ETC is an innovative technology company committed to the safe, competitive, and sustainable delivery of enrichment technology services and energy solutions to our customers.
Our expertise lies in the design and delivery of high quality manufacturing, engineering and technology solutions for the needs of today’s and future global energy market. Thanks to many years of experience in the nuclear sector, ETC’s business activities focus on two areas:
- Producing ultra-gas centrifuges, the most efficient technology for producing enriched uranium as a fuel for nuclear energy production.
- Supplying advanced high-tech solutions, manufacturing high-tech products and providing services such as design engineering for customers in the aerospace industry, semiconductor and textiles, packaging & printing industry.
The nuclear fuel cycle
Enrichment is an essential step in the nuclear fuel cycle. Enrichment increases the content of the isotope U235 in natural uranium and makes it suitable for effective nuclear use.
How uranium enrichment with the ultra-gas centrifuge works
ETC’s unique, world-leading ultra-gas centrifuges are being used to gradually separate the two most abundant isotopes of natural uranium. Uranium hexafluoride (UF6) is fed as a gas into a centrifuge that rotates extremely fast in a vacuum. The centrifuge motor produces heat at the bottom of the centrifuge. This creates a temperature rise, which intensifies the separation process.
The heavier U-238 molecules are driven to the wall of the centrifuge, while the lighter ones U-235 molecules remain in the middle. This allows the enriched and depleted uranium gases to be separated from each other. Centrifuges are connected in series to achieve the desired degree of enrichment. Centrifuges are also installed in parallel to achieve greater system capacity. These series and parallel centrifuge systems are called cascades. The enriched uranium goes from centrifuge to centrifuge until it is enriched enough to be used in nuclear fuel rods.
At ETC, we believe that reducing CO2 emissions is important for the environment. We support our customers in their efforts to achieve a cleaner environment by applying our technical knowledge in R&D, engineering and manufacturing, which has been accumulated over decades.