History

The Evolution of

Laser Enrichment and Formation of GLE

1990’s

The SILEX Laser Isotope Separation (LIS) Process was invented by Silex Systems Limited scientists, Dr. Michael Goldsworthy and Dr. Horst Struve in Sydney, Australia.

2000

The United States and Australia sign the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America concerning Technology for the Separation of Isotopes of Uranium by Laser Excitation. This treaty allows the USA and Australia to jointly develop SILEX technology for uranium enrichment, which becomes the only privately-owned technology classified under US security law.

2006

Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) forms to commercialize the SILEX process, starting with the Test Loop Program in Wilmington, NC.

2008

Cameco, one of the world’s largest uranium producers, acquires a 24% ownership stake in GLE.

2010

GLE completes and commissions its prototype-scale Test Loop facility.

2012

GLE received the first U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission license for the construction and operation of a full-scale laser enrichment facility planned for Wilmington, NC. The GLE Wilmington facility was shelved due to the downturn in the nuclear fuel markets, with surplus global enrichment capacity remaining a key factor today.

2013

GLE successfully completes Phase I of its multi-phase technology development and commercialization plan, achieving technology validation through detailed physical demonstration and testing of the enrichment capabilities of the SILEX process in the Test Loop.

2016

GLE and the US Department of Energy sign an agreement for the purchase of DOE inventories of depleted uranium hexafluoride by GLE, to be re-enriched at a facility proposed to be constructed and operated in Paducah, KY, called the Paducah Laser Enrichment Facility (PLEF).

2017

Growing interest in advanced and small modular reactors leads to GLE’s submission to the US Department of Energy’s request for information on High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) production.

2019

GE-Hitachi agrees to sell its 76% equity interest in GLE to Silex and Cameco, with Silex establishing an ownership position and Cameco expanding its ownership stake.

2021

GLE restructure completed after receipt of US Government approvals, with Silex Systems Limited acquiring a 51% interest and Cameco Corporation increasing its interest from 24% to 49%.