December 29, 2009

China Leads World In New Nuclear Plant Projects

China Has Most Nuclear Projects

Source: Global Times December 29 2009
By Ji Beibei

China has the largest number of nuclear powered projects under construction in the world, officials from the National Energy Administration said.

Zhang Guobao, director of the administration, said during a meeting of energy Sunday that there are eight new nuclear power stations under construc-tion with designed capacity of 31.4 million kilowatts.

He said the eight projects accounts for more than 30 percent of nuclear power generating units under construction across the globe, Jinan Daily reported Monday.

One of the projects is the Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong Province. Construction of the project officially started Monday and its first nuclear unit will be put into operation in 2014, China National Radio (CNR) reported.

The 120 billion yuan ($17 billion) project is the second in China that uses advanced AP1000 technology, or the third-generation reactor designed by US-based Westinghouse Electric Co. The first application is Sanmen project in Zhejiang Province.

Once all the eight power units go into operation in 2020, they will have the capacity of the output of the Three Gorges Dam project in 2008.

Besides, the project can help China reduce green house gas emission per GDP because it emits 50 million tons less of green house gas compared with thermal power plants of the same scale, the report said.

Nuclear power is important to China especially in coastal areas where there's a high demand for power to fuel rapid economic growth, the World Nuclear Association said.

The association said China should achieve self-sufficiency in nuclear reactor design and construction in order to enhance the proportion of nucle-ar power in the whole power structure.

An earlier report by China Energy News quoted Zhang Huazhu, director general of China Nuclear Energy Association, as saying factors such as the lack of talent might affect the development of nuclear plants in China.

"There is a shortage of mature technicians in this field and this shortage may last for five to six years," said Zhang.

There are four tertiary education institutions offering related training, including Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Xi'an Jiao Tong University and Harbin Engineering University.

Getting sufficient uranium ore is another challenge facing Chinese nuclear power development.

China demand for uranium ore will be 10 times greater by 2030, the second in the world, as a result of rapid expansion of nuclear power projects, Reuters reported December 10.

But Director Zhang and Pan Zhiqiang, an official from China Nuclear Engineering Group Corporation, said the demand for uranium ore should not effect the nation's nuclear power development.

China's power was produced by fossil fuels, of which 80 percent come from coal, 2 percent from oil and 1 percent from gas, the World Nuclear Association said in 2006.

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December 5, 2009


This Is Unbelievable If It was Not True


Censorship Is Not Science.


Here's a video that will concisely point out Who's Who in Climate Gate; Who's Who and What They Did to cover their tracks. A nice soundtrack, too.



Professor Phil Jones Exposed

Professor Phil Jones, head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, has announced that he is stepping down from his post as Director of the CRU until an independent investigation and revue is complete. The revue comes as a result of the allegations following the publications of emails and software data taken from the CRU by persons known on the Web as only “hadley hack” last month.

Professor Jones says he will be stepping aside during the investigation and cooperating fully with the investigators. Vice-Chancellor Edward Acton will also be stepping aside during the investigation. Professor Peter Liss, so far not named in any of the implicating emails, will be taking over the role of Director.

Of course, the global warming alarmists are up in arms about the “stolen data” and the “bad timing” and making all kinds of conspiranoid claims about who the hadley hack was, what was released, and why. This further relegates them, in my mind, into the realm of the delusional religionist and shows them to be logically brain dead.

“It has created confusion,” said Nicholas Stern, a leading Gorebot economist (meaning climate change cashier), “and confusion never helps scientific discussions.” Apparently Mr. Stern didn’t finish the fifth grade, or otherwise he would have learned that science is all about debate, confusion over the theory, and general bickering about who is right about what. That’s what the scientific vetting process is, at its core. Using the Scientific Method, a research scientist extracts data in as controlled and careful a way as possible. Then he presents it to his peers, who endlessly nit-pick and bicker over it.

Once again, of course, Stern turned to the old “consensus makes correctness” attitude, saying, “The degree of skepticism among real scientists is very small.” There wasn’t much skepticism over the earth being flat, over Newton’s Law, or any of the others that maverick skeptics challenged and proved wrong either. Thank God for skeptics like Galileo, Einstein, and many others!

He then repeats the mantra about Five Degrees and how we’re all going to cook when global temperatures rise that much by century’s end. This totally discounts, of course, the Medieval Warming Period wherein the temperature was a full six degrees higher and Vikings made settlements in then-recently-thawed Greenland and agricultural production reached its highest levels up to that point in human history.

Oh, and the seas weren’t flooding New York or Miami either.

What Stern is really upset about is that their “strategy” won’t be going through at Copenhagen to create a new world market, enforced by governments, in carbon trading. Trading by which Stern, Gore, and all their buddies would profit immensely, being the forces who control the current carbon trading markets in the West.

