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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


BWX Technologies subsidiary gets US$122M contract for uranium de-enrichment

The subsidiary, Nuclear Fuel Services, has been ‘downblending’ enriched uranium since 1995

BWX Technologies subsidiary gets US$122M contract for uranium de-enrichment in Tennessee
Representatives discuss nuclear-powered space exploration technology in 2020. Photo credit: BWX Technologies

Virginia’s BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT), a multi-faceted nuclear tech company, has been awarded a US$122 million contract extension for uranium de-enrichment.

The company announced Wednesday that its Nuclear Fuel Services subsidiary would receive the funds from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a government-owned utility provider.

BWX already had a uranium “downblending” contract with the TVA, which has now been extended until 2027. Downblending is a process wherein highly-enriched uranium is converted into low-enriched uranium for commercial and domestic defence purposes.

The company says the contract extension will continue to support the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) defence program goals. BWX obtained a US$428 million contract from the NNSA in April last year for highly-enriched uranium purification and conversion services. Its engagement with the Department of Energy’s nuclear agency is not new.

“This contract extension enables operations and engineering continuity with our uranium conversion and purification contract with NNSA,” President Ronald K. Dailey said.

Nuclear Fuel Services has been downblending uranium since 1995 when the United States government selected it to contribute to Project Sapphire.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, a large quantity (about 600 kilograms) of weapons-grade uranium was left in Kazakhstan. Project Sapphire was a covert operation conducted by the U.S. to remove the material from the country in 1994. BWX then assisted with the de-enrichment process.

The company builds systems that power the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier and submarine fleet. It also specializes in nuclear medicine, space exploration and nuclear fuel for CANDU reactors.

Fuel bundle. Photo credit: BWX Technologies

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Nuclear fuel market to grow immensely

As countries around the globe continually commit to enhancing their nuclear capacity the demand for fuel needed in a variety of different power units will only rise.

Canada continues to be a key player in the modern-day nuclear renaissance and its stature will only increase. The country’s vast resources in the Athabasca Basin and elsewhere will be utilized at an unprecedented rate.

Established operators like Cameco Corporation (TSX: CCO) (NYSE: CCJ) and NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX: NXE) (NYSE: NXE) have experienced significant financial success as a result of the current bull market. Cameco shares have risen by over 47 per cent in the past year while NexGen’s stock has shot up by more than 58 per cent.

Smaller mining companies such as Stallion Uranium Corp. (TSX-V: STUD) (OTCQB: STLNF), ATHA Energy Corp. (CSE: SASK) (FRA: X5U) (OTCQB: SASKF) and IsoEnergy Ltd. (TSX-V: ISO) (OTCQX: ISENF) are poised for significant growth in the coming years.

“Canadian uranium will be an important ingredient in the success and sustainability of a nuclear renaissance,” Sasha Istvan, an Alberta engineer, said in a recent article by Ottawa’s Macdonald-Laurier Institute.


ATHA Energy is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage


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