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michaelirish

The End of Nuclear Power?  

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In reply to: kahuna1 on Wednesday 08/08/07 08:20pm

 

No change to fundamentals! The crunch is looking bigger.

 

US is well & truly on board now - they get it now. This type of news is coming out weekly.

 

 

1) TVA May Finish Reactor, 35 Years After Starting (Update3)

 

By Tina Seeley

 

 

The Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactor Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The board of the Tennessee Valley Authority unanimously approved plans today to complete work on the Watts Bar 2 reactor, in what could be the first U.S. nuclear plant to begin operating in the 21st century.

 

TVA, the largest U.S. public power agency, halted construction of Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee in 1985. The federally owned authority maintained its 34-year-old construction permit with regulators, and could now use it to resume work at the site as early as January. The 1,180-megawatt reactor could be completed by 2013 at a cost of $2.49 billion.

 

``We are convinced Unit 2 offers TVA and its stakeholders the most economical and environmentally sound way of meeting the valley's needs'' for additional power, Howard Thrailkill, a member of TVA's board, said before the unanimous vote at today's public meeting.

 

TVA, which gets about 32 percent of its power from six reactors at three sites, could be ``two to three years ahead of everybody else'' building new reactors, Nils Diaz, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an interview last week.

 

U.S. Regulators are expecting applications to build 27 new reactors in 2007 and 2008. No new reactors have been ordered in the U.S. since 1978, a year before the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island Unit 2 in Pennsylvania.

 

Watts Bar, located about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, will be the second major nuclear project the authority has taken on in recent years.

 

TVA earlier this year returned its Browns Ferry 1 reactor in Alabama to service after a 22-year shutdown. The reactor underwent a five-year, $1.8 billion refurbishment.

 

Fastest and Cheapest

 

Finishing the reactor would be the fastest and cheapest way to get additional, round-the-clock, power supplies in the region, Ashok Bhatnagar, TVA senior vice president, told the board at a public meeting today.

 

Bhatnagar estimated the cost of power from Watts Bar 2 at $44 a megawatt-hour, 24 percent less than the cost of power from a new reactor, 20 percent less than a coal-fired plant and 43 percent cheaper than power from a natural-gas unit. He said the authority could recover its costs in 12 years.

 

The cost comparisons improve assuming the federal government imposes limits on carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming, Bhatnagar told board members. Nuclear power plants emit no greenhouse gases.

 

Demand for power in the seven southeastern states TVA serves, including Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky, is forecast to rise by 2 percent annually. The new reactor would be capable of generating enough power for about 944,000 average U.S. homes, based on Energy Department figures.

 

TVA broke ground at Watts Bar in 1972 and halted construction in 1985. Work was stopped when the authority looked into welding work at the reactor, during a year in which TVA shut down all its reactors to try to address ongoing safety issues.

 

 

2) Bush Says U.S. Needs Nuclear Power to Maintain Growth (Update1)

 

By Brendan Murray

 

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said the electricity needed to fuel U.S. economic growth will require more nuclear power plants, and his administration will work to ease regulatory hurdles to their construction.

 

Speaking at the Browns Ferry nuclear facility in Athens, Alabama, which is being restarted after a 22-year shutdown, Bush said the U.S. lags behind other Western industrial nations in using nuclear power. The U.S. gets about 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear plants, compared with about 30 percent for the European Union as a whole.

 

``Nuclear power is a key component of economic vitality,'' Bush said. ``Nuclear power is prevalent and it's recognized as a necessary power source, not only in the United States but around the world.''

 

The president announced no new policy initiatives and reiterated his previous proposals to jump start the nuclear industry. He noted that no new nuclear plants have come on line in the country in more than a decade, and there hasn't been a new plant ordered since the 1970s. That is changing, Bush said, because of steps the U.S. is taking to bring down some of the hurdles for nuclear power. He said there are 20 applications for 30 new reactors and construction on the first may begin by 2010.

 

Bush also cited nuclear power as part of the solution to dealing with global warming.

 

``Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases,'' Bush said. ``If you're interested in cleaning up the air you ought to be for nuclear power.''

 

 

3) Vermont nuclear plant approved for 20 more years03 August 2007

 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued an environmental impact statement on the proposed renewal of the operating license for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

 

 

No environmental impacts were found that would preclude licence renewal for an additional 20 years of operation.

 

The Vermont Yankee plant is a boiling-water reactor located five miles south of Brattleboro, Vermont. The current operating license expires in March 2012. The operator, Entergy Nuclear Operations submitted an application for renewal of the license early 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In reply to: mgbutler on Wednesday 08/08/07 09:36pm

1) And you don't think China need it too with articles like this:

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/front_page/6934955.stm

 

 

2) If you want to consider a coal power plant, add these types of sums to your economics - almost as much as the plants themselves!

 

US$1.1bn for scrubbers at three Mirant power plants

08 August 2007

 

The Shaw Power Group has signed an EPC contract with Mirant Mid-Atlantic and Mirant Chalk Point totaling US$1.1 billion to retrofit their Chalk Point, Morgantown and Dickerson power plants in Maryland, USA with new emissions controls.