In other words, if people don’t keep believing in global warming, then poor sobs like Stern might lose their billions in future income potentials. Boo hoo.

Read the AP’s lopsided reporting at this link.

Meanwhile, tomorrow we’ll get back to the business of real environmental issues and problems. You know, the ones that the global warming alarmists gloss over in their continual push for global taxation so they can keep riding the gravy train.




Professor Bob Carter ( Bob's a Member of the Australian Environmental Foundation ) He uses the Scientific method on the popular theory with global warming being linked to CO2 levels. He examines the hypothesis and it fails the test........... Video Explains clearly & concisely.


John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel will be joining 30,000 scientists to sue Al Gore to debunk global warming fraud. He said global warming supporters are not open to scientific, objective discussion but have been silencing their oposition to cover their faulty science. Coleman hopes that the lawsuit will bring the truth of the matter to the public eye and force media and government outlets to give a more balanced report on the claims.


This above video gives background about the 70s ice age scare with an update about some of the principal figures involved. Newsweek, April 28, 1975


For Those Who Enjoy A Little Humour



NOW, let's get this straight. Much of the media in the past week has been lambasting Tony Abbott for being a conservative, yet the new Liberal leader is open to a discussion on nuclear energy for Australia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is ostensibly on the progressive side of politics, has ruled out such a discussion.

Abbott is a “humans-are-causing-climate-change” agnostic/sceptic, but one with a professed open mind on the subject.

We know where Rudd stands - he believes urgent action is needed lest Bendigo and Charleville become the new seaside places to build that weekender. Yet there is a considerable body of scientific opinion on the side of the argument that nuclear offers a way to provide large quantities of electricity with comparably low carbon emissions.

So a conservative wants to hold a conversation about how nuclear could help reduce emissions, but the left does not.

As someone once famously said: please explain.

But here is the delicious irony: the talk fest now under way in Copenhagen is expected to provide a major boost to the global move towards nuclear generated power, according to the latest energy report out of Brussels from BNP Paribas Fortis Bank. “The much delayed renaissance in the US nuclear power industry will be guaranteed by the Copenhagen accord,” the report adds. The bank is expecting US Energy Secretary Steven Chu to provide government funding for up to another 10 power plants. (Are you with us so far, Kevin?)

The bank is, as a result of the upsurge in nuclear plant building programs, expecting uranium spot prices to hit $US95/lb next year, almost double their present levels (the price dropped by US50c to $US45/lb last week). The forecast is still a long way from the $US140/lb peak in 2007 but get this - the bank says the looming uranium shortage will mean that figure will be reached again “before too long”.

Just in the past week we have seen Armenia announce a new 1000 megawatt nuclear plant, the South African power utility say the only way it can reach its emission reduction target by 2020 is if the country has a nuclear plant operating, India has announced four new 700MW plants and Mississippi regulators have approved expanding the generation capacity of the Grand Gulf nuclear power station in that state.

So, while sobbing uncontrollably about your recently acquired gold stocks which are now looking a little limp or cursing yourself for not getting in on the ground floor for potash and phosphate, this might be the time to start paying attention to what the uranium plays are up to.

In the past 24 hours, for example, we’ve seen a number of announcements.

WildHorse Energy has begun drilling at its 72sq km Mecsek Hills uranium project in Hungary, Extract Resources announced some exciting assays from its Rossing South project in Namibia including 28m at 0.45 per cent U3O8, Aura Energy has committed $1.6 million to define a uranium resource at its Storsjon project in Sweden, and Impact Minerals has started the first drill program at its Botswana uranium project.

This is no time for nodding off when someone mentions uranium.

Indeed Interesting Times Lay Ahead For The Uranium Bulls


December 4, 2009

Uranium Producer Paladin Energy Resolves Dispute Over Shares With Areva

PERTH, Australia — Paladin Energy Ltd. (TSX:PDN), an Australian uranium producer that's listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, said Thursday it has resolved a two-year-long dispute between its subsidiary Summit Resources Ltd. and Areva NC Pty Ltd.

Paladin announced Thursday it has reached a settlement that resolves the dispute with Areva, "and thereby paves the way for Paladin and Areva work co-operatively as shareholders of Summit Resources Ltd."

In April 2007, Summit entered into a strategic alliance with Areva, a subsidiary of the French nuclear enterprise. Under the alliance, Areva would subscribe for shares in Summit, giving it marketing rights over two-thirds of Summit's uranium production from its Australian projects.

Later that month, the directors of Summit recommended acceptance of a takeover offer by Paladin. At the close of the offer, Areva held 10.5 per cent of the shares in Summit and Paladin held 82 per cent.

In August of that year, Summit announced it agreed to settle a legal dispute with Resolute Ltd. and Mt Isa Uranium Pty Ltd.

