Trudeau government’s $1B nuclear reactor investment shows the political bargains that have to be made – by Heather Scoffield (Toronto Star – October 25, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

Ottawa is going nuclear in a big way, putting almost $1 billion into building a new reactor at Darlington, near Toronto. It’s a move that has been years in the making and comes with plenty of controversy — as well as prospects to test a new low-emissions technology to generate electricity, and enough power for 300,000 homes.

It’s the latest sign that Canada’s climate change commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 will have to be a voyage full of political compromise and big bucks that come not just from government but from the private sector.

Read more

‘Saviour for the world:’ Saskatchewan fills resource gaps caused by war in Ukraine – by Kelly Geraldine Malone (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 23, 2022)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

With its stable and established resource and agriculture sector, the province has found itself in a position to help fill the global gap caused by the war.

Cameco Corp. is in a position to grow, the president of the Saskatoon-based Uranium giant recently told investors, because a “geopolitical crisis has hit our market” with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Tim Gitzel was speaking earlier this month after the company announced it had partnered with Brookfield Renewable Partners to acquire Westinghouse Electric, a nuclear power plant equipment maker.

Read more

Uranium Snapshot: Seven juniors searching for the energy metal – by Norm Tollinsky (Northern Miner – October 20, 2022)

Global mining news

As the world looks for low-carbon energy solutions, more nations are coming to the conclusion that nuclear power needs to be part of the mix. Here are seven junior companies looking for the next uranium deposits to power the nuclear renaissance.

BASIN URANIUM

In early September, Basin Uranium (CSE: NCLR, US-OTC: BURCF) announced the intersection of significant uranium mineralization in first-phase drilling at its flagship Mann Lake uranium project in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin.

Read more

Cameco pivots off volatile uranium market with big bet on Westinghouse – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 12, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Cameco is investing $2.2 billion for a 49% stake in Westinghouse Electric, which services nuclear reactors

Decarbonization could end up as a boon for nuclear power, which is capable of generating lots of energy while releasing no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

But as of today, there are still plenty of headwinds for uranium producers such as Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. So on Tuesday, chief executive Tim Gitzel did something that he hopes will make it easier to push through those headwinds: Cameco said it would invest $2.2 billion for a 49 per cent stake in Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co., which services nuclear reactors, diversifying Cameco away from the volatile uranium market.

Read more

NWMO reveals concepts for Centre of Expertise in Ignace – by Clint Fleury (Northern Ontario Business – October 13, 2022)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A $21-million Centre of Expertise will accompany deep geological repository for nuclear waste

IGNACE, Ont.— The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has unveiled its newest project, a $21-million facility for scientists and experts to continue their research on nuclear waste management and a wide variety of disciplines.

The Centre of Expertise will be located in either Ignace or South Bruce, depending on which will of the two is selected as host community for the deep geological repository to house spent nuclear fuel.

Read more

Radiation Victims Seek Expansion of 32-Year-Old Compensation Act – by Carolyn Campbell (Daily Yonder – October 11, 2022)

Home

Larry King crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair on the stone porch of his ancestral home in Church Rock, New Mexico. The Puerco River, which irrigates ranch land, is just beyond the fence. He breathes heavily, pushing his voice raspy. “I’m 65. I’m one of the younger, aging uranium miners who worked in the uranium mines. My lungs aren’t so good,” he says.

In addition to being a miner, his home borders the site of the largest radioactive spills in U.S history. In July 1979, a dam at the uranium mine broke, releasing over 94 million gallons of toxic waste into the river behind his house and into the fields and water table.

Read more

As the Western world looks for ‘Western fuel,’ Canadian nuclear fuel firm is buying into Westinghouse Electric Co. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – October 12, 2022)

https://www.post-gazette.com/

As nuclear operators around the world forge plans to turn away from Russia, a Canadian nuclear fuel company, Cameco Corp., is buying into one of Russia’s nuclear industry’s main foils: Westinghouse Electric Co.

Westinghouse, a Cranberry-based nuclear engineering company, is changing hands again, four years after it was bought out of bankruptcy in 2018 by Canadian investment firm Brookfield Business Partners for $4.6 billion. Westinghouse will still be under the Brookfield umbrella when the newly announced deal closes, expected in the second half of next year.

Read more

France Mulls New Uranium Plant to Cut West’s Reliance on Russia – by Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg News – October 7, 2022)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — French state-controlled uranium producer Orano SA is considering growing its capacity to enrich the radioactive ore into nuclear fuel by almost 50% as Western governments and utilities seek to reduce their reliance on Russia since its attack on Ukraine.

