SILEX Uranium Enrichment Project Update: Silex Systems Limited (ASX: SLX) reports that the SILEX Uranium Enrichment commercialization project being conducted by GLE (a business venture between GE, Hitachi and Cameco) continues to make good progress with the recent commissioning of a new engineering facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and successful completion of further Test Loop measurements.
“GLE continues to make advancements in the test program and towards commercialization of the SILEX laser enrichment technology in the US,” Mr Chris Monetta, President and CEO of GLE said today. “We have made good progress with the technology and expect to finalise the commercial enrichment facility licensing process with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in early 2012,” he added.
Silex CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy commented: “As distressing and tragic as consequences of the events at Fukushima and in northern Japan have been, the world remains desperately in need of clean sustainable energy supplies, and nuclear power continues to present an affordable source of carbon-free base load electricity.
”GLE will continue to evaluate the project throughout this phase to decide whether to proceed with a commercial production facility with a target capacity of 3-6 million Separative Work Units (SWU’s). A SWU is a unit measuring the energy used to enrich uranium, which is then made into fuel for nuclear power plants."
Nuclear Industry and Enrichment Outlook:
The outlook for the nuclear industry following the dismaying events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was widely discussed at the recent World Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference, held in Chicago during 5-7th April. Although there is still some uncertainty over the unresolved situation at the Fukushima plant, there was a general
consensus that the medium to long term outlook for the nuclear industry remained largely unchanged and very positive.
In his opening address to the conference on 6th April, Mr John Ritch, World Nuclear Association (WNA) Director General, said: “In the years preceding Fukushima, most major nations in the world reviewed their energy and environment policies and, with few exceptions, came inexorably to the same conclusion: that, for reasons of energy independence and environmental responsibility, nuclear power must play a central role in their energy strategies for the 21st century. Fukushima has done nothing to alter the facts that led so many different nations to a common nuclear path,” he added.
On the issue of energy demand, Ian Hore-Lacy, Director of Public Communications, also from the WNA, commented in a separate interview: “When all this is sorted, world energy demand will be just the same as it was, the demand for reliable electricity supply will still be on a path to doubling in two decades, and the options for meeting that demand will be just the same. On the basis of calm rational consideration, nuclear power will be looking just as attractive as it did before.”
Based on current energy industry views, Dr Goldsworthy said: "it would appear that the prospects for expanded use of nuclear power will continue to be positive in the medium to long term in most countries committed to nuclear power. This means market forecasts for nuclear fuel demand, and in particular uranium enrichment demand, should not change significantly in the medium to long term. We therefore believe that market demand for new enrichment capacity will remain largely the same - within a year or two of original forecasts pre-Fukushima.”
Further information on the Company’s activities can be found on the Silex website:
www.silex.com.au or by contacting the persons listed below.
Contacts: Dr Michael Goldsworthy (02) 9532 1331 or Mr Chris Wilks (02) 9855 5404.
Forward Looking Statements and Business Risks:
Silex is a research and development Company whose assets are its proprietary rights in technologies, including, but not limited to, the SILEX technology, the Silex Solar technology and business, Translucent technology and ChronoLogic technology. Several of the Company’s technologies are in the development stage and have not been commercially deployed, and therefore are high-risk. Accordingly, the statements in this announcement regarding the future of the Company’s technologies and commercial prospects are forward looking and actual results could be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements as a result of various risk factors. Some risk factors that could affect future results and commercial prospects include, but are not limited to: results from the uranium enrichment development program and the stable isotopes program; the demand for enriched materials including
uranium, silicon, oxygen, carbon and others; the business risks associated with Silex Solar’s manufacturing and marketing activities; the outcomes of the Company’s interests in the development of various semiconductor, photonics and alternative energy technologies; the time taken to develop various technologies; the development of competing technologies; the potential for third party claims against the Company’s ownership of Intellectual Property associated with its numerous technologies; the potential impact of government regulations or policies; and the outcomes of various commercialisation strategies undertaken by the Company.
Dr Michael Goldsworthy, Managing Director and CEO, Silex Systems Limited
P: (02) 9532 1331