Hitachi Ltd. and General Electric Co. said Friday that their joint nuclear power operation GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy will partner with Canada's Cameco Corp., the world's largest uranium producer, to promote a new uranium enrichment business.
Cameco will acquire a 24 per cent interest in GE Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment (GLE), whose new technology uses laser energy to enrich uranium. The value of the acquisition has not been made public, but GE will remain the largest shareholder with a 51 per cent stake.
By joining forces, Cameco's uranium production business and GE Hitachi's fuel enrichment and power plant construction operations can be combined to offer utilities an all-in-one service encompassing everything from nuclear fuel to power-generation equipment.
Four firms now dominate the global market for nuclear enrichment, but GLE plans to enter this business with a new laser technology that is more efficient than the existing methods of gas diffusion and centrifuge enrichment. GLE hopes to begin to use its technology for fuel enrichment in 2012.(Source: Trading Markets)