Archive | Uranium and Nuclear Power Industry

Mining industry predicts nuclear will be cheapest power – by Aaron Patrick (Australian Financial Review – September 16, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

The mining industry has declared that nuclear power could be the cheapest way to generate electricity in the next decade, an audacious claim that advocates of wind and solar power are likely to bitterly dispute.

The chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, Tania Constable, said a new generation of compact nuclear reactors should be legalised because they could generate electricity for as little as $60 a megawatt hour – which is much less than the $98.10 average price last year in the renewable pioneer of South Australia, and higher than any other state in the National Electricity Market.

“Apart from existing run-of-water hydro, nuclear is the only energy source capable of providing affordable zero-emissions power 24/7 at industrial scale,” Ms Constable said as part of a submission to a federal inquiry into nuclear power. Continue Reading →

Broad [Australian] coalition opposes nuclear power – by Colin Brinsden (7news.com – September 15, 2019)

https://7news.com.au/

More than 40 groups representing millions of Australians have come together to issue a clear message to the federal government that the nation’s energy future is renewable, “not radioactive”.

However, the mining industry is calling for the ban on nuclear energy to be lifted. The coalition of groups has submitted a shared statement in response to the federal parliamentary inquiry into the prospects for nuclear power in Australia.

Submissions to the inquiry close on Monday. “The groups maintain nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from real progress on our pressing energy and climate challenges and opportunities facing Australia,” the Australian Conversation Foundation said. Continue Reading →

Uranium: A 2040 prognosis: Growing energy needs, emissions reduction look positive for the other yellow metal – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – September 5, 2019)

http://resourceclips.com/

Oversupplied and under-priced for years, uranium’s forecast now looks good up to 2040, according to a new study. In its latest Nuclear Fuel Report, a study released at roughly two-year intervals, the World Nuclear Association has revised its projections upwards for the first time in eight years.

Demand will come from a growing reliance on nuclear energy thanks mainly to China, India and other Asian countries, said the industry organization. Global warming concerns also play a role. The report presents different data for each of three case studies, explained World Nuclear News, a WNA publication.

The Reference scenario reflects official targets and plans announced by states and companies, and also considers how nuclear can help address climate change. Continue Reading →

How Old Nukes Can Help Green New Dealers – by Liam Denning (Bloomberg News/Washington Post – September 10, 2019)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

This is a time of burn-it-all-down politics, and climate change is right in there. Several decades of delay in facing the challenge, and denialism on the part of primarily Republican politicians, have spawned a backlash. Last week’s Democratic climate town halls were notable chiefly for the absence of old debates about carbon cap-and-trade, replaced with more prescriptive proposals (see this).

One issue that causes division within the ranks of climate-change activists is nuclear power. Though it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, it does produce radioactive waste and carries the potential for rare but potentially catastrophic accidents.

Two candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have different plans for nuclear that encapsulate the debate. Sanders not only rules out building new plants, but also wants existing ones to close. Warren’s position, somewhat garbled in her town hall appearance, is similarly down on new plants. Continue Reading →

Nuclear industry urges Trump to revive uranium mining with Cold War-era rule – by Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner (Reuters U.S. – September 6, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. nuclear energy industry has called for the Trump administration to revive domestic uranium mining and enrichment by unlocking funds through a Cold War-era program, in a letter sent to a Cabinet-level working group.

The Aug. 18 letter from the Nuclear Energy Institute, or NEI, to national security adviser John Bolton and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, urges the Trump administration to authorize funds through the 1950 Defense Production Act to procure domestic fuel for defense requirements and boost federal reserves of uranium for nuclear power utilities.

In the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, the NEI urges unspecified “direct payments to either a U.S. utility or domestic uranium producer for sale of U.S.-origin uranium to a utility.” Continue Reading →

Cameco may cut uranium output further as demand stalls – by Geert De Clercq (Reuters U.K. – September 5, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Canadian miner Cameco said it will hold down output until uranium prices recover and it could cut production further, although nuclear reactor life extensions in France and newbuilds in China, the UAE and Britain bring some hope.

Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan, Germany and other countries have closed dozens of reactors, which has depressed demand for nuclear fuel and forced miners to close or mothball mines as uranium prices plunged.

From a $140/pound high in 2007 and about $70 just before Fukushima, uranium fell to a low of $18/lb in 2016 and has since recovered slightly to $25 today as miners cut output. Continue Reading →

France’s Orano to develop uranium mining projects in Uzbekistan (The Times of Central Asia – September 5, 2019)

https://www.timesca.com/

TASHKENT (TCA) — Major nuclear fuel cycle company Orano has signed a partnership agreement with the Uzbek State, represented by the State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources (GoscomGeology) to develop mining exploration and operations activities in Uzbekistan, the French company said on September 4.

The two partners have decided to create a joint venture which will be established in few months, with 51% held by Orano and 49% held by GoscomGeology.

This agreement formalizes the desire of both parties to work together on uranium mining projects in Uzbekistan, in particular in the Navoi region in a desert area at the heart of the uranium-rich province of Kyzylkum. Continue Reading →

OGLALA SIOUX TRIBE ‘FIGHTING BACK’ TO PROTECT BLACK HILLS FROM URANIUM MINE – by Talli Nauman (Native Sun News – August 29, 2019)

https://intercontinentalcry.org/

Rapid City – With the Oglala Sioux Tribe set to argue Aug. 28-30 for its kind of protection of cultural resources from unprecedented uranium mining in the southern Black Hills, the tribal government and local groups urged members of the public to attend proceedings here and participate in a simultaneous outdoor cultural event to raise awareness about the issue.

A panel of administrative judges from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) is supposed to be in town on these dates to hear from the tribe, the commission staff and intervenors in the case, which is focusing on the “reasonableness” of their divergent approaches to surveying tribal cultural, religious, and historical properties at the proposed 10,000-acre Dewey-Burdock in situ leach mine and mill.

“NRC staff is attempting to escape its obligation to consider cultural resources at the site, saying it is so expensive and they shouldn’t have to do a cultural survey,” the tribe’s lawyer Jeffrey Parsons told the Native Sun News Today. “The tribe is fighting back.” Continue Reading →

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power – Reports (Moscow Times – August 29, 2019)

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/

Russia is working to win influence in at least 10 African states with high-cost nuclear technology that for the most part does not suit their needs, researchers and NGOs have told The Guardian newspaper.

With booming exports, nuclear energy is one example of Russia’s increasing presence in Africa in recent years. Elsewhere, a businessman known as “Putin’s chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, is widely reported to be spearheading Russia’s push to exchange security and electioneering services for mining rights in Africa.

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has approached the leaders of “dozens” of African countries with various nuclear energy projects in the past two years, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Rosatom has existing deals with Egypt and Nigeria and other various agreements with other countries on the continent. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Japanese utilities start selling uranium fuel into depressed market – by Aaron Sheldrick and Yuri Harada (Reuters U.S. – August 23, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear operators are starting to sell some of their huge holdings of uranium fuel, as chances fade of restarting many more reactors eight years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The sales so far have been small, but were made at values well below their purchase price and are likely to further depress the already beaten-down uranium market, say two senior market specialists.

They could also focus attention on the balance sheets of the country’s utilities, bolstered by holdings of nuclear fuel valued at 2.5 trillion yen ($24 billion), a figure that market experts say is highly unrealistic. Continue Reading →

Small modular nuclear reactors and Southern Utah nuclear history at odds – by Lisa Rutherford (The Spectrum – August 25, 2019)

https://www.thespectrum.com/

During my nearly twenty years as a Southern Utah resident, much has been published about “downwinder” citizens in this area. “Downwinders” are those who have dealt with illness, including cancer, related to nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. Nearly fifty years of testing and 200 tests left a sad legacy. Southern Utah is not the only nuclear victim. Uranium mining in other Utah areas has left pollution resulting in more illness.