Areva applied to intervene in the proceedings, seeking to restrain Summit and the defendants from making the agreement binding.

Its application to intervene was heard this summer and a judgement has yet to be delivered.

On Oct. 16, Summit entered into a conditional agreement with Areva, Resolute and Paladin without any party admitting liability to another.

If the settlement agreement becomes unconditional by the court, Areva's application to intervene will be dismissed, the strategic alliance will end, and Summit will pay A$4.5 million to Areva.

Shares in Paladin were trading down less that a per cent at C$4.03 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.

December 3, 2009

Australia's Clean Future In Nuclear Power

WE may not be getting an emissions trading scheme any time soon but the climate and energy crises still need fixing with real urgency.

Applying the EU price of $41 per tonne of CO2, cost to current power sources would result in nuclear power becoming marginally cheaper than coal and natural gas generation.

For climate, the issue is excess greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. For energy, the crisis is dwindling supplies of those fuels and air pollution from coal combustion.

Replacement energy sources need to be reliable, plentiful and economic to deploy. They need to be low-carbon to minimise global warming. Business-as-usual or half measures risks saddling future generations with a climatically hostile planet and energy scarcity.

Nuclear power is one obvious replacement source, but typically raises five objections.

First, readily available uranium supplies are limited. If the world was wholly powered by present-style nuclear reactors there would be at most a few decades of energy before cheap uranium was exhausted.

Second, nuclear accidents have happened in the past, suggesting this technology is dangerous.

Third, expansion of nuclear power would risk the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Fourth, we would leave future generations with the legacy of long-lived nuclear waste.

Fifth, large amounts of energy (and possibly greenhouse gases) would be required to mine, mill and enrich uranium and to build and later decommission nuclear power stations.

All the above points have merit, although their relative importance comparedwith climate change and critical energy shortages is debatable. But there is little point in debating these objections because none will apply to future nuclear energy generation.

Almost all today's nuclear power stations are thermal reactors. These use water to slow the neutrons that cause uranium atoms to split (fission) and to carry the heat generated in this reaction to a steam turbine to generate electricity.

Because of the gradual build-up of fission products (neutron poisons) through time, we end up getting less than 1 per cent of the useable energy out of the uranium. The rest is thrown out as that long-lived waste.

In contrast, newer fast reactors are able to use almost all of the energy in uranium. There is enough energy in already mined uranium and stored plutonium from existing stockpiles to supply all the world's power needs for more than three centuries before we need to mine any more uranium.

Fast reactors can be used to burn all existing reserves of plutonium and the nuclear waste from the past and present generation of thermal reactors. With additional uranium mining, there is enough energy in proven deposits to supply the entire world for many thousands of years. This deals with the first objection.

As to the second objection, modern reactors use passive safety systems requiring no operator intervention to shut down the reaction. This makes them safe. So safe that a certification assessment for Westinghouse's AP-1000 reactor put the risk of a core meltdown such as the one that occurred at in the US in 1979 at Three Mile Island at once every 24 million reactor years.

Comparing the flawed Chernobyl design to today's reactors is like saying modern aviation is too dangerous because the Hindenburg airship exploded in 1937.

On the third objection, proliferation, the nuclear fuel used by fast reactors is initially very radioactive, making it impossible to divert to a nuclear weapons program without an expensive, heavily shielded, off-site reprocessing facility that would be readily detected.

In fact, the only nuclear waste materials that will ever leave an Integral Fast Reactor complex (which has on-site recycling) are fission products, which decay to background levels of radiation within a few hundred years.

Unlike conventional nuclear waste, which can last for hundreds of thousands of years (the fourth objection), the waste from IFRs can be more readily stored because of its small volume (150 times less than used nuclear fuel from thermal reactors) and short storage times.

The fifth objection, concerning greenhouse gases generated in building nuclear power plants, has never stood up to detailed life-cycle analysis.

Renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar) use significantly more raw materials per unit of energy generated than even present-generation nuclear power stations and the full life-cycle emissions, including nuclear fuel production, are similar from both sources. When energy storage and fossil-fuel back-up are included, wind and solar emissions are much higher.

A possible sixth objection could be that we don't need nuclear power when we can use renewable energy. This is a valid objection for countries with abundant hydropower, conventional geothermal power or biomass, the only three renewable sources of proven reliable power that can deliver energy 24 hours a day at an acceptable cost. Solar and wind sources, however, still rely heavily on fossil fuels to deliver reliable, continuous energy.

At today's pace of commercial development we won't see many fast nuclear reactors delivering power to the grid before 2020. This will seem too late for some, but at the present pace, non-hydro renewables will only meet 2 per cent of global energy use.

