Archive | Uranium and Nuclear Power Industry

France’s Areva rebrands to Orano in dire uranium market – by Geert De Clercq (Reuters U.S. – January 23, 2018)

PARIS (Reuters) – French uranium mining and nuclear fuel group Areva rebranded itself as Orano on Tuesday, closing the book on a years-long restructuring but still facing an uncertain future, with uranium prices at decade lows and the nuclear industry in the doldrums.

Chief Executive Philippe Knoche said a new name and logo were necessary to start another chapter in the history of the state-owned company, which was split in two and recapitalized in 2017 after years of losses wiped out its equity.

“We had to change our name – we are a new company with a different perimeter, focused on the fuel cycle,” Knoche said at a presentation of the new brand. Continue Reading →

Parties fight over uranium mining in Trump’s smaller Utah monuments – by Josh Siegel (Washington Examiner – January 22, 2018)

Republican lawmakers are trying to counter accusations that the Trump administration drastically shrank the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to benefit the uranium mining industry.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, introduced a bill last month that explicitly bars mining and drilling in the new monument area as well as in the land that was protected before President Trump altered the boundaries.

Former President Barack Obama, who created the 1.35-acre Bears Ears National Monument just before he left office, had banned mining and drilling there. Trump on Dec. 4 signed a proclamation cutting Bears Ears by more than 1.1 million acres, or 85 percent, and creating two smaller monuments instead. Continue Reading →

Wyoming uranium producers appeal to Trump to decrease foreign imports – by Heather Richards (Casper Star Tribune – January 21, 2018)

The two largest uranium producers in the country, both operating in Wyoming, are asking President Donald Trump for relief from one of their greatest challenges: foreign imports.

Denver-based Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy petitioned the Department of Commerce to look into whether imports from dominant uranium producers, like Russia, pose a national security risk. The firms are also asking the president to make adjustments to imports of uranium, according to a statement released by the companies last week.

The companies propose carving out about 25 percent of the domestic market solely for U.S. producers. That would hopefully boost prices and give companies like Energy Fuels an opportunity to grow their businesses, said Paul Goranson, executive vice president of operations for Energy Fuels. Continue Reading →

Grand Canyon is a national treasure, not a place for uranium mining – by Robert Arnberger and Steve Martin (CNN Opinion – January 9, 2018)

Robert Arnberger was the National Park Service Grand Canyon superintendent from 1994-2000. Steve Martin was the National Park Service Grand Canyon superintendent from 2007-2011. The views expressed in this commentary are their own.

(CNN)The Grand Canyon is a great natural treasure, one of the most recognizable and revered landscapes on earth. And yet, despite its universally beloved status, it is threatened by the Trump administration.

A recently released government report reveals that President Donald Trump and his Cabinet are considering lifting the ban on uranium mining on the federally owned public lands that surround Grand Canyon National Park.

We are former superintendents of Grand Canyon National Park. We managed the park with pride for current and future generations of the American public — the park’s true owners. We are dismayed that the current administration is considering putting one of the most iconic places in our nation, indeed in the world, at risk of contamination from uranium mining. Continue Reading →

Coal mining executive blasts U.S. regulators for rejecting subsidies – by Valerie Volcovici (Reuters U.S. – January 9, 2018)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Robert Murray, the chief executive one of America’s largest coal mining companies, criticized U.S. regulators on Tuesday for rejecting the Trump administration’s proposed subsidies for aging coal and nuclear power plants – saying the decision could lead to higher electricity costs for consumers.

The backlash from one of President Donald Trump’s big supporters reflects frustration in the coal industry as the White House struggles to deliver on a promise to revive the coal sector, which has been in decline for years due to competition from cheaper natural gas.

“This is a bureaucratic cop-out,” Murray, CEO of privately-held Murray Energy [MUYEY.UL], said in a statement. “I fear that we will now immediately observe the announcement of further decommissioning of nuclear and coal-fired electricity generation that will further exacerbate this critical situation,” he said, warning that power prices could rise as a result. Continue Reading →

Regulators Reject Perry’s Plan to Help Coal and Nuclear Plants – by Catherine Traywick and Ari Natter (Bloomberg News – January 9, 2018)

The White House’s plan to bail out America’s coal country has been shot down — by the very energy regulators that President Donald Trump appointed last year.

In an order Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s sweeping proposal to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants in the name of keeping power grids dependable. Instead, the commission asked grid operators to suggest their own ideas to make the system more resilient.

“We appreciate the Secretary reinforcing the resilience of the bulk power system as an important issue that warrants further attention,” the agency said in the order. Four of the five commissioners were appointed by Trump; three are Republicans. Continue Reading →

Brookfield’s Big Nuclear Bet – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – January 4, 2018)

Is nuclear power dying out? The world’s second-biggest infrastructure investor just bet $4.6 billion that it’s not.

Westinghouse Electric Co., the slice of Toshiba Corp.’s bankrupt nuclear business focused on providing fuel and maintenance services to power stations, will be bought at that price by Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s private equity arm Brookfield Business Partners LP, the company said Thursday.

Brookfield Business Partners likes to invest in unique, difficult businesses with high barriers to entry (palladium mining in Canada, for example, or graphite electrode manufacturing), making it hard to do direct valuation comparisons. Continue Reading →

The Uranium Film Festival & The Perils of Nuclear Power – by Carolyn Fortuna (Clean Technica – December 27, 2017)

White block letters flash in over a stark black background. “You can’t smell it. You can’t see it. But if Tschernobyl” — a gray industrial landscape of towers and high walled enclosures appears. “Fukushima. You can hear it.” A Geiger counter eerily, constantly clicks in the background. “This is uranium.” uranium film festivalA disembodied hand wrapped in a purple latex glove lifts a wedge of rock.