So, it’s ironic that now there is an effort on the part of the Utah Associated Municipal Power System (UAMPS) to encourage local communities to purchase nuclear energy from a system that uses small modular nuclear reactors (SMNR). UAMPS, in coordination with a Portland, Oregon company, NuScale Power LLC, plans to site an SMNR at a Department of Energy (DOE) site in Idaho.

The SMNRs may be small but they still create nuclear waste — waste that has been rejected generally by Utah’s residents who don’t want Utah to become a dumping ground. Southern Utah town/cities that purchase nuclear energy will put Utah on the hook for the waste generated, setting a precedent for others to bring more waste to our state — hazardous waste that will remain hazardous to our state’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond. Continue Reading →

4 Investigates: Abandoned uranium mines continue to threaten the Navajo Nation – by Colton Shone (KOB.com – August 19, 2019)

https://www.kob.com/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There are hundreds of abandoned uranium mines scattered across the Navajo Nation.

The clean-up process has been slow for those who live right in the heart of them. For many, it’s been a decades-long fight for the removal of “hot dirt” and there’s still no real end in sight. Red Water Pond Road Community Association is home for Edith Hood. She and her family have lived there, a few miles east of Gallup, for generations.

“We had a medicine man living across the way,” she said. It’s a remote village on Navajo land surrounded by beauty and radioactive waste. There is tons of “hot dirt” left behind from the nearby abandoned Northeast Churchrock Uranium Mine and the abandoned Kerr-Mcgee Uranium Mine Complex. Continue Reading →

Increased uranium mining proposal carries environmental concerns – by Calvin Cutler (News Center1.tv – August 13, 2019)

News  Center1 TV

OSHOTO, WYO. — A uranium mining company is looking to shift operations at their mine north of Moorecroft, Wyoming. Strata Energy, the US subsidiary of Australian Peninsula Energy is looking to ramp up operations at the Lance Projects.Strata hopes to bolster domestic uranium production.

The Lance Projects lie in Crook County. Inside the area are the Ross, Barber, and Kendrick projects. At the Ross Project, Strata Energy is in the process of testing a different type of uranium mining.

In Situ uranium mining allows companies to extract the product from the ground without digging an open pit. Strata recently shut down their alkaline leaching mines, and are focusing on their experimental acid leaching operation. They’re currently in the process of demonstrating to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality that they can effectively conduct operations at the site without effecting the groundwater. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Australia will investigate using nuclear power. Why bother? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – August 5, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Aug 5 (Reuters) – If another sign was needed that Australia’s energy policy is dysfunctional, the government provided it in the form of launching a parliamentary inquiry to consider nuclear power.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor last week requested a parliamentary committee examine requirements for developing a nuclear power industry in Australia.

The country currently has a moratorium on nuclear power and has no reactors, other than a small unit used for medical purposes located near the main city of Sydney. However, Australia is the world’s third-largest miner of uranium, accounting for about 10% of global output of the nuclear fuel. Continue Reading →

The US is losing the nuclear energy export race to China and Russia. Here’s the Trump team’s plan to turn the tide – by Tom DiChristopher (CNBC.com – March 21, 2019)

https://www.cnbc.com/

The Trump administration is preparing a new push to help American companies compete in the race to build the next generation of nuclear power plants around the world — a competition the U.S. is currently losing.

In doing so, the administration also aims to push back on the growing dominance of Russia and China in the space, preventing them from expanding their international influence by forging long-lasting nuclear ties with foreign powers.

The State Department plans to expand cooperation with countries pursuing atomic energy long before those nations ever purchase a nuclear reactor. By facilitating early stage talks, the U.S. intends to put American companies first in line to build tomorrow’s fleet of nuclear power plants overseas. Continue Reading →