About us

Orano possesses unrivaled expertise in the nuclear fuel cycle. Harnessing over 60 years of proven technological mastery and expertise, the Group has developed a new business involving the production of stable isotopes. The stable isotopes business is fully in line with Orano’s corporate purpose: “Develop know-how in the transformation and control of nuclear materials for the climate, for a healthy and resource-efficient world, now and tomorrow.” The Group is thereby offering an alternative solution in the market for products of high isotopic and chemical purity for the healthcare, research and industrial sectors.

The stable isotopes business: a high level of expertise applied to non-nuclear fields

Orano’s stable isotope production is based on the skills and cutting-edge technologies used in the transformation, conversion and enrichment of uranium. This industrial experience has allowed the Group to develop a new activity outside the field of nuclear power, namely the production of stable isotopes.

 

“The stable isotopes activity is a consolidation of Orano’s expertise. It stems from the development of skills and processes applied in our nuclear plants to create new applications in France outside the nuclear field”. 

Laurent Bigot, stable isotopes Director.

More information

Uranium transformation technologies to produce stable isotopes

 

By harnessing its industrial experience for the production of stable isotopes,Orano offers a high level of expertise at every stage of the process.

The project is initially based on the technologies currently used on uranium in the Orano plants at Tricastin and Malvési. The natural element must first be converted into gas if it is not already gaseous. In many cases, this stage is based on fluorine chemistry, which is used for uranium in Orano’s conversion plants.

The element converted into gas can be enriched or depleted using an industrial technology called centrifugation. The element is then converted back into the form required by the customer.

A French alternative for healthcare, industry and research

The stable isotopes activity broadens the Orano group’s field of possibilities. This expertise is intended for customers operating in the healthcare, research and industrial sectors. 

A few examples of specific applications:

  • In the healthcare sector, stable isotopes are used as the base material for many radioactive drugs.
  • In industry, the use of natural isotopes improves the performance of lasers.
  • In basic research, stable isotopes promise major advances in the industrialization of quantum chips.

Strategic location: production laboratory at Tricastin

 

Spanning a surface area of 3,200 m2, the stable isotopes production laboratory is located at the center of the Orano Tricastin industrial facility.

The production unit was designed to meet the expectations of the international market and to ensure the production of high-purity isotopic and chemical products tailored to user requirements.

 

The stable isotope activity is run by a team of around twenty highly qualified operators, including experts in chemistry, enrichment and quality analysis.

vue-3D-LIS

Key dates in the laboratory's history:

 

  • October 2021: completion of the main building.
  • Spring 2022: start of the assembly and installation of process equipment.
  • 2nd half of 2023: launch of initial commercial production.
timeline LIS

The team

Laurent Bigot

Director

Sandra Barithel

Marketing and Sales Manager

Serge Parise

Facility Manager

Philippe Bertrand

Innovation Expertise Manager


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