Then cartoon characters scream and run haphazardly across the screen. They tear at their helmet-covered heads while a warning horn punctuates the chaos. A spokesperson with a wry smile then says, “Uranium changes everything.”

Two sets of clips from mid-20th century black-and-white horror films are next, followed by a blinding yellow ball of light with a golden halo and violet rays around it. The light dissolves into an atomic bomb detonation with accompanying screams of terror. Continue Reading →

[Australia Mining History] French nuclear test tensions threatened Olympic Dam expansion plans, declassified Cabinet documents reveal – by Peter Jean (The Advertiser – December 31, 2017)

IT WAS a government destined to be swept from power at the 1996 election. Prime Minister Paul Keating was focused on the Working Nation program to kickstart the economy and negotiating a defence treaty with Indonesia. Other issues — including public outrage over French nuclear testing in the South Pacific — became thorns in the Government’s side.


KANGAROO meat and other exports to Europe could be jeopardised if Australia took a hard line against French nuclear testing in the South Pacific, the Keating cabinet feared in 1995. A ban on uranium exports to France could also have put at risk a potential $1 billion expansion of South Australia’s Olympic Dam.

The resumption of underground nuclear testing in French Polynesia sparked boycotts of French businesses in Australia and plunged the Labor government into a diplomatic and political crisis. Continue Reading →

DOJ Prosecutors Looking into Controversial Obama-era Uranium One Deal – by Jasper Fakkert (Epoch Times – December 21, 2017)

Department of Justice prosecutors have requested information from FBI agents about an investigation they conducted into the so-called Uranium One deal, NBC News reported on Thursday.

The DOJ prosecutors are currently establishing whether a special council is warranted to look into the controversial deal that gave Russia control over Canadian mining company Uranium One, which at the time controlled 20 percent of uranium supply in the United States licensed for mining.

By giving Russia control over a significant amount of American uranium supplies, it created a potential national security risk. Despite the assurances of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRM) to Congress that the uranium mined by Uranium One would not leave the United States, Uranium has left the country. Continue Reading →

Supply cuts a ‘step change’ for uranium price – by Frik Els ( – December 18, 2017)

The announcement made by uranium giant Cameco in November that it’s suspending operations at its flagship McArthur River mine in northern Saskatchewan and surprisingly deep three-year cuts by Kazakhstan’s state-owned Kazatomprom provide a “step change” for uranium prices says a new report on the sector from Cantor Fitzgerald equity research.

On Monday, the world largest producer of uranium, surprised the beleaguered market with a larger than expected cut to production of its own.

Two weeks ago Kazakhstan’s state-owned Kazatomprom announced intentions to reduce its output of U3O8 by 20% or 11,000 tonnes (around 28.5m pounds) over the next three years beginning in January 2018. According to the company roughly 4,000 tonnes will be cut in 2018 alone “representing approximately 7.5% of global uranium production for 2018 as forecast by UxC.” Continue Reading →

U.S. court upholds Grand Canyon uranium mining ban, but allows mine nearby – by Valerie Volcovici (Globe and Mail/Reuters – December 12, 2017)

A U.S. federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower-court ruling keeping a ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, but also upheld a separate decision allowing a uranium mine nearby to open.

The decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, related to cases argued last December, come as Congress and the Trump administration seek to expand mineral extraction on public lands.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month proposed lifting the Obama-era mining ban on land near Grand Canyon National Park, an area of natural beauty in the western United States that also historically served a number of uranium mines. Continue Reading →

Canadian energy firms take issue with Trump administration’s nod to coal, nuclear power – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – December 9, 2017)

Canadian energy companies have entered a battle over the U.S. electricity market in which natural gas, hydroelectric and renewable-energy providers are opposing Trump administration efforts to favour coal-fired and nuclear generators with premium payments for “reliability.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has formally proposed that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) impose rules creating new rate structures under which coal-fired and nuclear electricity generators could recover additional costs from consumers based on their contribution to system reliability.

That’s because those generating stations provide base-load power and maintain a 90-day source of fuel on site, unlike those providing electricity from other sources. Continue Reading →

Kazakh supply shock to jolt uranium price – by Frik Els ( – December 4, 2017)

The announcement made by uranium giant Cameco a month ago that it’s suspending operations at its flagship McArthur River mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada did little to move to languishing uranium price.
Last week the nuclear fuel was pegged at $23 a pound, a level it has hovered around for long stretches of 2017. On Monday, the world largest producer of uranium, surprised the beleaguered market with a larger than expected cut to production of its own.

Kazakhstan’s state-owned Kazatomprom announced intentions to reduce its output of U3O8 by 20% or 11,000 tonnes (around 28.5m pounds) over the next three years beginning in January 2018.

According to the company roughly 4,000 tonnes will be cut in 2018 alone “representing approximately 7.5% of global uranium production for 2018 as forecast by UxC.” Continue Reading →

BHP Billiton puts Olympic Dam plan on backburner – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – November 28, 2017)

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, has placed on the backburner plans to increase output from its giant Olympic Dam copper mine in Australia to 450,000 tonnes a year, opting for a less ambitious expansion project.

Ahead of a trip to the mine, the Anglo-Australian group told investors that its preferred development option was a $2.1bn plan that will see output rise from an estimated 150,000 tonnes this year to 330,000 tonnes by 2023.

BHP has talked for years about the potential of Olympic, the world’s third-largest copper deposit, which also boasts significant reserves of uranium and gold. As recently as 2015, the company was talking about the potential to increase production to 450,000 tonnes a year by 2025 by introducing a new heap leaching, or extraction, technology. Continue Reading →