Archive | Uranium and Nuclear Power Industry

U.S. uranium miners say ready to ramp up if Trump approves quotas – by Valerie Volcovici (Reuters U.S. – July 11, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two leading U.S. uranium mining companies say they are prepared to quickly ramp up production if President Donald Trump approves their request for curbs on imports this week.

Trump is expected to decide as soon as Friday on the petitions from Colorado-based Energy Fuels Inc (UUUU.A) and Wyoming-based Ur-Energy Inc (URG.A) – which seek quotas requiring 25% of the U.S. uranium market be sourced domestically – after reviewing recommendations from the Commerce Department in April.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the White House was weighing three options, including taking no action, delaying a decision for six months, and requiring utilities to purchase 5% of their uranium from domestic mines each year – rising 5 points per year until it reaches 25%. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Global geopolitics sideswipe African uranium miners – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – June 18, 2019)

Northern Miner

The global uranium mining market in the 2010s took a hit from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011 — which cut global uranium demand some 10% for many years — and the simultaneous ramping up of low-cost uranium production out of Kazakhstan that has transformed the country into the world’s largest uranium producer.

Thanks to the massive devaluation of the Kazakhstan tenge currency in 2014 and 2015, the country is also easily the lowest-cost producer in the world, with its in-situ recovery mines operated by Kazatomprom and Uranium One dominating the first two quartiles of uranium mining costs globally in 2018.

With Kremlin-backed Russian interests heavily influencing Kazatomprom and Uranium One, and the Russian government striking numerous nuclear-energy cooperation deals in developing countries across the globe, it couldn’t be clearer that the global nuclear fuel cycle is increasingly controlled by Russia, with all its geopolitical implications for the rest of this century. Continue Reading →

Four Corners Could See Uranium Mining Revival This Summer – by Nate Hegyi (KUER.org – June 25, 2019)

https://www.kuer.org/

The Trump administration may soon push for more uranium mining in the Colorado Plateau, arguing the mineral is critical for national security. The potential move prompted criticism from Democrats during a hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Tuesday.

“Arbitrarily classifying uranium as a critical mineral and declaring it a matter of national security is just a way for the Trump administration to speed up new mine permitting and prop up the declining uranium mining industry,” said subcommittee chairman Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.).

In 2017, 93% of the uranium used by U.S. nuclear reactors was imported from foreign countries. In 2018, the U.S. Interior Department listed the mineral as one of 35 commodities that were deemed essential for the economic and national safety of the U.S. Continue Reading →

A partisan divide: Uranium mining’s toxic legacy or essential national security – by Miranda Faulkner (Cronkite News/News Maven – June 26, 2019)

https://newsmaven.io/

WASHINGTON – Tribal members, environmentalists and lawmakers told a House panel Tuesday that including uranium on a list of “critical minerals” opens the door to expedited mining that will put tribal lands and national parks at risk.

They were responding to a Trump administration announcement earlier this month that directed the government to locate uranium and expedite permits for its mining as one of dozens of minerals considered essential for the country’s economic and national security.

But witnesses told a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday that the administration plan does not take into consideration the public and environmental health risks that come with mining, especially uranium, which has a “toxic legacy” of polluting communities where it has been mined. Continue Reading →

Tiny Town Of Nucla Looks To A Future Without Mining And Sees Opportunity And Uncertainty – by Stina Sieg (Colorado Public Radio – June 24, 2019)

https://www.cpr.org/

Home to just a few hundred people, the town of Nucla, Colorado, isn’t just tiny. It’s far from just about everything. Tucked into the western edge of Montrose County, it’s 350 miles from Denver and 60 miles from the nearest stop light.

For generations, this area — known as the West End — was a hub for mining. Most famously, they dug for uranium here and the area saw a big boom thanks to the Cold War era. Later, coal arrived to support a local power plant.

“You think things are going to boom forever,” said Jane Thompson, a 62-year-old longtime local. “They’re always going to need uranium. They’re always going to need coal.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: Nuclear power is the key to fighting climate change. So why don’t we embrace it? – by Dan Gardner (Globe and Mail – June 22, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Dan Gardner is the author of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear and a principal at Tactix, an Ottawa consultancy

One in three Canadians thinks nuclear power emits as much carbon dioxide as burning oil. Almost three in 10 think it emits more.

There are several reasons to marvel at these facts, which were uncovered by Abacus Data earlier this year. First, they’re spectacularly wrong. After construction, nuclear power is effectively zero-emission electricity, while oil is one of the leading causes of climate change.

Second, the fight against climate change is about replacing fossil fuels such as oil with the short list of zero-emission energy sources. And yet it seems most Canadians don’t know what’s on the list. Continue Reading →

Trump Weighs Limits on Uranium Imports After Commerce Cites Security Risk – by Ari Natter and Jenny Leonard (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – June 20, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Commerce Department has recommended the White House take steps to protect the domestic production of uranium after finding the nation’s reliance on imports was a national security risk, said three people briefed on the matter.

Among the trade remedies recommended is to require nuclear power plants to purchase a minimum of 5% of the radioactive fuel from U.S. mines, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public deliberations. Two of the people said an option under consideration would see the quota escalate by 5 percentage points a year.

A decision to impose the quotas would be a boon to the two small mining companies that petitioned the Commerce Department to take action, Energy Fuels Inc. and Ur-Energy Inc. The move would increase costs for nuclear reactor operators that are already struggling in the face of competition from cheaper sources of power generated by natural gas and renewables. Continue Reading →

Virginia ban on uranium mining upheld by U.S. Supreme Court – by Andrew Chung (Reuters U.S. – June 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest-known U.S. uranium deposit will remain firmly under ground after the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Virginia’s ban on mining the radioactive metal, rebuffing a challenge backed by President Donald Trump’s administration to the 1982 moratorium.

