Fluoride Action Network

Port Hope: UF6 production to resume

Source: Northumberland Today | Sun Media
Posted on May 19th, 2009
Location: Canada, Ontario
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

The Port Hope conversion facility is getting geared up to resume production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) after an HF supplier was located.

Cameco has signed a new contract with its historic supplier of hydrofluoric acid (HF) under terms that are mutually beneficial to both parties. HF is a primary feed material for the production of UF6.

Production of UF6 at Cameco’s Port Hope conversion facility was suspended in December 2008 as the company could not obtain a supply of HF on acceptable terms, but deliveries of HF are expected to resume within the next month.

Cameco spokesperson Doug Prendergast says they will continue to negotiate with other suppliers and intend to sign agreements with one or more additional suppliers in the near future.

Cameco plans to recall 25 employees who were temporarily laid off when UF6 production was suspended. Recall notices will be issued within the next week.

UF6 production is expected to resume early in the third quarter of 2009. Cameco will provide an update if there is any change to its 2009 fuel services production estimate.

While UF6 production at Port Hope has been suspended, Cameco met its delivery commitments to its customers. UF6 deliveries were made from inventory and contracted supply under the agreement with Springfields Fuels Limited. In addition, the company, with the co-operation of its customers, arranged for voluntary deferrals of UF6 deliveries and made limited purchases of UF6 conversion services.

They are assuming Cameco’s Port Hope UF6 plant can be brought back into production without unforeseen difficulty or delay, but that is subject to a number of risks including the risk of unusual difficulties arising from the extended length of time that the UF6 plant has been shut down, the risk of equipment failure, the risk of delay in expected deliveries of HF, the risk of natural phenomena including inclement weather conditions and fire, and the risk of delay or ultimate lack of success, states a press release issued by Cameco Corporation.