France Mulls New Uranium Plant to Cut West’s Reliance on Russia – by Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg News – October 7, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — French state-controlled uranium producer Orano SA is considering growing its capacity to enrich the radioactive ore into nuclear fuel by almost 50% as Western governments and utilities seek to reduce their reliance on Russia since its attack on Ukraine.

The war is “reviving the urgency” to raise Western uranium-enrichment capacity to avoid potential shortages, Orano said, according to a statement of France’s public debate committee. The cost of the capacity extension from 7.5 million to 11 million so-called separative work units at its plant in central France is estimated at 1.3 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

“We’re working on various scenarios, including the extension of our Georges Besse II plant, which would be the fastest option, but also on building that extra capacity in the US,” Christophe Neugnot, head of communications at Orano, said by phone.

“We’ll need client commitments for our board to make a final decision in 2023, which would allow the first part of the extension to be commissioned toward 2028.”

For the rest of this article:,since%20its%20attack%20on%20Ukraine.