Archive for April, 2010

Nuclear weapons and ‘fourth generation’ reactors

April 26, 2010

Nuclear weapons and ‘fourth generation’ reactors,  Green Left Weekly, By Jim Green”Integral fast reactors” and other “fourth generation” nuclear power concepts have been gaining attention, in part because of comments by US climate scientist James Hansen. (more…)

laser-enriched uranium and nuclear fuel recycling

April 19, 2010

From nuclear fuel recycling to laser-enriched uranium Ethiopian Review  Business News, 17 April 2010, during this week’s Nuclear Security Conference 2010, Jack Fuller, president and CEO of GEH, focused on another new technology – using lasers to enrich uranium rather than centrifuges. Most enrichment today is accomplished when uranium is separated by centrifugal force in rotating cylinders. With the new technology – being developed by Global Laser Enrichment, a business venture of GE, Hitachi and Cameco — lasers selectively excite the uranium so that the needed isotopes can be separated.Jack told the panel that the early testing phase has been completed and the team is now beginning to “design the first commercial production facility for GLE.” With regulatory approvals, commercial deployment could be initiated in 2012.

From nuclear fuel recycling to laser-enriched uranium | Business News

Still at the nuclear drawing stage: The Integral Fast Reactor

April 19, 2010

Nuclear power: no solution to climate change, Green Left , quoting Mark Diesendorf, 17 April 2010
“……….The integral fast reactor [which promises to use existing stockpiles of nuclear waste to make carbon-free energy,] doesn’t exist — it is the archetypal ink-moderated paper reactor. It’s true that a tiny physical version of this concept, called Experimental Breeder Reactor-2, once operated in the US. But experimental energy technologies are just that — experiments, designed to test a concept.

They have to be redesigned before they can be scaled-up to a medium-sized demonstration stage. Then, provided several successful demonstrations can be achieved over a period of many years, they usually need further design modifications before they could possibly move to commercial scale with full mass-production.
Realistically, this whole process would take at least 20 years in the US — much longer in Australia if our government was so foolish as to become involved.

Even if the integral fast reactor could somehow be brought to commercial reality in 2030, its proponents are naive to claim that it cannot be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. A government that controls such a reactor could still build a conventional reprocessing plant to separate the plutonium from the other high-level nuclear waste. Safeguards are grossly inadequate….
Green Left – Nuclear power: no solution to climate change

Business finance news – currency market news – online UK currency markets – financial news – Interactive Investor

April 17, 2010

Dakar Newsroom April 16 (Reuters) – Niger’s military rulers said on Friday the government would invalidate contracts in its extractive industries that are “not advantageous” to the west African country.Many deals were signed with foreign investors under President Mamadou Tandja, who was overthrown by soldiers in a February coup.Below are details of companies with mining, oil and industrial projects in Niger, which produces around 7.5 percent of the world’s uranium.

AREVAFrench state-owned nuclear energy group Areva is developing the Imouraren uranium mine in the north of Niger. Due to begin producing in 2012 after initial investment of 1.2 billion euros, Imouraren is expected to be the biggest uranium mine in Africa with eventual production of 5,000 tonnes per year for 35 years.Areva has operated Niger’s two existing uranium mines, Cominak and Somair, since the 1970s.

BAYSWATER URANIUMCanada-listed Bayswater owns eight concessions covering 4,000 sq km, where it intends to explore for uranium.CAMECOCameco, the world’s biggest uranium producer, last year bought an 11 percent stake in Govi High Power Exploration, which owns exploration properties around Arlit and Agadez in Niger.

CHINA NATIONAL URANIUM CORPChina’s state-owned uranium firm, known as SINO-U, will invest $300 million in the Somina uranium mine, at Azelik near Agadez. The mine, due on stream by 2010, will produce around 700 tonnes per year. In April, China extended a $95 million loan to Niger to support the project.

EARTHSTONE GROUPIndonesian mining, energy, construction and infrastructure firm Earthstone Group owns four uranium blocks in Niger.

KOREA RESOURCES CORPSouth Korean state-owned Korea Resources Corp signed a memorandum of understanding in March to buy around 10 percent of its annual uranium needs from Niger.NIGER URANIUMLondon-listed Niger Uranium owns eight prospecting licences in the Tim Mersoi Basin, which it describes as the world’s fifth most important uranium producing district.

NIGER URANIUMLondon-listed Niger Uranium owns eight prospecting licences in the Tim Mersoi Basin, which it describes as the world’s fifth most important uranium producing district.

NUCLEAR POWERNiger plans to build a nuclear power station in the “medium to long term,” an adviser to the minister of mines and energy said in February. Adolphe Gbaguidi Waly said the country had not decided how to implement the plan but would seek help from South Africa, the only African country that has a nuclear power plant.

NGM RESOURCESAustralian-listed NGM Resources owns three uranium exploration concessions in Niger via its subsidiary Indo Energy.