United States continues to supply HEU to Europe

U.S. National Nuclear Security Agency submitted a request XSNM3729/01 to amend the HEU export license XSNM3729 issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on 5 March 2013 to increase the amount of HEU covered by license and to allow target irradiation in Czech Republic and Poland.

The original license, XSNM3729, authorized export of "5.8 kg of U-235 contained in maximum of 6.2 kg of uranium" to be shipped for use in Mo-99 production at the Institute for Radioelements (IRE) in Belgium. The targets were to be manufactured by CERCA Areva and target irradiation to be performed in the following reactors: BR2 in Belgium, HFR Petten in the Netherlands, OSIRIS in France. (Note that the terms of this license are identical to the terms of the license XSNM3622/01, issued on 6 September 2012.)

The new request, XSNM3729/01, will amend the original license to add 6.815 kg of U-235 in 7.3 kg of uranium (maximum enrichment 93.35%) and include LVR-15 reactor in the Czech Republic and Maria reactor in Poland to the list of reactors that will irradiate the targets. (It is worth noting that the LVR-15 reactor was included in the license request filed in May 2012, but the reactor was not included in the license XSNM3622/01 that was issued as a result of that request.)

Also, on 20 November 2013, NRC issued an amendment to another license that authorizes NNSA to ship HEU to Europe. The original license, XSNM3730, was issued on 5 March 2013. It allowed export of 9.4 kg of U-235 contained in 10.1 kg uranium enriched to 93.35% for use in Mo-99 production at the Covidien facility in Petten, the Netherlands. Target were to be fabricated at CERCA Areva and irradiated in the BR2 and HFR Petten reactors. That material was shipped to Europe in Spring 2013 (according to the amendment application). The amended license, XSNM3730/01, adds 7.7 kg of U-235 in 8.3 kg of uranium and adds Maria reactor in Poland to the list of reactors that will irradiate the targets. Also the license reflects the name change - Covidien is now listed as Mallinckrodt Molybdenum Production Facility.