WEEKS after restructuring is operations to focus on its uranium enrichment technology, Silex's partner will be slowing down the commercialisation of the technology.
GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment, licensee for the SILEX Uranium Enrichment Technology, announced that it would change the funding and pace of the commercialisation program, in line with the adverse market conditions for nuclear power post-Fukushima.
Weeks earlier, Silex Systems had restructured its operations to eliminate many of the electronics-related R&D divisions, choosing to focus on the nuclear technology.
GLE will consolidate efforts on the technology development activities to its Wilmington facility in North Carolina, USA. Most contractor-based work on the project will be suspended, with the project facility near Oak Ridge, Tennessee to be placed in a safe storage mode.
Significantly, GLE-funded activities at the laser development facility at Lucas Heights, Sydney, will cease.
Silex says GLE's announcement was unexpected, but that it remains optimistic about the medium term prospects for the technology, and that GLE will continue the path towards commercialisation of its technology.
However, Silex acknowledged that there is still little demand for uranium and "enrichment services are in significant oversupply.” The firm also says it stands behind its recent restructure.