Archive | Uranium and Nuclear Power Industry

Russia brings back largest global uranium project – by Polina Leganger Bronder (The Barents Observer – June 8, 2021)

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev has instructed Rosatom to submit a plan for the resumption of uranium mining in Yakutia.

Rosatom, the state corporation specializing in nuclear power, in 2017 suspended the development of Yakut uranium deposits but is now ordered to resume mining in the region by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Trutnev.

News online RBC reported that Tutnev announced his nudge towards Rosatom at a meeting on the efficiency of the utilization of minerals and the conduction of geological exploration in Yakutia on June 2nd.

The latest time at which the license freeze can be upheld is 2025, however, the process of revoking the license suspension is already on its way. Continue Reading →

Scientists raise proliferation concerns over nuclear plans in New Brunswick – by Matthew McClearn (Globe and Mail – May 26, 2021)

The Canadian government’s financial support for a proposed reprocessing facility for nuclear waste in New Brunswick undermines global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, a group of U.S. nuclear non-proliferation experts and former government officials says.

Moltex Energy, a small, privately held company based in Saint John, plans to build a nuclear power plant in New Brunswick by the early 2030s. It would recycle spent fuel from Canada’s CANDU reactors (including NB Power’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station), and reprocess the waste in a 300-megawatt reactor called the Stable Salt Reactor-Wasteburner (SSR-W).

Moltex received a combined $50.5-million from the federal Strategic Innovation Fund and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in March. Continue Reading →

The story of Rum Jungle: a Cold War-era uranium mine that’s spewed acid into the environment for decades – by Gavin Mudd (The Conversation – May 18, 2021)

Gavin Mudd is the Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, RMIT University.

Buried in last week’s budget was money for rehabilitating the Rum Jungle uranium mine near Darwin. The exact sum was not disclosed.

Rum Jungle used to be a household name. It was Australia’s first large-scale uranium mine and supplied the US and British nuclear weapons programs during the Cold War.

Today, the mine is better known for extensively polluting the Finniss River after it closed in 1971. Despite a major rehabilitation project by the Commonwealth in the 1980s, the damage to the local environment is ongoing. Continue Reading →

Saskatchewan Indigenous companies to explore SMR investments – by David Giles (Global News – May 12, 2021)

Three Saskatchewan Indigenous-owned companies have signed an agreement to pursue small modular reactor (SMR) investments.

Kitsaki Management, Athabasca Basin Development and Des Nedhe Group say they are in a position to support this emerging technology from construction to operation and maintenance.

Sean Willy, CEO of Des Nedhe Group, said their companies have supported uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan since the 1980s and they want to make sure their voices are heard in this “new and exciting technology.” Continue Reading →

Moab uranium tailing cleanup still going after 13 years – by Max Roth (Fox 13 Salt Lake City – May 12, 2021)

MOAB, Utah — Before Moab was a Mecca for outdoor recreation in Utah, it was the hub of cold war uranium mining; and in the rush to process the ore for nuclear weapons, officials made a terrible decision we’re still paying for.

That decision made in 1956 was to build a uranium processing mill along the banks of the most important river in the American Southwest: the Colorado River.

“When they established a mill, there wasn’t very much thought given to protecting the river,” said Russell McCallister, the director of the federal cleanup. Continue Reading →

Smuggling of Indian Uranium & Western Silence – by Imtiaz Gul [Pakistan] Daily Times – May 9, 2021)

Daily Times

Should the seizure of some 2.5 kilogrammes of unprocessed uranium from four Nepalese nationals and the arrest of Nepalese nationals in Kathmandu ring alarm internationally? Of course.

Why? Because India is a major beneficiary of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) as well as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and by implication must have strict surveillance system over radio-active materials.

Alarm is called for also because one of the arrested persons claimed that her father-in-law had “brought the material from India some 20 years ago”, where he worked in a uranium mine. Continue Reading →

White House Backs Nuclear Power Subsidies, Despite Green Qualms – by Ari Natter (BNN/Bloomberg News – May 5, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — The Biden administration is backing federal subsidies to keep U.S. nuclear power plants in operation as part of its infrastructure proposal, a move that is sure to set up a clash with environmentalists who have qualms with the carbon-free fuel source.

White House officials have told supporters in the industry and on the Hill it would like to see a nuclear production tax credit included in the $2.25 trillion infrastructure package it proposed in March, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.

The support comes as the industry, which provides about 19% of the nation’s electricity, has been beset by a wave of reactor closures as it struggles to compete with electricity produced from natural gas. Continue Reading →

Precious metals specialist Sprott takes over management of Uranium Participation – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 28, 2021)

Precious metals specialist Sprott Asset Management LP is wading into the uranium industry by taking over the management of Uranium Participation Corp., betting the out-of-favour commodity will benefit from a broader societal push toward lower carbon emissions.

Founded in 2005, Toronto-based UPC is one of the few companies in the world that stockpiles physical uranium. Still, over the past few years, with uranium in a protracted bear market, the Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company has struggled to attract investor interest and maintain large trading volumes.

