Archive | Uranium and Nuclear Power Industry

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 →

Cigar Lake uranium mine to restart this month ( – April 10, 2021)

Canadian uranium major Cameco on Friday announced that the Cigar Lake mine, in northern Saskatchewan, would be reopened this month, but that the timing would depend on how quickly the workforce could be remobilised.

Operations at the high-grade uranium mine were halted in December. At the time, the company said it had difficulty in accessing qualified operational personnel to operate Cigar Lake.

CEO Tim Gitzel said that, in recent months, Cameco had 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 the eating areas. Continue Reading →

History in Focus: The atomic age – by James Neton (Craig Daily Press – April 10, 2021)

In November of 1953, a small Cessna 179 piloted by Russell Cutter, a geologist for Arrowhead Uranium Corporation, flew in low over the area just north of Lay and Mabyell.

The readings from his on board portable Halross Scintillation Counter, a device used to measure radiation and the presence of uranium, confirmed Cutter’s hopes. The atomic age had arrived in Moffat County.

After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended WWII, the Soviet Union detonated their first bomb in 1949. The ensuing arms race set off a scramble to discover and mine uranium, the crucial fissile material for nuclear weapons and energy. As demand skyrocketed, attention quickly focused on previously known deposits in our local Brown’s Park sandstone. Continue Reading →

Stars are aligning for uranium price rally – by Frik Els ( – March 31, 2021)

The uranium market is emerging from years in the doldrums as the overhang from the nuclear disaster in Japan is cleared and global demand picks up steam.

The spot price for U3O8 moved above $30 per pound for the first time this year as uranium producers and mine developers hoover up above-ground inventories and reactor construction continues apace.

Two new research notes from BMO Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley say today’s price marks a floor and predict a rally in prices over the next few years to the ~$50 level by 2024. Continue Reading →

Future Shock: A Forward Look At The Uranium Market – by Braden Maccke (The Deep Dive – March 28, 2021)

Title card presented with apologies to Herbie Hancock.

There might be more written about energy and climate than anything else, and why not? On-demand electric power is as much a part of post-industrial life as running water, and the fallout from generations of its generation is a collective problem; overcoming it is a generational challenge.

The latest contribution to the deforestation project that is climate literature is none other than Bill Gates, who made the media rounds last month in a promotion of his new book How To Avoid A Climate Disaster.

A review of the tome in the New York Times by veteran environmental activist Billy McKibben makes it out as the work of a geek-for-industry whose tunnel vision prevents a broader appreciation of the totality of the problem. Continue Reading →

People downwind of atomic blasts renew push for US payout – by Susan Montoya Bryan (Associated Press/Prince George Citizen – March 24, 2021)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In the desert northeast of Las Vegas, residents living along the Nevada-Arizona border would gather on their front porches for bomb parties or ride horses into the fields to watch as the U.S. government conducted atomic tests during a Cold War-era race to build up the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

About 100 of those tests were aboveground, and U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona testified during a congressional subcommittee hearing Wednesday that residents at the time marveled at the massive orange mushroom clouds billowing in the distance.

“They had no idea. They were never told that they were being exposed to dangerous cancer-causing radiation,” Stanton said. Continue Reading →

Canada’s nuclear regulator overlooked dubious data when renewing Pickering plant’s licence, documents show – by Matthew McClearn (Globe and Mail – March 23, 2021)

When it renewed the operating licence for Canada’s oldest nuclear power plant, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission overlooked perplexing results from inspections of the station’s pressure tubes that nobody could explain – a decision critics say is part of a larger pattern of placing the industry’s interests over those of the public.

In August, 2018, the CNSC extended Ontario Power Generation’s licence for its Pickering Nuclear Generating Station for 10 years – the longest term it had ever received.

In doing so, the CNSC lifted key regulatory roadblocks that would have forced OPG to replace aging pressure tubes – six-metre-long rods that contain fuel bundles of uranium – at great expense. Continue Reading →

Uranium Has That Healthy Glow Again – by Jinjoo Lee (Wall Street Journal – March 23, 2021)

It has been just over a decade since the Fukushima disaster and the nuclear-fuel industry is cautiously betting prospects for its products have finally recovered.

Some of the optimism can already be seen in the share price of Canadian company Cameco, one of the largest miners of uranium behind No. 1 producer Kazatomprom, a state-run company in Kazakhstan. Cameco’s U.S.-listed shares have risen almost 180% over the past year, to levels not seen since 2014.

The last time Cameco saw year-over-year net income growth was 2015, when the spot price of uranium oxide hovered above $35 a pound for most of the year. Since then, the commodity’s price has mostly stayed below $30 a pound, though it seems to be recovering quickly. Continue Reading →

As decades-long search for nuclear waste site nears end, communities face tough decision – by Matthew McClearn (Globe and Mail – March 19, 2021)

The Municipality of South Bruce, an aggregation of predominantly agricultural communities south of Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, must soon decide whether to accept spent nuclear fuel that will shape its future for centuries.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has almost finished a decades-long search for an “informed and willing host” for an underground disposal site known as a deep geological repository (DGR).

It will choose between two final candidates – South Bruce and Ignace, in Northwestern Ontario – in 2023, said Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, the vice-president of site selection. If either community wants it, that is. Continue Reading →

Canadian firm plans to start building Niger uranium mine in early 2022 – by Mariaan Webb ( – March 18, 2021)

A pilot plant programme at the Dasa uranium project, in Niger, has delivered better-than-expected metallurgical results and with the required operating permits in hand, Global Atomic CEO Stephen Roman says the company is confident it could start building the Dasa mine early next year.

Confirmation of the metallurgical process to recover uranium was a key milestone for the project, keeping the feasibility study on track for completion in the third quarter.

Roman states that TSX-listed Global Atomic will start tendering for mill components to finalise costs. Continue Reading →