It has been a great end to the week for shareholders of nuclear energy technology developer Silex Systems Ltd (ASX: SLX). Its shares rose a staggering 80% in early trade, before dropping back to be up around 46% to 51 cents at the time of writing.

Its shares rocketed higher following the release of a positive announcement related to its licensee GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment (GLE).

According to the release GLE has signed an agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the sale and purchase of depleted uranium hexafluoride.

The DOE approval provides for the sale and purchase of approximately 300,000 metric tons of uranium from DOE-owned high assay tails inventories for re-enrichment with SILEX technology to produce natural grade uranium.

SILEX CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy had this to say on the agreement:

“The finalisation of the agreement with the DOE is a pivotal step in the path to commercialisation for our unique third generation SILEX laser enrichment technology. We look forward to working with the many stakeholders involved to make this opportunity become a commercial reality over the next few years. In particular, we are enthusiastic about engaging with the local Paducah and Kentucky workforces to bring our cutting edge laser enrichment technology to the traditional heartland of the US enrichment industry, and helping to restore US leadership in nuclear technology”

The re-enrichment will occur over a period of at least 40 years and is expected to produce upwards of 100,000 tons of natural grade uranium. The low assay tails will be returned to the DOE for disposition.

Ultimately the company expects that 2,000 metric tons of uranium will be sold into the growing global uranium market each year, equating to annual sales of US$200 million based on the today’s relevant prices.

According to previous releases SILEX can expect to earn 7% to 12% in royalty payments from these sales.

Clearly this is a big step forward for the company and it isn’t a surprise to see its shares rally. Whilst it might be a much more exciting investment than traditional energy providers DUET Group (ASX: DUE) and AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL), I wouldn’t necessarily rush into making an investment at this stage. There’s still a lot of work to be done before this uranium hits the market, so maybe just add it to your watch list for now.

In the meantime these rapidly growing shares could be great investment options for investors. Are they in your portfolio?

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.