WORKING ON THE FUTURE OF CLEAN ENERGY
World leader in enrichment technology. That's what we are called... and for good reason. At ETC Netherlands, we develop innovative energy solutions and centrifuges for uranium enrichment. This enriched uranium is used as fuel for nuclear power plants. As a result, we play a crucial role in reducing CO2 emissions. A special task in these challenging times!
We are an innovative high-tech company that provides safe and sustainable enrichment technology and energy solutions for the energy market worldwide. We not only design these solutions, but also develop and deliver them as well. Naturally tailored to the needs of the current and future market. Within the nuclear sector, we focus on the following two areas:
1. Ultra-gas centrifuges:
We produce ultra-gas centrifuges to enrich uranium in the most efficient way. This enriched uranium is used as fuel for nuclear energy production.
2. Advanced high-tech solutions:
We manufacture and develop all kinds of high-tech products and services. We do this for customers in aerospace, semiconductor and textiles, packaging & printing industries.
About the nuclear fuel cycle
Our technology plays a key role in the so-called 'nuclear fuel cycle': the process by which natural uranium is converted into a fuel for power generation in nuclear reactors. The actual enrichment of the uranium is done by our customers Urenco and Orano and is the third step in the cycle below. We as ETC supply the technology behind enrichment.
How does uranium enrichment work?
ETC's ultra-gas centrifuges are international leaders. Our customers use them to enrich the two most common isotopes of natural uranium to gradually separate them. It perhaps sounds complicated, but we are happy to take you through this process step by step.
1. Uranium hexafluoride (UF6) is fed as a gas into a centrifuge running at high speed in a spinning vacuum.
2. The centrifuge motor produces heat at the bottom of the centrifuge. The temperature in the centrifuge increases and intensifies the separation process.
3. The heavier U-238 molecules are driven towards the wall of the centrifuge. The lighter U-235 molecules remain in the centre. This separates the enriched and depleted uranium gases.
4. To achieve the desired degree of enrichment, centrifuges are connected in series. The centrifuges are also installed in parallel to achieve greater system capacity. These centrifuge systems installed in series and in parallel are called 'cascades'.
5. The enriched uranium moves from centrifuge to centrifuge. This process continues until it is suitable for use in nuclear power plant fuel rods.
At ETC, reducing CO2 emissions is very important to us. We work on it every day. In addition, we support our customers in their efforts to achieve a cleaner environment. For instance through using our technical knowledge and experience in R&D, engineering and production. Together we are working on the future of clean energy!
Lianke Gerdzen - Communications Officer
Postbus 30, 7600 AA Almelo, Nederland
+31 (0)546 54 5562