Archive | Uranium and Nuclear Power Industry

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 →

Keeping Kyrgyzstan’s Uranium In The Ground – by Bruce Pannier (Radio Free Europe – May 6, 2019)

https://www.rferl.org/

“There will be no mining of uranium in Kyrgyzstan.” — Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov on May 4, 2019

When the people of Kyrgyzstan’s Tong district confirmed there was a uranium-mining operation in their area, they protested. Then their protest spread to Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, and parliament quickly passed a motion to ban uranium mining in the country.

Mining uranium in Kyrgyzstan is a sensitive issue. The country is still trying to clean up several dozen contaminated areas where uranium was mined when Kyrgyzstan was a Soviet republic.

The publicity about the work at the Kyzyl-Ompol site in Tong district brought the issue of uranium mining back to the attention of the Kyrgyz public. But it has also become clear that, legally speaking, it is not so easy to close down a mining operation in Kyrgyzstan, and there is more than just one mining site. Continue Reading →

C-69 could hinder future uranium developments: Cameco – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – April 25, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Cameco has put the brakes on uranium developments but believes C-69 “won’t help” when the time comes to build a new mine. Canada’s largest uranium mining company says the federal government’s proposed environmental assessment legislation will add time and uncertainty to the process of getting new projects approved.

While Cameco Corp. recently put the brakes on its uranium developments in Saskatchewan and Australia in the face of persistently weak prices, the company maintains that new supply will eventually be needed.

When that happens, Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said, Bill C-69 — which will subject uranium miners to what the Canadian Mining Association has called the “additional hurdle” of a full panel review — will add time and uncertainty. Continue Reading →

Government approved controversial uranium mine one day before calling the election – by Michael Slezak (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – April 26, 2019)

https://www.abc.net.au/

The Morrison Government signed off on a controversial uranium mine one day before calling the federal election, and did not publicly announce the move until the environment department uploaded the approval document the day before Anzac Day.

The Yeelirrie Uranium mine, located 500 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, requires both federal and state approval. The state approval of the proposed mine is still being fought in the state’s Supreme Court by members of the Tjiwarl traditional owners.

In 2016, the West Australian Environment Protection Agency advised the mine not be approved, concluding it posed too great a risk of extinction to some native animals. The former Liberal Barnett government controversially approved the mine in 2017, just weeks before it lost the West Australian election. Continue Reading →

Bomb Watchers Twitching as Looser Rules Weighed for Uranium – by Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg News – April 15, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Back in the 1970s and 1980s when he was keeping America’s nuclear weapons up to date, Robert Kelley didn’t pay much attention to their source of uranium.

But then he was reassigned to lead the international team that accounted for the of hundreds of tons of the heavy metal Iraq secretly extracted at a fertilizer factory to feed Saddam Hussein’s weapons program.

That discovery at the Al-Qaim phosphate plant underscored a loophole in the global policing of nuclear materials, allowing countries without much scrutiny to derive uranium from a mineral more often used as a nutrient for soil. Continue Reading →

Russian control of US uranium supply is a huge national security problem – by Spencer Abraham (Fox News – March 24, 2019)

https://www.foxnews.com/

The Trump administration is to be commended for its “energy dominance” policy with respect to oil and natural gas production, but on domestic uranium mining, used for nuclear power generation and national defense purposes, it is the United States that is being dominated. Fortunately, the administration is considering new corrective measures to address this vulnerability to ensure America’s energy and national security.

The U.S. has become overdependent on foreign uranium. Today, we have the world’s largest commercial nuclear reactor fleet, but our domestic mining industry supplies less than 2 percent of its uranium needs.

Instead, foreign uranium accounts for the vast majority of our uranium supply with imports from Russia and countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) amounting to over 40 percent of the uranium loaded into U.S. nuclear power reactors. Continue Reading →

Howard Balsley, uranium pioneer, preserved the past – by Heila Ershadi (Moab Sun News – March 21, 2019)

http://www.moabsunnews.com/

Howard Balsley is known in history books as a Moab uranium pioneer. In the book “The Moab Story: From Cowpokes to Bike Spokes,” author Tom McCourt writes that Balsley is “considered by many to be the father of the uranium industry in the United States.”

McCourt’s account says that Balsley came to Moab in 1908 and primarily made his living as a forest ranger, but also prospected and assisted others in their mining endeavors, even before the WWII uranium boom.

Balsley contracted with a number of small-scale miners across the Colorado Plateau to regularly make 50-ton shipments of uranium and vanadium ores to the Vitro Manufacturing Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the early 1930s, the company used the ores to make pigments for glass and pottery manufacturers. During WWII, Balsley used a similar business model to supply the government with vanadium needed for the war effort. Continue Reading →

U.S. and Brazil may partner on small nuclear reactors – by Lisandra Paraguassu (Reuters U.S. – March 15, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Brazil and the United States could work together to build small nuclear reactors, Brazil’s mines and energy minister told Reuters on Friday, adding that the South American nation is also ready to open uranium mining to foreigners.

Brazil is preparing legislation that would clear the way for both private and foreign investment in prospecting and mining for uranium in the country, Minister Bento Albuquerque said in an interview. There is a draft of the legislation, but a final version must be negotiated with Congress, he said.

