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Uranium, Discussion
The End of Nuclear Power?
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abner29
post Posted: Apr 15 2014, 03:16 AM
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In Reply To: mullokintyre's post @ Apr 9 2014, 08:06 AM


Japan’s New Energy Plan Could be Positive for Uranium’s Future
Monday April 14, 2014, 4:30am PDT By Teresa Matich - Exclusive to Uranium Investing News


Japan isn’t giving up on nuclear yet, and its Cabinet’s recent approval of a new energy plan could be the first step toward a uranium market turnaround. The plan calls the heavy metal “an important baseload power source,” reinstating its importance in the Japanese energy mix.


The plan also confirms that Japan’s “[nuclear] reactors will be restarted once their safety is confirmed,” and is the first since Japan halted the operation of its nearly 50 nuclear reactors following the Fukushima disaster in early 2011.

Thursday night, the Japanese government approved the energy plan following drafts released earlier this year. A prior draft meant to be released in January was seen by a panel of experts as too dependent on nuclear energy, but Reuters states that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fought for months to convince fellow Cabinet members to accept a draft that reinstates nuclear power. Still, Japanese Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told the news outlet, “[t]he plan makes clear we will reduce reliance on nuclear power through a variety of measures.”




Reactors back online?

Japan has struggled so far this year to restart its nuclear reactors, and the official statement on the issue in its energy report signals that the island nation is serious about getting its plants up and running. The country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority as well as local governments must still give final approval for individual restarts, but as Raymond James analyst David Sadowski explains in a note to investors, the statement still represents “a major hurdle cleared in the effort to restart the nation’s reactors this year.”

Sadowski also said, “we believe that NRA approvals on [the first] units may come as soon next week as part of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum in Tokyo.”

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Rob Chang has similar views regarding the energy plan’s approval, commenting in a note to investors, “[w]e did see this as a rubber stamp however it did take longer than we thought. We expect 2-6 reactors to be approved and/or restarted this year — two in the next three months.”

Others are more wary. Reuters points out that high upgrade costs, local opposition and seismic risks could mean that many reactors will stay closed despite the recent announcement, while Paris-based independent energy consultant Mycle Schneider told the publication, “I think it is unavoidable that the Japanese utilities will write off most of their nuclear ‘assets’ and move on.” However, Japan’s resource-poor economy cannot continue to support current levels of spending on the costly fossil fuels that have replaced nuclear since the reactor shutdowns.

As Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated, “[i]t is essential to quickly recover a low-cost and stable power supply system by restarting reactors whose safety is confirmed.”

A catalyst the market has been waiting for

Uranium Investing News wrote in February that uranium market watchers have been waiting for a definitive signal that Japan is ready to put its reactors back to work, and Thursday’s energy plan approval could be the “rubber stamp” that this is about to happen soon.

Sadowski sees “restarts as the most important catalyst for increased utility contracting and eventual higher uranium prices.” He calls the “increased visibility on restarts” a “critical psychological catalyst for the sector,” and states that once the first reactors start to return, global utilities will end their 17-month buyers’ strike for the metal.

However, Sadowski also notes that the uranium spot price was at an eight-year low of US$33.30 per pound last week, and suggests that prices will stay below $40 through 2014. He writes that progress in Japan will be more effective at strengthening uranium equities in the near future, but that uranium prices will wait for the medium and long term before rising.






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mullokintyre
post Posted: Apr 9 2014, 08:06 AM
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Got this in an email from John Campbell of Oil and Gas weekly fame.



QUOTE
Media speculation in February and March suggested 2014 would be the year uranium stocks recovered from their post Fukushima fall. Reports of renewed Japanese confidence in nuclear power and the proposed restarting of several shut in power plants fuelled the speculation.

As did the expanding Chinese nuclear power reactor construction program that was said to be ahead of schedule.

On 26 February Paladin Energy was up 20%; Bannerman Resources up 18%; Berkeley Resources up 23%; Deep Yellow up 50%; Toro Energy up 11%; Energy Resources up 8%; and Peninsula Energy up 17%. All on heavy volume. All in the one trading day!

The huge moves came after similar gains in overseas stocks the night before including Canada’s Cameco one of the world’s largest uranium producers. Their run was sparked by reports the Japanese Government’s official Energy Policy Paper endorsed nuclear power as central to Japan’s energy future.

