Bechtel, a leader in engineering and construction, has announced its selection by Urenco, a prominent supplier of nuclear enrichment services and fuel cycle products, for the advancement of clean and reliable nuclear energy.
Bechtel will play a pivotal role in supporting the expansion of a crucial facility responsible for processing uranium tails, a vital component in the generation of clean and dependable nuclear power.
The facility in question, known as the Tails Management Facility (TMF), is situated at Urenco’s site in Capenhurst, England. The TMF serves as a repository for low concentration uranium ‘tails,’ which can either be further utilized or converted into a chemically stable form for secure disposal.
Uranium remains the primary fuel source for nuclear power plants, making the TMF an indispensable asset in enabling the United Kingdom’s nuclear energy security strategy. This strategy includes ambitious plans to deliver 24GW of new nuclear capacity by 2050, which will contribute to approximately a quarter of the country’s domestic electricity supply.
Bechtel’s role in this crucial expansion project involves providing front-end engineering and design (FEED) services. By doing so, Bechtel will empower Urenco to convert a more significant portion of ‘tails’ from depleted uranium hexafluoride into safe storage, while also producing hydrogen fluoride for use in various applications, including refrigerants and pharmaceuticals.
‘Tails,’ as the by-products of uranium enrichment, are becoming increasingly essential as nations worldwide look to incorporate more clean, reliable, and cost-effective nuclear power into their energy portfolios. Notably, Russia has been a significant producer of enriched uranium, and countries are actively seeking to enhance their energy security and address future energy needs, thus driving up demand for production in the Western world.
Cavendish Nuclear, acting as a subconsultant, will collaborate closely with Bechtel to ensure the successful execution of this critical project. Bechtel and Cavendish Nuclear have a well-established track record of working together effectively for UK clients, with previous successful collaborations at Sellafield, the UK’s oldest nuclear storage facility, and in supporting infrastructure upgrade work for the Royal Navy in Devonport.
Bechtel’s selection by Urenco represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of clean and reliable nuclear energy solutions. As global energy needs continue to evolve, this partnership is poised to play an essential role in ensuring energy security, sustainability, and the delivery of a cleaner and more dependable energy future.