United States to supply HEU for Belgian BR2 reactor

On December 23, 2014 the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission received an application for an export license XSOU8839 that would authorize the Y-12 National Security Complex to ship "134.2 kg uranium-235 contained in maximum of 144.0 kg of uranium, enriched to maximum 93.20 weight%, in the form of broken metal" to Areva's CERCA facility in France, where the material will be used to manufacture fuel for the Belgian BR2 reactor. The shipments are expected to take place in 2016.

The license notes that "[c]onversion of the BR2 reactor to use a LEU fuel is in progress." Indeed, in 2012 NRC approved a shipment of 22 kg of 20% LEU for use in irradiation experiments in the BR2 reactor.

Previously approved shipments of HEU for the BR2 reactor include 93.5 kg of HEU (87.3 kg of U-235) in July 2010, 85.5 kg of HEU (79.814 kg of U- 235) in 2006. It also used the 69 kg of HEU that was supplied in 2006 for the High Flux Reactor (Réacteur à Haut Flux, RHF) at the Institut Max von Laue-Paul Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble.

UPDATE: The license request XSNM3758 has been published in the Federal Register on February 18, 2015.