In a 6-3 decision that underscored states’ rights, the justices affirmed a lower court’s ruling that threw out a lawsuit by Virginia Uranium Inc and other owners of the massive deposit valued by the company at $6 billion on private land in southern Virginia.

The company, seeking to exploit the deposit, contested Virginia’s power to enact the ban, saying the policy should have been preempted by federal law governing nuclear energy. Virginia Uranium is a subsidiary of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Virginia Energy Resources. Continue Reading →

Trump administration signals support for uranium mining that could touch Grand Canyon – by Miranda Green (The Hill – June 12, 2019)

https://thehill.com/

The Trump administration is signaling a renewed push to consider uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, a move that would undoubtedly ignite a political fight involving environmentalists and the mining industry.

President Trump’s decision to declare uranium a critical mineral for national security purposes, coupled with a Commerce Department recommendation to mine reserves of a key component to nuclear weapons, has environmentalists worried that the reversal of an Obama-era ban on mining near the cherished national park is imminent.

“It’s not a secret that uranium mining companies have pined after the Grand Canyon for a long time,” said Amber Reimondo, energy program director at Grand Canyon Trust. “The last time there was a uranium price spike in 2007, over 10,000 mining claims were filed.” Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Finnish regulator positive on Terrafame’s uranium mining application – by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos (Reuters U.K. – June 11, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

OSLO, June 11 (Reuters) – Finland’s radiation and nuclear safety authority (STUK) has issued a positive recommendation on miner Terrafame’s application to mine uranium commercially, STUK said on Tuesday.

Its recommendation will influence the government’s decision on whether or not to grant Terrafame a permit, which would allow the company to become the first miner to extract uranium on a commercial scale in the country.

“There are no radiation safety-related obstacles for granting a permit for the uranium recovery plants of Terrafame,” STUK said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Top Uranium Producer Is Gloomy About Nuclear Power, for Now – by Will Wade (Bloomberg News – June 5, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Don’t expect an upswing in the global uranium market anytime soon.

“In our models, we don’t get excited on the demand side,” said Galymzhan Pirmatov, chief executive officer of Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s state-owned mining company that’s the world’s biggest supplier.

With construction of nuclear power plants at a 10-year low, uranium demand remains weak. That’s holding prices so low that mining companies have been wary of increasing production. Continue Reading →

Millions at stake in Sask-Ottawa legal fight over uranium mine cleanup – by Francois Biber (CTV News – June 4, 2019)

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/

The Province of Saskatchewan is suing the federal government for its share of the cleanup costs of what used to be the world’s largest uranium mine.

Saskatchewan has spent $135 million so far with total costs estimated at $280 million; the federal government has spent $1 million, Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan’s minister of energy and natural resources, told reporters during a mine site visit. “I think any fair observer looking at that information would say that is not fair.”

Gunnar Mine, located 25 kilometres south of Uranium City near Lake Athabasca, began as an open pit uranium mine in 1954. It operated underground between 1957 and 1963. Continue Reading →

Nuclear Power – Where’s The Uranium Coming From? – by James Conca (Forbes Magazine – May 28, 2019)

https://www.forbes.com/

Since the 1990s, mostly from other countries like Canada and Australia. This is a good thing, as the uranium ores in these countries are much higher grade than ours, and requires a lot less mining and refining to get the same amount of energy into the fuel. And, except for Russia, most of these countries are our allies.

The Uranium Committee of the Energy Minerals Division released their 2019 Annual Report last week in San Antonio at the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

The Uranium Committee monitors uranium industry activities, and the production of electricity from nuclear power, because these drive uranium exploration and development in the United States and overseas. Continue Reading →

The Hunt for the Singing Atom – by C. Fred Bodsworth (MACLEAN’S Magazine – August 15, 1948)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Gold’s old stuff; miners on the Trail of ’48 want uranium, the stuff that can chirp in their ears or flatten a city

WHERE Northern Ontario’s broad Abitibi River tumbles through the spruce-walled gorge of Otter Rapids and lunges northward on its final 90-mile dash for James Bay and the sea, I stood over one of Canada’s newest radioactive ore discoveries and listened to its tune of disintegrating atoms, the theme song of the atomic age.

Locked in a brown-red vein of ore at my feet there was possibly bread-and-butter stuff for scores of potential atom bombs, but the tune of cracking atoms I heard could have been drowned out by the snap of a jenny firecracker.

Detected and amplified by the Geiger counter which hung at my waist, a wondrous little electronic gadget which smells out disintegrating atoms of radioactive ore as keenly as a cat smells out fish, the atom tune in the Geiger’s earphone sounded merely like raindrops spattering on a tin roof. Without the Geiger to translate it into sound, those thousands of disintegrating atoms Would have been as undetectable as the 40-pound sturgeons which, so the natives say, lurk in the Abitibi’s khaki-colored water offshore. Continue Reading →

Saskatchewan giving early consideration for small nuclear reactors – by David Baxter (Global News – May 16, 2019)

https://globalnews.ca/

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has found anti-carbon tax allies in Ontario Premier Doug Ford and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs. Moe said they have been discussing another power option too, small modular reactors.

Moe said talks around the technology are in the very early stages, but the door appears to at least be open a crack for the prospect of nuclear power in Saskatchewan.

“That’s not saying we’re moving ahead with that but we most certainly want to have the conversation around the clean supply of nuclear power in the province,” Moe said. Continue Reading →