May 28, 2013

Nuclear Regulator's New Review Process

Published on Tuesday May 28 2013 (AEST)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority will conduct new reviews to see whether each of Japan's nuclear power plants is meeting revised safety regulations.

The secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority is to conduct the assessments. It will create 3 teams to examine the applications submitted by individual plant operators to restart nuclear reactors.

The secretariat says each team will consist of 20 officials, including experts in nuclear plant facilities, and earthquake and tsunami disaster management. The secretariat says the reviews may take 6 months to a year. But the total time is not certain because the process will cover elements that have never been assessed before.

Professor Yoshihiro Nishiwaki of the Tokyo Institute of Technology said the new regulations include criteria covering serious accidents. He expressed concern over whether the examiners have adequate expertise in that area. In addition to the review by the regulator, plant operators have to obtain consent from host municipalities before restarting their reactors.

They also need to come up with evacuation and other emergency preparedness plans for residents in surrounding areas.



KEPCO To Apply For Resumption Of 2 Nuclear Power Reactors

Published on Tuesday May 28 2013 (AEST)

A Japanese nuclear power plant operator says it will ask for permission to restart 2 of its reactors once the government introduces new safety guidelines in July.

The president of Kansai Electric Power Company, Makoto Yagi, on Monday said his firm intends to apply for permission to restart the Number 3 and 4 reactors at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture.

KEPCO is seeking the resumption as soon as possible as it has already implemented an electricity price hike on the basis of future earnings from the nuclear reactors.

Yagi said the operator is also preparing to apply for permission to restart other plants. But the Nuclear Regulation Authority says that some of KEPCO's nuclear power stations still have to be checked to see if they have active faults beneath their sites before it can start screening them for the new guidelines. 

The majority of Japan's nuclear reactors have been shut down in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.



May 26, 2013

Energy Fuels to Purchase Strathmore Minerals for $28.2 Million

Published on Sunday May 26 2013 (AEST)

On Friday 24th May, Energy Fuels Inc. and Strathmore Minerals Corp. announced the signing of a letter of intent which states that Energy Fuels will purchase Strathmore Minerals for $28.2 million, to create one of the largest uranium companies in the US.

Strathmore shareholders will receive 1.47 Energy Fuels shares for each share they own, equivalent to a 31% premium on Strathmore’s stock, based on closing prices at the end of trading on Thursday 23rd May.

Uranium companies have struggled to find cash after market values dropped this year following a decline in the price of uranium. Uranium fell to a seven year low on the 24th April, costing just $40.25 a pound, whereas in June 2007 it was at $138 a pound.
Energy Fuels believes that the acquisition will allow the exploitation of operational synergies between the two companies especially Energy Fuels’ White Mesa uranium mill and Strathmore’s Roca Honda project in New Mexico.

Stephen Antony, President and CEO of Energy Fuels was quoted in Energy Fuels press release as saying that,  

“it is rare to find an acquisition that offers the magnitude of synergies that we believe exist between Energy Fuels and Strathmore. I am very excited about the merits of this transaction and the opportunity it represents for the shareholders of both companies. It is consistent with our corporate strategy and significantly strengthens the company’s long-term production profile throughout the Four Corners region of the southwest U.S. and in Wyoming.   

 Strathmore is recognized for building a quality portfolio of U.S. uranium projects, and I look forward to working with them and their partners to realize the many synergies and to capitalize on the strengths that are created by this transaction.”

The US remains the largest consumer of uranium in the world, yet it still relies on imports to supply 90% of its requirements.  Energy Fuels is now well positioned to take advantage of this demand to its fullest.



May 23, 2013

Twin Blasts In Niger Hit Uranium Plant

Published on Thursday May 23 2013 (AEST)  

NIAMEY (AFP) - A uranium processing plant owned by French nuclear giant Areva and a military base in northern Niger were hit by twin car bombings Thursday, wounding multiple people, said the defence minister and an employee at the site. 

"There was an explosion in front of the military base at Agadez," Defence Minister Mahamadou Karidjo told AFP, calling it a car bomb attack. "The attackers have been neutralised," he said, adding: "They are 'redskins'" -- a reference to members of the country's Tuareg and Arab groups. Around the same time, an explosive-rigged four-by-four blew up at an Areva site to the north, injuring some at the scene, the employee said. Agadez is the main city in northern Niger. 

The Somair uranium mine and processing plant is located some 250 kilometres (150 miles) to the north, at Arlit. "A man in military uniform driving a four-by-four packed with explosives mixed in with the Somair workers and blew up his vehicle in front of the power station at the uranium treatment facility," the employee told AFP. "Company managers told us the suicide bomber was killed in the explosion.

" The attacks are the first of their kind in Niger, an impoverished west African country that has sent troops into neighbouring Mali as part of a regional military operation against Islamist fighters who had taken over the north of the country.