 

 

This contract finalises an alliance agreement signed in July 2006. The new technology will include flue gas desulfurisation units, which are designed to significantly reduce sulfur dioxide emissions.

 

Completion of the retrofit program is scheduled for December 2009.

 

 

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from the news wires...

 

Uranium falls to lowest level since March, experiencing first correction since start of unparalleled bull market in 2001, but no change in long-term outlook; present pullback a major but necessary correction after uranium rises twenty-fold, says Commerzbank. According to TradeTech, spot price now at $105/lb, down almost 24% from June's all-time high $138. Spot market oversupplied, speculators keeping away on account of generally gloomy mood; U.S. Energy Department plans to auction off 440,000 lbs of yellowcake; uranium futures ailing as well on Nymex. Expects prices to remain weaker over coming months

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""""There are only four mills operating in all of North America today. Therefore near-term uranium producers are clamoring to find somewhere to send their ore. In many cases they will be forced to construct their own mills if they ever want their uranium to hit the markets. So this processing conundrum is adding another capital-intensive and time-consuming step for many of the emerging uranium producers to overcome. """"

 

 

Meanwhile a few analysts have grief with Paladin coming up to speed at Langer Heinrich, all the while forgetting they have likely just built the first new mill on the planet in the last twenty years. Mills cost money, and they need a fair amount of expertise to function properly.

 

One of the attractions with WHE and BLR operating in Wyoming is their proximty to existing mills- a small matter unnoticed by "investors, especially those thinking a plot of suitable dirt in the middle of nowhere has uranium mining potential.

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Panick mode - the perfect climate to stock up on your favourite things.

 

The U renaissance must be dead. Fundamentals must be dead. No more U deficit - surplus for the next 10 years? Or, the sceptics and those hit with 'margin' calls selling out because of fear? I go for the latter.

 

Yep, credit crunch - downturn in financials I can understand. But in a funny sense, U (& oil stocks) are one of the better defensive plays - even in a recession (may be not a depression). You still need power & China / India are consuming faster & faster. Any increase in debt simply gets passed onto consumers. Just choose your stocks carefully.

 

Once we have the DOE auction out of the way (a one off!), and autumn being a traditionally quiet period, then short term concerns will dissipate and the U price should remain at very profitable levels, even resume its trajectory northwards.

 

But getting back to the fundamentals, the demand side is not slowing down. More reactors in the pipeline.

 

 

1) Fluor wins contract for South Texas nuclear project

17 August 2007

 

Fluor has been awarded a contract by Toshiba for engineering, procurement and construction-related services for two new nuclear reactors planned for the South Texas Project nuclear generating station in Bay City, Texas.

 

 

Toshiba was awarded the project services contract for South Texas by NRG Energy and STP Nuclear last week.

 

The proposed developments to the South Texas Project will increase capacity by 2,700MW with the addition of two new units - STP 3 and 4.

 

NRG will use a three-step, decision-making and contracting approach to move the project forward.

 

Fluor will support Toshiba in the first developmental phase of the project by providing planning, estimating, engineering, procurement and construction-related services.

 

The second phase - design, procurement and construction planning - is expected to begin in late 2007 and will conclude when the NRC issues the combined construction and operating licence currently expected in late 2010.

 

The third phase - construction - is intended to begin immediately upon NRC's issuance of the combined construction and operating licence.

 

 

2) FPL to expand nuclear presence in Florida

17 August 2007

 

Florida Power & Light has set out its intention to increase its nuclear presence in Florida.

 

FPL as it is known is to file its proposals by the end of Q3 covering the expansion of power production at its existing nuclear generating facilities and building of two new nuclear power units.

 

FPL proposes to add approximately 400MW of power capacity to its existing nuclear power plants at Turkey Point in Miami-Dade County and at its St. Lucie County facility. Subject to a number of factors, including timely regulatory approvals, this added capacity should be in place by 2012.

 

There are also plans to pursue the option of adding two new nuclear power units to the existing Turkey Point complex by 2020 - a move that would add up to 3,000MW of power to the Florida electric grid.

 

 

Romania seeks investors for nuclear plant

10 August 2007

 

Romanian state-owned utility Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica is seeking investors to participate in a project company with the intention of developing, constructing and operating units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

 

The new units will use a Candu 6 reactor with an installed capacity of 720MW each.

 

The deadline for submission of binding offers is 25 October.

 

Cernavoda nuclear power plant is located in the south east of the country. As Romania's only nuclear power plant it produces between 10 and 12 per cent of the country's electricity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goldman Sachs Says Fed Will Cut Rate to 4.5 Percent in 2007

By Brian Swint

 

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve will cut the overnight target interest rate to 4.5 percent from the current 5.25 percent this year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists forecast in a research note today.

 

The Fed will reduce the rate by at least 0.25 point on or before policy makers meet on Sept. 18, according to the note.

 

 

_____________________________

 

More inflation in the pipeline. Can only be a support leg to commodity prices!!

 

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