Axis appointed as specialist planning advisor for Europe’s first advanced nuclear enrichment facility

June 19, 2024

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Axis appointed as specialist planning advisor for UK’s first £196 million nuclear enrichment facility

The UK is set to become the first European country to produce advanced nuclear fuel, a market currently led by Russia. This move aims to enhance British energy security and provide reliable, affordable energy, as part of the government’s strategy to reduce dependence on Russian energy and to lower energy bills.

The government has awarded £196 million to a Cheshire-based company to build an advanced uranium enrichment facility, as part of the advanced nuclear fuel supply chain. This advanced enrichment facility will support the production of nuclear fuel by 2031, which can be exported or used domestically, potentially powering UK homes within the next decade. The goal is to end Russia’s monopoly as the sole commercial producer of high-assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) and to ensure that other countries are not reliant on Russian exports.

Alistair Yates

“Axis specialises in the provision of consultancy services to the energy sector and have demonstrable experience in all aspects of energy planning relating to a range of energy facilities, including nuclear,” said Axis Associate Director and project lead Alistair Yates.

He continues, “Since 2006, Axis consultants have worked closely with this uranium enrichment company on its largest projects and our long-standing relationship has given us in-depth knowledge of the company’s operations, specific projects, and the broad range of issues which typically affect them.

We’re delighted our expertise has been recognised by the company, which has appointed Axis as its specialist planning and transportation advisor for its future flagship development plans, including this new enrichment facility.”

HALEU is essential for powering the advanced and small modular reactors, which are key to the UK’s ambition to quadruple nuclear capacity by 2050, marking the largest expansion in 70 years.

These advanced reactors are more efficient and use innovative fuels, coolants, and technologies to generate low-carbon electricity. Their high heat output also allows them to decarbonise industries, produce hydrogen for transport, and provide heat for homes.

Investing in future fusion technology will generate jobs, boost the economy, and enhance the UK’s energy security. This will lead to a cleaner energy system, benefiting future generations and bringing the UK closer to connecting fusion energy to the grid by the 2040s.

The new facility will also create around 400 highly-skilled jobs, boosting the local supply chain and supporting the economy. Located in Cheshire, it will strengthen the Northwest of England’s position as a world leader in nuclear enrichment and fuel production.

Lead Image: Conceptualisation of a Small Modular Reactor
Image Credit: Rolls-Royce

We’re delighted our expertise has been recognised by the company, which has appointed Axis as its specialist planning and transportation advisor for its future flagship development plans, including this new enrichment facility.
Alistair Yates
Axis Associate Director and project lead

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