United States to send more HEU to Europe for Mo-99 production

U.S. Department of Energy requested an export license (XSNM3794) to ship 5.274 kg of HEU to Europe. The material will be used to manufacture targets used in production of Mo-99.

The license application seeks approval of export of "4.913 kg uranium-235 in maximum of 5.274 kg uranium, enriched to maximum of 93.35%, in the form of unalloyed broken metal." The material will be shipped to a Framatome facility in France that will manufacture the targets, which will be irradiated in BR-2 reactor in Belgium, HFR reactor in the Netherlands, LVR-15 reactor in Czech Republic, and Maria reactor in Poland. Institute for Radioelements (IRE) in Belgium, where the targets will be reprocessed, is listed as the ultimate destination of the material. Previous license of this kind, XSNM3788 for 1.45 kg of HEU, was requested in December 2017.

It is not clear why the HFR reactor in the Netherlands is listed among the reactors that will be irradiating HEU targets - in January 2018 the NRG group, the operator, reported conversion of its Mo-99 production to LEU.