Either option, therefore, requires radically accelerated research, development and deployment if it is to make a difference to climate change and energy supply. What's required is a project of Manhattan-style proportions or the audacity of the moon-shot vision.

Let's be clear. We have the means to fix the climate and energy crises, or at least avert the worst consequences. New generation nuclear power, supported by an expansion of the thermal reactor fleet, is one possible path to success and one that all nations should support. Rationally considering energy planning requires letting go of old-school thinking about exciting new technologies.

Martin Nicholson is the author of Energy in a Changing Climate. Barry Brook is professor of climate change at the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute.

December 2, 2009

Uranium Spot Price Rises To US$45.50 P/Lb

Weekly Spot Ux U3O8 Price
as of November 30, 2009
Change from previous (week)

U3O8 Price $45.50 +2.50



Uranium Long Term Price

U3O8 Long Term Price



Uranium Mid Term Price

U3O8 Current Spot Price


Uranium Spot Price

U3O8 Current Spot Price



It wasn't until last week that the market got some much needed good news. A preliminary prospectus was filed in Canada for the formation of a uranium investment fund. Uranium Investment Corp is looking to raise as much as C$150 million to invest in uranium products. TradeTech reports that the company intends to use almost all of the money it raises to acquire uranium products.

The supply side saw a number of sellers hit the market ahead of the announcement from the DOE and this served to drive prices down during the first few weeks of the month. Buyers were quick to take advantage of the bargains on offer, with 14 transactions totalling 1.6 million pounds U3O8 equivalent concluded during the first three weeks of November.

However, there were another 8 transactions totalling over 1.1 million pounds U3O8 that were concluded in the last week of the month, despite it being a short week. These deals not only helped to clear the market of most of the discounted supply, buyers also seemed willing to pay more to secure material. TradeTech reports that by month-end, prices had increased US$1.25 from the November 27 Spot Price Indicator.

Fellow-consultant Ux Consulting reports that buying interest in the U3O8 spot market last week was widespread, with buyers including US and non-US utilities, traders, producers, and financial entities, which included both existing players as well as new entrants. This trend continued into this week, notes UxC, with buyers increasingly raising bids. This encouraged the now more discretionary sellers to raise their offers in turn.

All up, it is beginning to look like the aggressive sellers of the past few months are being replaced by increasingly aggressive buyers. Yet with the end of the year quickly nearing, it seems the sellers that had to sell have now pretty much shifted their goods. On the buy side, it's the new entrants in the market and the potential for more to follow that has extended increased interest.

Yet how much the spot price will rise is still a hard question to answer, as it depends both on the depth and aggressiveness of buyers and the price level that would make sellers happy enough to bring more supplies to the market.

The gap between the spot uranium price and the term price is also closing after longs months of an unmoved long-term price. Sellers in the term market have begun to lower prices in an effort to compete with various "buy and hold" options available to utility companies. This saw both mid- and long-term prices come under pressure during November.

TradeTech's Mid-Term U3O8 Price Indicator was down US$5.00 to US$50.00 per pound U3O8 over last month. The Long-Term Price Indicator for November 30 is US$60.00 per pound U3O8, which was also down US$5.00 from the October 31 level.

UxC's long term price indicator has now dropped to US$62/lb.

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November 24, 2009

Hyperion Reveals Design Details Of Its 25 MW Reactor

Firm kicks-off effort to prepare a submission to the NRC for safety review

Hyperion-Nuclear Power Generation, which is designing a small, 25 MWe, nuclear reactor, revealed design details on November 18, about the company's product at the Winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society taking place in Washington, DC.

This is the first release of reactor design information by the company. It marks the kick-off of the firm’s pre-application process with the NRC for safety analysis review that leads to a reactor design certification decision by the agency.

No matter where, globally, Hyperion plans to build their reactor, the NRC certification is a critical success factor because the agency’s regulatory review is considered to be the “gold standard” by other countries.

According to John Grizz Deal, Hyperion CEO, the firm plans to submit its design to the NRC in late 2010 or early 2011. Hyperion technical staff said the NRC learning curve is a challenge since it is not a light water reactor.

“We hope that it will not be too hard for them to understand our design. We choose technologies for fuel and fuel cladding that are well understood from a safety perspective.”

Design details

The sealed core, which is good for up to 10 years, does not require refueling at the customer site. Instead, the entire mechanism is replaced by a new one. The first use of the reactor at a customer site will be to produce electricity. The planned output of the reactor will be 25 MWe. Other applications include process heat and power for remote military applications. The company claims to have numerous customers lined up to buy the units.

Features Include

* Each unit will generate approximately 70MWt and 25MWe – enough to power 20,000 average American homes.

* The temperature of the secondary loop is 450-500 F. The secondary loop is a liquid metal circuit to produce steam so that there is no contact between the primary reactor and water in any form.