“We have to resolve internally the issue of uranium exploration that today is a monopoly of the state and is in the hands of Nuclear Industries of Brazil,” Albuquerque said, referring to the state firm running the country’s uranium mines. Continue Reading →

Mines could go nuclear in less than 10 years – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 15, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Historic panel talks “reliable, clean and cost-effective” energy being researched partly in Sudbury

Nuclear power is grabbing the attention of the mining industry, to the point where there is a real possibility there could be portable reactors powering mines in less than 10 years.

That was the news delivered at a first-of-its-kind panel discussion at the Prospectors and Developers Association’s (PDAC) annual convention, in Toronto on March 3.

The panel included Vic Pakalnis, president and CEO of Sudbury-based Mirarco, which is part of development of the technology to create small modular reactors (SMR); Diane Cameron of Natural Resources Canada; Ryan Blinn of Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Corey McDaniel of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River, Ont.; Frank Saunders of Bruce Power in Tiverton; and Nathan Tedford from Hatch Ltd. in Mississauga. Continue Reading →

China Steps up Its Mining Interests in Greenland – by Marc Lanteigne and Mingming Shi (The Diplomat – February 12, 2019)

https://thediplomat.com/

China’s growing involvement in Greenland presents risks and opportunities.

A major component of China’s expanding interests in the Arctic, as outlined in Beijing’s January 2018 White Paper on the region, has been the development of joint ventures on resource extraction, including fossil fuels and raw materials.

While Russia has been receiving the lion’s share of attention in the area of Chinese resource diplomacy in the Arctic, with the China-supported Yamal liquefied natural gas project being a major example, Greenland is emerging as another key component of Beijing’s emerging ‘Ice Silk Road.’

As the Greenland Ice Sheet continues to erode due to regional climate change (a paper published last month by the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science concluded that ice loss on the island has been accelerating significantly since the start of this century), more parts of Greenland’s coastal regions are opening up to potential mining projects. Continue Reading →

China could be a big winner if Donald Trump restricts US uranium imports, experts say (South China Morning Post – February 8, 2019)

https://www.scmp.com/

China could be a big winner if the Trump administration demands that 25 per cent of United States’ uranium demand is supplied by American mines, experts say.

Currently both the US and China import more than 90 per cent of the uranium they consume. The US is, however, considering a 25 per cent domestic production quota for national security reasons.

This would make an extra 4.5 million kilogram of uranium available on the global market, at a time when Chinese uranium buyers are scouring the globe for more purchases. Continue Reading →

Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet? – by Jonathan Thompson (High Country News – December 10, 2018)

https://www.hcn.org/

A new generation of environmentalists is learning to stop worrying and love atomic power.

Emma Redfoot stands at a whiteboard in a small conference room, sketching neutrons, protons and nuclei, her voice rising enthusiastically as she explains nuclear fission: A neutron blasted into a uranium-235 atom shatters the atom, releasing energy and yet more neutrons that split other uranium atoms, causing a frenetically energetic chain reaction.

“The crazy thing about nuclear energy is that it turns mass into energy,” she says, her gray-blue eyes opening wider. “It. Destroys. Mass!” On the other side of the thick glass window here at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) on the outskirts of Idaho Falls, Idaho, the mercury approaches 100 degrees, the sun an angry orange blob behind the thickening gauze of smoke from wildfires across the region — a reminder of the toll fossil fuels are taking on the planet.

But Redfoot says that the situation isn’t hopeless, that we can slash greenhouse gases and still have nice electrified things, including this comfortable climate-controlled room, without making the planet hotter and drier and smokier. To do so, however, we must embrace nuclear power — conquer our irrational fears of radiation and return to “a story that can be told in terms of abundance in the world we live in.” Continue Reading →

Is Global Atomic Stephen Roman’s next big thing? – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – January 21, 2019)

Northern Miner

Serial mine builder and financier Stephen Roman cut his teeth working for Denison Mines Corp. (TSX: DML), the uranium company built by his father. After starting there as a miner at the age of nineteen, he spent the next 25 years at the uranium producer before striking out on his own in 1990-1991.

Roman went on to build several mines in the gold space, the most recent, Harte Gold Corp.’s (TSX: HRT; US-OTC: HRTFF), Sugar mine, in Ontario. Among his other accomplishments: Building the Black Fox mine, now owned by McEwen Mining (TSX: MUX; NYSE: MUX), and selling Gold Eagle to Goldcorp. (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) for $1.5 billion.

But Roman’s interest in uranium never waned. In January 2005 he set up Global Uranium Corp.—now called Global Atomic Corp. (TSXV: GLO; US-OTC: SYIFF)—and decided to focus the company’s exploration dollars on West Africa. Continue Reading →

C$10.3m approved to advance of Wheeler River uranium project – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – December 18, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Spurred on by the positive results of its prefeasibility study (PFS) for the Wheeler River project, Canadian uranium company Denison Mines on Tuesday announced that C$10.3-million would be spent on advancing the Athabasca basin project in 2019.

The budget, approved by the Wheeler River joint venture in which Denison has 90% ownership, will be used to initiate the environmental assessment process, as well as engineering studies and related programmes required to advance the high-grade Phoenix deposit as an in-situ recovery (ISR) mining operation.

The initiation of the environmental assessment process and studies designed to ultimately support a feasibility study, illustrated the company’s commitment to achieving the project development timeline outlined in the PFS, said Denison president and CEO David Cates. Continue Reading →