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Brush Wellman Receives $7.0 Million Beryllium Order for European Fusion Power Facility


ELMORE, Ohio, May 03, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Brush Wellman Inc.'s Beryllium Products business unit has received a $7.0 million order to provide beryllium metal for the Joint European Torus (JET), the largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor in the world. JET is located in England.

The order, which calls for delivery of 4.4 metric tons of beryllium beginning late the third quarter of 2006 and expected to be completed in the first half of 2007, came from the European Fusion Development Agreement, the agency that provides funding to JET. The beryllium will be used for inner wall plasma facing components that will line the inside of the reactor as part of a major recommissioning project to prepare JET for fusion reaction testing. An earlier generation of beryllium replacement tiles, also from Brush Wellman materials, serviced the reactor beginning in the late 1980's.

"The decision to involve Brush in the JET experiment once again places our team and our materials at the forefront of a leading, global technology project," said Richard J. Hipple, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Brush Engineered Materials Inc., the parent company of Brush Wellman Inc. "Importantly, fusion power could contribute to the world's clean electrical power needs of the future."

"The beryllium specified for the JET application is our high purity S65 grade material," said Michael (Mike) D. Anderson, President of Beryllium Products. "Its properties are particularly well suited for the intense conditions inside the reactor. Representatives of our Elmore, Ohio manufacturing facility have been working closely with JET scientists in the United Kingdom and we are prepared to begin production of the material immediately."

JET produces a 100,000,000 degrees C reaction by fusing deuterium and tritium in an intense magnetic field. The reactor is a precursor for a planned larger, even more sophisticated facility called ITER, which is scheduled to be built in France. It is hoped that ITER will provide critical data to support the technological feasibility of a full-scale fusion power plant in 30 to 50 years.

Scientists see fusion as a practical source of future power needs due to its low production of nuclear waste and high amount of energy produced. Since no actual combustion occurs during the reaction, fusion will not produce air pollution. Also, deuterium, one of the fuel sources, can be extracted from seawater, while tritium can be produced in the fusion reactor itself from lithium, which is found in the earth's crust.

Beryllium and beryllium containing materials from Brush Wellman are widely used in mission-critical commercial, aerospace, engineering and research applications that demand superior levels of product strength, reliability, miniaturization, reflectivity and weight savings.

Brush Wellman, the world's only fully integrated producer of beryllium, beryllium-containing alloys and beryllia ceramic, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brush Engineered Materials Inc. (NYSE:BW). Brush Engineered Materials, commemorating its 75th year in 2006, is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, supplies worldwide markets with beryllium products, alloy products, electronic products, precious metal products, and engineered material systems.

SOURCE: Brush Wellman Inc.

Brush Wellman Inc.
Michael C. Hasychak, 216-383-6823
Patrick S. Carpenter, 216-383-6835

Copyright Business Wire 2006

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