* Overnight costs are estimated by the firm to be $2,000 - $3,000 per KW capacity. The bottom line market goal is to generate electricity for approximately US$0.10 per kWh anywhere in the world.

Hyperion Reactor Information

* Operation is limited to reactivity adjustments to maintain constant temperature output and it has much fewer in-core components than a light water reactor. Hyperion claims that operational reliability is enhanced by the reduction of moving mechanical parts. Staffing will be at least two people at all times to comply with NRC requirements.

The reactor is intended to meet requirements for dedicated power by hospitals, factories, foundries, government centers, water treatment, or irrigation and desalinization. Resource intensive uses at remote sites include mining and oil production & refining. Military facilities that cannot compromise tactical readiness relative to having enough electricity may find the small footprint of the reactor and ease of transport to be of interest.

Safe shutdown

The reactor has two shutdown systems which provides redundancy. In event of a problem, there is a space in the center of the core into which the operator can rapidly dumped marble size boron pellets which will lead to rapid shutdown of the reactor.

Hyperion Plan Review of Active Core

Once reactor comes to end of fuel cycle, in about 5-10 years, it takes two years to cool down via air circulation. Then the entire reactor can be removed for disposition. Ideally, a customer will have two setups for these reactors so that one slot is empty at startup of the first one. When it’s done, you put the new one in the empty space, and let the old one cool off in place for two years. Then the customer can arrange for Hyperion to remove it. It gives new meaning to the term “plug and play.”

Future fuel fabrication plans

Fuel will be enriched to between 15-19.6% because this small reactor needs more highly enriched fuel to get power levels to point of economic value. Fuel is a uranium nitride alloy. No fuel has been fabricated or tested so far. A system engineer at Hyperion said in an interview INL’s ATR is an option for testing fuel. Other international sites (unnamed) are also interested if ATR is not available. The firm’s goal is to verify that fuel meets requirements for higher burn-up rates.

Hyperion said in October it plans to build a factory to make the reactors in the UK. CEO Deal is making a simultaneous announcement there about design details this week. Nuclear Engineering International Magazine published a technical update 11/19/09.

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November 18, 2009

Australian Opposition Anger At India-Canada Uranium Deal

Australia's federal opposition is complaining of what it calls a colossal missed opportunity for Australia, after it was revealed that Canada is soon to resume uranium sales to India.

The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has visited New Delhi to sign a series of agreements on trade and energy, and he has also announced a new civilian nuclear deal with India, which will include big new uranium sales.

India has been asking for Australian uranium for years, but the government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has a ban in place preventing any sales.

Windows Media Link
To Above Article

Recent News Regarding Canada's Close Ties With India
September 2009

OTTAWA -- Canada is close to signing a deal with India to sell nuclear technology and materials, Trade Minister Stockwell Day said on Friday, adding he was confident that remaining security concerns would be resolved.

Mr. Day made similar comments in May, saying at that time that a deal was imminent.

He told reporters on a conference call that he was now ironing out a few final stumbling blocks.

"I had a telephone meeting just last week with India's national security adviser. We are down to four fine points ... He and I both agree that final agreement is possible within days, if not just a matter of a few weeks," Mr. Day told reporters on a conference call from India.

Mr. Day said he did not foresee any threat of Canadian materials being diverted to military uses elsewhere in the region because of India's commitment to allow inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency as well as tough transparency and reporting requirements.

"These are very strong provisions," he said.

Canada halted nuclear co-operation with India after the country diverted material from Canadian-designed reactors to make a nuclear bomb in 1974. The conflict between India and Pakistan at the time led to widespread international concerns about India's nuclear intentions.

Canada and other countries lifted their moratorium on nuclear trade with India last year.

Mr. Day said one of the four items to be resolved before signing a deal was the "question of reprocessing", without providing details.

"I'll let our negotiators make progress on those and the others without unduly trying to raise pressure points publicly on them," he said.

The deal means Canadian uranium producers will be able to sell to an Indian market that is seen, along with China's, as one of the top areas of growing demand for nuclear fuel.

Cameco, a top uranium miner, recently said it plans to open a marketing office in India.

"Certainly we're looking forward to having the opportunity to do business in India. It's a large market opportunity for any uranium fuel supplier," said Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn.

The company plans to open the office next month.

"Once we have the agreement in place, we'll certainly be moving forward," Cameco's spokesman.

On Wednesday, the Canadian government announced a similar nuclear deal with Kazakhstan, where Cameco already has operations.

November 10, 2009

Awsome Video "Could Nuclear Power Save The Planet"

In My Personal View This Is One Of The Best Videos In Support Of Nuclear Power Generation I Have Seen, & I'm Sure All That Watch Will Surely Agree.


Hosted by Stewart Brand.