The moves demonstrate the gains that are waiting in the sector once confidence in nuclear power returns. Many analysts say that is close.





Mick








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sent from my Olivetti Typewriter.
 
abner29
post Posted: Apr 9 2014, 01:56 AM
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Uranium Participation Makes First Uranium Purchase in Four Years
Apr 07, 2014 12:23 pm

A good sign for the uranium market, the only physically backed uranium fund, Uranium Participation Corp, has made its first uranium purchase since 2010.



 
abner29
post Posted: Mar 20 2014, 05:46 AM
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19 March 2014




EXPLORATION & NUCLEAR FUEL: Flooding impacts Kazakh mines
Flooding of access roads due to snow melt is causing disruption to operations at a number of uranium mines in southern Kazakhstan. Exploration work has also been suspended at other projects.





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abner29
post Posted: Mar 17 2014, 02:25 AM
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In Reply To: abner29's post @ Mar 14 2014, 05:12 AM

Canada’s Cigar Lake mine starts production
The first shipment of ore slurry from Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine has been trucked to the refurbished mill at McClean Lake, 70 km away. Processing will commence by mid year. The mine will ramp up to design capacity of almost 7000 tonnes of uranium per year by 2018. Cigar Lake is the world's second largest high-grade uranium deposit, after McArthur River, with average feed grade over 20%. Cameco, with 50% ownership, is managing the joint venture, with Areva holding 37%, Idemitsu 8% and TEPCO 5%. The McClean Lake mill is 70% owned by Areva Resources.

The 480-metre-deep underground mine is in very poor ground conditions - the orebody is actually in the soft Athabasca sandstone. Hence it uses ground freezing and high-pressure water jets at this level to excavate the ore. Construction on the project began in 2005 with production originally scheduled to start in 2011. However, underground floods in 2006 and 2008 set the start date back and tripled the overall cost of the project to more than C$1.9 billion. There are extra requirements for pumping capacity - now 2500 cubic metres per hour, and ground refrigeration. In February 2010 dewatering was complete and remediation proceeded. The 425-metre level was backfilled and new workings developed in more competent rock 55 metres lower.
WNN 13/3/14. Canada uranium


 
abner29
post Posted: Mar 14 2014, 05:12 AM
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13 March 2014


EXPLORATION & NUCLEAR FUEL: Cigar Lake enters operation
Production has begun at the Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Start-up of the underground mine was delayed several years due to flooding.


 


abner29
post Posted: Dec 12 2013, 05:27 AM
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11 December 2013


EXPLORATION & NUCLEAR FUEL: Megatons to Megawatts program concludes
The arrival of the final shipment of low-enriched uranium from Russia to the USA marks the successful completion of the Megatons to Megawatts program to downblend weapons-grade uranium.

 
jacsar
post Posted: Nov 16 2013, 03:33 AM
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In Reply To: abner29's post @ Nov 16 2013, 12:34 AM

Seems to me many accepatble paths have been around but after WW2 USA because of soviet/cold war paranoia determined they should go the route they took...cheap thorium extraction/non weapons grade route ignored...also chinese are working on S African tech which they ran out of money on I believe is.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor ..... interesting topic...cheers

 
abner29
post Posted: Nov 16 2013, 12:34 AM
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Russian ex-weapons uranium shipped to USA
The last of 500 tonnes of Russian high-enriched uranium from its surplusnuclear weapons was downblended in August 2013 by Russia’s ElectroChemicalPlant (ECP) at Zelenogorsk and has been shipped to the USA. Thiscompletes a major project under a 1994 contract on behalf of the Russian and USgovernments. The whole deal is equivalent to 20,000 nuclear warheads and89 million SWU of enrichment energy worth US$13 billion. The downblended(4.4% U-235) uranium has supplied about half US nuclear power needs over twodecades, and hence provided about 10% of US electricity. According toTenex, total revenue was US$17 billion, including hard currency gains and thecost of natural uranium component. Completion of the so-called ‘Megatonsto Megawatts’ program will raise demand for uranium from mines.
WNN 29/8/13. Military warheads as fuel

 
abner29
post Posted: Nov 5 2013, 03:49 AM
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ENERGY& ENVIRONMENT: Nuclear essential for climate stability
Four eminent climate and energy scientists have issued a plea for world leadersto support the development and deployment of nuclear energy in an open letterthat has achieved global coverage in news media.

 
 


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