as cascades. Enriched uranium travels from one centrifuge to the next, for as long as is needed until it is sufficiently enriched to be used as fuel in nuclear power plants.
We at ETC believe it is critical for the environment that CO2 emissions be reduced. Using our technical expertise in enrichment technology gained through decades of R&D, engineering and manufacturing, we will support our customers’ efforts to provide a cleaner environment for the future.