Characterizing an Emerging Market for High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium Production
Patrick White & Erik Cothron |

This report by NIA provides new technical analyses of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU) production cost and the funding requirements for federal programs to support HALEU availability for advanced reactors. The production cost analyses highlight and quantify the role of different cost drivers (including both existing uranium mining, conversion, and enrichment capacity as well as new HALEU enrichment and deconversion capacity) in the cost of domestic HALEU production. These production cost-drivers are the starting point for commercial and government efforts to catalyze domestic HALEU production. The federal HALEU availability program evaluations we present characterize the Congressional appropriation needs to catalyze private investment new HALEU production capacity under a wide range of market conditions. These detailed program evaluations reinforce on-going work by Congress to secure additional legislative authorizations and appropriations for domestic HALEU production. This report provides a strong technical, economic, and policy basis for on-going efforts by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the U.S. Department of Energy to catalyze new domestic commercial production of HALEU for advanced reactors.


To see this report's summary for policymakers that focuses on the full report’s high-level policy takeaways, click here