* Full Watch Also Available 1.43Hrs*

Be Patient Approx 30sec-1Minute Pre Load Time Required

I Can Highly Recommend Watching The Full 1.43 Hr Video

In the early 1980s Gwyneth Cravens was one of the protesters against the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant on Long Island, and also participated in ban-the-bomb rallies. After 15 years of deepening familiarity with nuclear power, she says she still would ban the bomb, but she now regrets that the Shoreham reactor was shut down.

Who changed her mind was a nuclear expert at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, D. Richard Anderson, known as “Rip.” “Here was someone who thinks in thousands of years, about climate, about nuclear waste storage,” she said. “He applies to nuclear issues the same probabilistic risk assessment that helps us understand what we’re facing with climate change.”

One concept that altered Cravens’ perspective was realizing what “baseload” requires. Rip Anderson, on the stage with her, explained that baseload is the fundamental currency of grid power. It is massive power constantly available 24/7. It comes from only three sources— fossil fuels, hydro-electric dams, and nuclear. Hydro is maxed out. Fossil fuels have to be cut back to slow global warming. That leaves only nuclear growth to handle the expected doubling of energy demand in the world by 2030.

Anderson added that his first scientific discipline was oceanography, so one of his greatest concerns about CO2 loading of the atmosphere is that the resulting carbonic acid in the oceans is dissolving the calcifying organisms and could effectively end the crucial carbon sink that oceans provide.

Cravens went into detail about the harm brought by coal, which currently provides 51% of US electricity (while hydro is 7%, nuclear 20%). Estimates are that coal pollution causes 24,000 deaths a year in the US, 400,000 a year in China (not counting the 5,000 who die annually in Chinese coal mines).

She also mentioned the still-incomplete science of the effects of low radiation— the amounts below 10,000 millirems. People encounter much higher levels of natural radiation at higher elevations and in some radon-rich areas, but there is no indication of higher cancer rates in those places. The fears of long-lingering cancer effects in the Chernobyl region have not proven out.

Comparing the environmental footprint of nuclear versus coal was the most persuasive mind-changer for Cravens. Coal involves vast quanities of mine spoil, vast quantities of fuel, vast quantities of pollution (including mercury and uranium), and vast quantities of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere. Nuclear, by contrast, uses the most concentrated form of energy in the world, the plants are small, and the waste amounts to one Coke can per person’s lifetime of energy use.

There is said to be no geological repository for nuclear waste yet, but Rip Anderson pointed out that the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) in a deep salt formation in New Mexico has been operating since 1999. It now handles only military waste, but there is no reason except political that it could not take all of our civilian spent fuel.

Two questions from the audience addressed possible limitations on fast growth of nuclear energy in the world. One was, “Won’t we quickly run out of uranium?” Anderson said that 10% of US electricity currently comes from recycled Soviet nuclear warheads, and we haven’t begun to draw the energy from decommissioned US warheads. The price for uranium ore has been so low in recent decades that mines closed and discovery stopped. Now that the price is rising, mines are reopening and new reserves are being found. (They’re mostly in Canada and Australia, some in the US.) Meanwhile, spent fuel in the US still has 98% of its energy in it. Once we reprocess the spent fuel the way the rest of the world does, we will extract more of that energy, and the final amount of waste will be drastically smaller.

Second question: “Are there enough nuclear engineers in the pipeline to deal with a worldwide nuclear renaissance?” Answer: No. That’s the most limiting resource at this point.

Gwenyth Craven’s new book, The Power to Save the World.

Visit My Other Site Australian Uranium Investing


The uranium spot market was relatively quiet last week, with uranium market consultant TradeTech's U3O8 Weekly Spot Price Indicator slipping just US$0.50/lb to US$46.00/lb after a drop of US$3.50/lb the previous week.

There were only three transactions totalling approximately 400,000 pounds U3O8 equivalent registered by TradeTech for the week.

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November 9, 2009

Go Nuclear, France Tells Australia

France - the world's most Nuclearised country - has thrown its weight behind a nuclear power industry in Australia.

The French government's environment ambassador, Laurent Stefanini, said nuclear power was a good fit for Australia, and offered his country's technological know-how to get the industry started.

"We think that Australia is certainly a country that would win much from putting in place ... a nuclear program," Stefanini told AAP in an interview in the ministry of foreign affairs in Paris.

"It's a reliable and useful way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions."

Australia, which has the world's largest uranium reserves, exports uranium to France but does not have any nuclear power reactors.

Close to 80% of France's electricity comes from 59 nuclear reactors dotted across the country.

Nuclear power has negligible greenhouse gas emissions; France's emissions are about one-third of Australia's on a per capita basis.

"You've got the primary material, you're a serious country which is democratic, organized, and has reliable institutions," Stefanini said.