Sprott Asset Management on Wednesday said it will pay about $14.5-million to reorganize UPC from a corporation into a trust. Sprott hopes to broaden the investor appeal of the uranium holding company by adding an additional stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Continue Reading →

Greenhouse gas emission targets boost enthusiasm for small modular nuclear reactors – by Dan Healing (CTV News Calgary/Canadian Press – April 25, 2021)

CALGARY — The worldwide battle to control greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change is the best thing that’s happened for growth in the nuclear energy industry in decades, its proponents say.

They add that the development of smaller, scalable nuclear reactors to churn out reliable, emissions-free energy at a much lower than traditional cost makes nuclear an option that’s become impossible to ignore.

“Thirty years ago, the vision was that nuclear energy is going to be so cheap that we’ll be giving electricity away for free,” said Robby Sohi, president and CEO of Global First Power Ltd., a company trying to build Canada’s first small modular reactor or SMR. Continue Reading →

Uranium Miners Seeking a Foothold Take Unorthodox Approach: Buying Uranium – by Joe Wallace and Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – April 26, 2021)

Aspiring uranium miners are buying the metal like never before, a sign the market for nuclear fuel is heating up after a decade in the cold.

The market for uranium, used largely to fuel nuclear power plants, has been glutted since the Fukushima reactor meltdowns in 2011. Miners and some investors say that is changing after years of OPEC-like discipline by the two biggest producers.

Adding to their optimism, governments including the Biden administration and Beijing see a role for nuclear power in global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Investors have been sending shares in companies including Canada’s Denison Mines Corp. and Corpus Christi, Texas-based Uranium Energy Corp. higher starting late last year. The Global X Uranium ETF , which tracks shares of companies with operations linked to uranium and nuclear components, has surged 76% since the end of October. Continue Reading →

Toxic legacy of uranium mines on Navajo Nation confronts Interior nominee Deb Haaland – by Mary F. Calvert and Andrew Romano (Yahoo Finance – February 23, 2021)

If, as widely expected, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland survives her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday and is sworn in as secretary of the interior, she will make history as the first Native American ever to serve in a presidential Cabinet.

But representation is only half the battle. From day one, Haaland will also be expected to address a festering backlog of problems left behind by predecessors who lacked her perspective as a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, one of America’s 574 federally recognized tribes.

Among the most daunting: how to finally help shield indigenous people from the hundreds of inactive yet still toxic uranium mines that have been scarring their lands and poisoning them for decades. Continue Reading →

Climate Change Activists Need To Get Serious About Nuclear Power – by John Stossel ( – April 21, 2021)

This Thursday, Earth Day, politicians and activists will shout more about “the climate crisis.” I don’t think it’s a crisis. COVID-19, malaria, exploding debt, millions of poor children dying from diarrhea—those are genuine crises.

But global warming may become a real problem, so it’s particularly absurd that Earth Day’s activists rarely mention the form of energy that could most quickly reduce greenhouse gases: nuclear power. When France converted to nuclear, it created the world’s fastest reduction in carbon emissions.

But in America, nuclear growth came to a near halt 40 years ago, after an accident at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania. The partial meltdown killed no one. It would probably have been forgotten had Hollywood not released a nuclear scare movie, The China Syndrome, days before. Continue Reading →

Cleanup of Rayrock, the ‘Tłı̨chǫ Giant,’ to receive public scrutiny – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 22, 2021)

Federal plans to clean up the former Rayrock uranium mine and its surroundings will be examined at a three-day public hearing to be broadcast live by Cabin Radio next week.

The area around the mine, known as Kwetıı̨ɂ̨aà to the Tłı̨chǫ people, is in some ways the Tłı̨chǫ equivalent of Yellowknife’s Giant Mine. Both left a toxic legacy that’s complex, time-consuming and expensive to deal with.

The Rayrock mine, around 60 km northeast of Whatì, only operated from 1957 to 1959. “The Tłı̨chǫ were never informed of the dangers of uranium mining before the mine was built, or soon after it was closed,” the Tłı̨chǫ Government has said. Continue Reading →

It’s Official. Nuclear Power Is ‘Appropriate and Safe’ – by Brad Bergan (Interesting Engineering – April 7, 2021)

Experts in the European Union have completed a draft declaring nuclear power a green investment, fully meeting the standards as a sustainable energy source, according to a recently shared report.

However, since this report is a draft undergoing consideration of the European Commission, the designation of nuclear power as “sustainable” may be contingent upon other, similar debates about natural gas.

Further EU scrutiny to decide whether nuclear power is green

This comes a part of the European Commission’s sustainable finance taxonomy — which decides which economic activities are sustainable investments in the E.U., or not — based on rigid environmental criteria. Continue Reading →

Uranium production to resume in Canada (Nuclear Engineering International – April 13, 2021)

Canada’s Cameco and Orano Canada on 9 April both announced plans to resume uranium production. Cameco said that it plans to restart production at its Cigar Lake uranium mine located in northern Saskatchewan. Production at Cigar Lake was temporarily suspended in December 2020 due to increasing risks posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

At that time, the availability of workers in critical areas was shrinking due to the pandemic, with more individuals screening out or residing in communities with pandemic-related travel restrictions.

“The safety of our workers, their families and communities is always our top priority,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel. “In recent months we have implemented several enhanced safety protocols for Cigar Lake, including increased distancing between passengers on flights, mandatory medical-grade masks for all workers and increased sanitisation and physical barriers in our eating areas. Continue Reading →