The war is “reviving the urgency” to raise Western uranium-enrichment capacity to avoid potential shortages, Orano said, according to a statement of France’s public debate committee. The cost of the capacity extension from 7.5 million to 11 million so-called separative work units at its plant in central France is estimated at 1.3 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

Read more

Uranium stocks are having their moment. Wise investors will run for the hills – by David Olive (Toronto Star – September 15, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

Beware of the uranium bubble. Investor enthusiasm for uranium stocks has increased their value by about one-third in the past few weeks.

They’ve actually been on a tear for a year. The latest bump followed Japan’s announcement last month that it will reopen nuclear power plants that have been mothballed since the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant disaster.

Read more

Uranium Risks Becoming the Next Critical Minerals Crisis – by David Fickling (Washington Post/Bloomberg – September 5, 2022)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Faced with the most serious energy crisis since the 1970s, the world is turning back to one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 1973 oil embargo: nuclear power. That’s good news, but we should take care. This solution to 2022’s energy security problems risks creating its own energy security headache down the road.

That’s because uranium’s supply chain is as susceptible to geopolitical manipulation as those for natural gas, cobalt, and rare earths. If developed countries want to count on atomic energy as a reliable source of zero-carbon power in the 2030s and 2040s, they’re going to need to start locking down the mineral resources now.

Read more

‘It’s shameful’: Critics slam Doug Ford’s plan to replace nuclear power with natural gas – by Rob Ferguson (Toronto Star – August 23, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

Ontario’s plan to replace electricity generation when an aging nuclear plant closes in 2025 has critics saying the province didn’t get the memo on the growing dangers of climate change. Of six new contracts announced by the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on Tuesday, four are for power to be generated by burning natural gas, while the other two — for wind and energy storage — account for less than 10 per cent of the 764 megawatts under contract.

Energy Minister Todd Smith defended the procurement, made in the wake of last year’s IESO warning that phasing out gas-fired power plants before 2030 would result in rotating blackouts and higher electricity bills because alternate supply and transmission lines could not be built in time.

Read more

Japan eyes return to nuclear power more than a decade after Fukushima disaster – by Justin McCurry (The Guardian – August 25, 2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Move designed to secure energy supplies would mark a dramatic shift in Japan’s policy stance held since 2011 reactor meltdown

Japan is considering building next-generation nuclear reactors and restarting idled plants in a major policy shift, 11 years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant rocked the country’s dependence on atomic energy.

The prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said he had directed a government panel to look into how “next-generation nuclear reactors equipped with new safety mechanisms” could be used to help Japan achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. His “green transformation” council is expected to report back by the end of the year, he said on Wednesday.

Read more

Sask. projecting $1.04B surplus amid rising resource revenues – by Stefanie Davis and Brendan Ellis (CTV News Saskatchewan – August 23, 2022)

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/

Saskatchewan is projecting a $1.04 billion surplus for 2022-23, with a large bump from non-renewable resource revenues projected. That figure is a $1.51 billion improvement from budget forecasts, which projected a $463 million deficit for the year.

“A strong economy and higher resource prices have meant a significant improvement in the province’s finances. That means we can balance the budget, pay down debt and help Saskatchewan people with the rising cost of living,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said.

Read more

‘It’s shameful’: Critics slam Doug Ford’s plan to replace nuclear power with natural gas – by Rob Ferguson (Toronto Star – August 24, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

Ontario’s plan to replace electricity generation when an aging nuclear plant closes in 2025 has critics saying the province didn’t get the memo on the growing dangers of climate change.

Of six new contracts announced by the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on Tuesday, four are for power to be generated by burning natural gas, while the other two — for wind and energy storage — account for less than 10 per cent of the 764 megawatts under contract.

Read more

A remote Canadian province luxuriates in the global supply crunch (The Economist – August 18, 2022)

https://www.economist.com/

Saskatchewan is enjoying wild growth in the wake of war in Europe

Gerrid gust’s great-grandfather was from near Dubno, a town that is now in western Ukraine. He settled between the two biggest towns in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon and Regina, on a plot of 160 acres which he bought for C$10. The farm is now a patchwork of properties 100 times the size which Mr Gust runs with his father and brother. Each year they harvest wheat, lentils and rapeseed.

Every planting season 23-metre-wide “drillers” shoot seed and fertiliser directly into the soil for 16 hours a day. Then it is all down to the heavens. Nearly all of Saskatchewan’s crops depend on rain rather than irrigation. Last year “was desperately dry”, says Mr Gust.

Read more