"You've got plenty of space ... that makes it easier. You've got the territory to build (reactors) a certain distance (from towns)."

Some French reactors are located near towns and villages.

Stefanini said France's experience of more than 20 years of nuclear power was that the industry created jobs - in security and maintenance - and while construction costs were high, as a 30-year investment the price tag was not prohibitive.

There had been no major accidents in France's nuclear industry, but it was very tightly monitored and regulated, Mr Stefanini said. There was a national consensus on the utility of nuclear power but an accident would jeopardize that consensus.

An adviser to French president Nicolas Sarkozy was also positive about the potential for nuclear power in Australia.

"Nuclear should be one of the possible options ... we think it's one of the solutions for producing carbon-free energy," he told AAP in an interview in the French presidential palace, l'Elysee.

"Australia is a country which offers all the guarantees of an excellent mastery of technology, and there are no concerns about nuclear (weapons) dissemination."

The adviser said he didn't want to tell other countries what to do with their electricity generation, but nuclear power had worked well for France and had kept greenhouse gas emissions low.

Australia exports about 10,000 tonnes of uranium oxide a year and has the world's largest uranium deposit, at Olympic Dam in South Australia.

The vast majority of Australia's electricity comes from coal, which has high greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal government says there's no need for nuclear power because renewable energy - like wind and solar - is a better way to green up the electricity grid.

The opposition has been more open to the nuclear option, with former prime minister John Howard floating the idea at the last election and various MPs recently calling for it to be considered afresh.

Opinion polls in Australia show that the long-running hostility towards nuclear power is breaking down, and roughly half the population now thinks it could be a good idea.

France's nuclear reactors are state-owned and the country is an electricity exporter.

No country gets more of its electricity from nuclear sources than France. France also has nuclear weapons.

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The uranium spot market was relatively quiet last week, with uranium market consultant TradeTech's U3O8 Weekly Spot Price Indicator slipping just US$0.50/lb to US$46.00/lb after a drop of US$3.50/lb the previous week.

There were only three transactions totalling approximately 400,000 pounds U3O8 equivalent registered by TradeTech for the week.


Britain To Accelerate Plans For New Nuclear Plants

Britain will face a serious energy crisis unless plans to build new nuclear power plants are speeded through without having obstacles placed in their way, the Government will warn next week.

Published: 9:30AM GMT 07 Nov 2009

Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, will give the go-ahead for a new generation of power stations and explain how new planning guidelines will speed up the time it takes for them to come into operation.

In a major series of policy statements on Monday Mr Miliband will say that “saying no” to nuclear is no longer an option.

The move is certain to arouse opposition in Labour ranks, sweeping away many of the concerns on the traditional left. But Mr Miliband said that business backs his plans and companies need to have confidence that they will not be thwarted if they invest in Britain’s new energy order.

Last night he told The Daily Telegraph: “Saying no is not a good energy policy. In fact we’ve got to say yes to all of the key technologies, nuclear, renewable, clean coal. It isn’t just about the green thing it’s about doing the right thing by way of energy security.

“We are going to have to see significant infrastructure built in the coming years. We have to understand people's concerns and where they’re coming from but to say no to all of these things isn’t an option because it will be bad for Britain in terms of our security of supply and it’s bad in terms of low carbon as well.”

He added: “We can’t have endless delay. I don’t think that’s good for people themselves whether they’re for or against. It’s not good for business and it’s not good for Britain as a whole.

“So it’s an important, significant moment because it’s saying we’re pressing ahead with these plans and it’s the right thing to do for Britain and people need to get behind them.”

The list of sites will include many that have previously had nuclear reactors. They include two in Sellafield, Wylfa in North Wales and Dungeness in Kent.

It is understood that after a six month consultation period the sites are considered the best because of the existing infrastructure and a local community that is not resistant to the prospect of a new installation.

The new planning rules are designed to stop nuclear plans being bogged down in legal wrangles for years. Instead, Mr Miliband said that he wants to new power stations in place by 2017-18.

He said: “The truth is that we need to reform the planning system because the current system involves duplication, it involves delay and it won’t get the infrastructure built in time. So that’s why I think it’s right to do the reforms.

“We’re putting in place a planning system that actually enjoys the support of business, the support of investors and I think its time that they recognised that and supported it.”

Ministers were angered when the Conservatives used government figures to claim Britain risked being plunged into an era of 1970s-style blackouts because of poor energy planning

While maintaining that blackouts will not happen, Mr Miliband makes it clear that Britain cannot afford delay if it is to avoid having to import energy in the coming years.

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November 5, 2009

Deep Yellow & Rio Tinto To Possibly Enter Iron Ore Deal


Uranium play Deep Yellow could potentially enter into an off take agreement with the Rio Tinto-backed Rossing Uranium to supply iron from its INCA deposit to the Namibian uranium operation.

