Business

The safe processing of uranium ore concentrates into fuel for clean air nuclear power plants is the focus of Cameco’s Fuel Services Division in Ontario, Canada.

Before it can be used to generate electricity, uranium concentrate, or yellowcake as it is commonly referred to, must be further processed. First the uranium concentrate is refined to remove impurities and change its chemical form to uranium trioxide (UO3). This UO3 is then chemically converted into one of two different uranium compounds, uranium dioxide (UO2) or uranium hexafluoride (UF6), depending on the type of reactor to be fuelled. Some of the UO2 is shipped directly to Cameco's fuel manufacturing. In Port Hope and Cobourg, fuel assemblies are constructed for CANDU heavy water reactors. This facility is also a well-known producer of reactor components for reactors around the world. UF6 moves on to enrichment facilities for further processing into fuel for light water nuclear power reactors.

Cameco's fuel services division:

  • operates the largest commercial refinery in the world,
  • controls about 20% of the world UF6 conversion capacity, and
  • is a leading manufacturer of fuel assemblies and reactor components for CANDU heavy water reactors.

For more details about the nuclear fuel cycle and uranium processing, visit Uranium 101.

(As of December 31, 2016)
751 employees in Ontario
1930s - uranium-related industry began in Ontario
25% - About one quarter of the world's UF6 conversion capacity is controlled by Cameco
50% - More than half of Ontario's electricity is generated with Cameco fuel

Business Features

Refining

Cameco's Blind River Refinery first opened in 1983.

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Conversion

Nuclear material processing has been conducted here since the 1930s.

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Manufacturing

Research and fuel manufacturing development began here in 1957.

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Operating Licence Renewal

Cameco's Port Hope Conversion Facility has been granted a 10-year operating licence.

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