Subiaco-based Deep Yellow said it has signed an agreement with Rossing
Uranium, which is majority owned by Rio Tinto, to investigate the potential of supplying ferric iron to the Rossing uranium operation and enter into a commercial offtake agreement.

Portions of the INCA deposit in Namibia contain massive iron oxide that is either uranium poor or totally unmineralised and could be supplied to Rossing, which it will use in its processing plant, Deep Yellow said.

"If the iron product is suitable, early indications are that it is, then exploiting
it will serve a number of purposes while detailed investigations into a uranium processing plant at INCA continue in conjunction with the required Stage Two environmental and other studies," the company said.

Deep Yellow has also applied for a mining licence for its Omahola project, 
which contains the INCA and the Tubas Red Sand uranium deposits, despite not having completed a definitive or bankable feasibility study.

Deep Yellow said it had presented a case for exemption to Namibia's Ministry of Mines and Energy based on a two stage environmental clearance procedure where no chemical processing would initially occur on site.

It said high-grade uranium bearing mineralised sand from Tubas Red Sand could be trucked to nearby uranium producers, like Rossing Uranium, for treatment.

INCA Project

Mineralisation at INCA, which is located 30 km inland from the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay has characteristics of both metasomatic and magnetite (calc-silicate) skarn types which is distinct and different from the known lower grade alaskite hosted uranium mineralisation being mined at Rossing and on the projects controlled by other companies in the district and also the higher grade Rossing South discovery of Extract Resources which in part exhibits some similarities to the INCA mineralisation.

Although discovered by Reptile in December 2007, the initial drilling returned 115 metre at 229 ppm eU3O8 from 14 metre in diamond drill hole ADM 02 which is typical of the wide intersections of around 200 ppm as commonly found in alaskites.

Reptile’s technical team had determined that a grade closer to 400 ppm is required for a viable hardrock mining operation and therefore did not pursue this project until later when it was recognised that uranium mineralisation may well be controlled by later alteration systems and not necessarily only with the granites. RC drilling was then undertaken over an approximate 2 by 2 km area on a nominally 100 metre square grid to a vertical depth of 100 metre.

This drilling delineated an area of 300 by 500 metre within which a number
of holes contained 400 ppm U3O8 or better close to the surface and which was deemed prospective and have potential for an open-cut mining operation.

Reptile then set about drilling out this potential pit area on a 50 by 50 metre grid in order to delineate resources down to a nominal depth of 100 metre. While this programme was underway it was decided to deepen two holes in the northern portion of the grid to test an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) anomaly at depth. This drilling led to the discovery of the INCA Deeps mineralisation with hole INCR139 returning 1,734 ppm U3O8 over 20 metre from 206 metre associated with massive magnetite. This hole ended in mineralisation due to excessive amounts of water curtailing the RC drilling but testing of the AEM anomaly had successfully discovered a zone of mineralisation towards the north that is tens of metre thick located approximately 200 metre below surface.

The mineralisation appears to be at least partly structurally controlled and occurs within a partly overturned fold or syncline. There is a 20 to 70 metre thick crystalline marble unit within the metamorphic package which, for all intent, is totally unaffected by the alteration associated with the uranium and iron mineralisation and occurs below the mineralisation. This marble unit is being used as a footwall marker and all previously drilled holes that finished above the marble marker are being deepened to intersect it. Where the mineralisation has not been intersected in the 50 metre spaced holes on the southern and western margins of the deposit, the hole spacing is being reduced to 25 metre.

Along with the drilling programme, metallurgical and other scoping studies have continued and a shortlist of consultants, who will undertake the detailed investigations leading to a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), is almost complete. It is anticipated that an announcement with respect to the successful group will be made during October 2009.

The conceptual/initial mine and production scenario that DYL has modelled is to combine ore from the Tubas Red Sand project with that from INCA to produce around 1,000 to 1,500 tonne per annum of U3O8 at a feed grade of +400 ppm. It is estimated that an initial resource of 8,000 to 10,000 tonne will suffice to fund this development while drilling will continue with a view to increasing the resource as regional holes indicate a much larger zone of alteration and mineralisation is present at INCA.

Heap leach trials have also been carried out in columns using a blend of 20% Tubas Red Sand and 80% INCA uraniferous magnetite which was acid cured and then agglomerated. The agglomerate essentially remained intact after 17 days of leaching and washing. All testwork has been completed on unscreened and uncrushed RC drill chips with excellent recoveries of above 80%. This would appear to indicate that milling, which is an extremely energy intensive and expensive step, may not be required.

Consistent drilling results are being returned above 400 ppm U3O8 grade that is required by in-house modelling to support an open-pit mining operation at INCA. 

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