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The End of Nuclear Power?  

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Got to give the politicians something to do I guess - not much else on the agenda :biggrin:


Nuclear power in Australia to be examined by multi-party parliamentary inquiry

Key points:

Angus Taylor has asked for the first inquiry into nuclear power in over a decade

The committee will consider waste management, transport and storage and security implications

The inquiry is expected to be finished by the end of the year


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Brazil to restart countryâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s only uranium mine

Brazilâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s mines and energy minister, Bento Albuquerque, said the country expects to resume production at the countryâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s only uranium mine before the end of the year and would open the sector to private companies.


The move to restart Caetité, halted since 2014, is President Jair Bolsonaroâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s administration latest efforts to attract foreign commercial interest to an industry currently controlled by state-owned Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB).


It also fits Bolsonaroâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s plan to boost the nationâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢s nuclear power by building new plants.


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The US govt is calling for tenders to develop small portablre nuclear reactpors to be used in space colonisation.

from DOD


A reliable, durable energy source is a crucial element to enable the long-duration exploration of space and allow sustainable human presence in the harsh space environment. Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA), management and operating contractor of the Idaho National Laboratory, in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), puts forth this request for information (RFI) on innovative technologies and approaches for preliminary designs of a fission surface power (FSP) system to test and validate operation on the Moon.


This RFI will inform a subsequent request for proposals (RFP) for Phase 1, which will culminate with a preliminary design of a FSP engineering demonstration unit (FSP-EDU). NASA intends to sponsor a second competitive procurement for Phase II, which will include a final FSP design together with manufacturing, construction, and ground testing of a prototype FSP-EDU. Phase II will culminate with an additional test-qualified FSP flight system (FSP-FS) delivered to the launch site for deployment to the Moon. The RFI seeks responses from industry manufacturers and partnerships capable of designing, building, and operating the FSP-EDU and FSP-FS. The prototype FSP-EDU will resemble to the greatest extent practicable all aspects and features of an actual subsequent FSP-FS for deployment to the Moon, which must include extensibility to Mars.


Additionally, this RFI seeks responses which clearly detail specific technology maturation challenges, development risks, and tradeoffs associated with leveraging mature technologies versus developing nascent technologies. NASA, DOE, and BEA plan to take advantage of industry’s engineering design processes and practices throughout Phase I and Phase II, and will establish performance metrics for demonstrated operational reliability and robustness. BEA recommends that respondents consider forming partnerships to provide fully informed industry responses. The planned solicitation presumes industry partnerships will need to be formed with sources that have demonstrated capabilities in nuclear energy, power conversion systems and radiators and space flight hardware systems development, integration, launch and operation.


NASA, DOE, and BEA anticipate hosting a Government-Industry technical meeting via webcast in August 2020, an “Industry Day,†to facilitate further communications regarding the expectations of the complete program to develop and demonstrate the FSP-EDU and final FSP-FS for deployment to the Moon.



According to Time Magazine


the plan includes two phases, described as first, "Developing a reactor design" and second: "building a test reactor, a second reactor be sent to the moon, and developing a flight system and lander that can transport the reactor to the moon."

That date seems extremely ambitious, also given that to be rocketed up into space by either NASA or SpaceX, the portable rectors would have to be under 7,700 pounds, would be capable of generating uninterrupted electricity of at least 10 kilowatts, and must be able to run autonomously for a minimum of ten years.


Numerous companies have for the past few years been developing portable nuclear power for earthly applications, including TerraPower, a Seattle-area venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates."The goal is to have a reactor, flight system and lander ready to go by the end of 2026," the report says.S with so much of the cutting edge technology that eminates from the us Defence dept, NASA, and other Federal Agencies, the spinoffs for the commercial and public sector can be significant. (Think GPS , jet engines, LASERS, and KEVLAR products for starters).

Imagine if they succeeded in developing small portable reactors, what it would do for remote areas that struggle for Lack of power.

And it would be even better if they were fusion reactors rather than fission reactors, and then the long term effects of radiation are diminished greatly.

Would be ok for Uranium miners too!




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Ten years ago, the tsunami and then meltdown at Fukushima put paid to the Uranium market. There as a demand shock and prolonged downturn as mines shut or entered care and maintenance. The spot price traded in a depressed range of $US20 to $US30 a pound ... not nearly high enough to encourage production.

But after a decade in the shadows, the sector has been jolted back to life within just a few weeks thanks largely to the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust (SPUT). The vehicle is in the midst of a buying frenzy of physical uranium, taking supply out of the market and boosting the spot price to $US40.40 a pound ... its highest level in seven years.


There has been so much fuel on the floor of the uranium market given it has been such an undersupplied commodity, the portfolio manager of Tribeca's global natural resources fund, Ben Cleary, said. The match to set this on fire has been Sprott buying spot [uranium].

SPUT is the largest listed physical uranium fund and began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in July after Sprott Asset Management, a subsidiary of global precious metals investment manager Sprott Inc, purchased it from Uranium Participation Corp.


While the fund goal remained the same ... buying and holding uranium to provide investors with exposure to movements in its spot price ... the new SPUT structure as a trust allowed it to launch a $US300 million at the market offering on August 17, meaning it could issue units and raise cash to consistently purchase the commodity.


The strategy is similar to the London listed Yellow Cake PLC, which has also been buying and holding physical uranium, albeit at a slower rate. The company holds 13.3 million pounds of the commodity in storage in Canada and France as of its latest quarterly update in August.


SPUT has purchased 6 million pounds of uranium in the spot market and deployed more than $US200 million of its ATM in the past month.


One broker has a preferred exposure in Paladin Energy, which plans to restart it Namibian mine, having placed it into care and maintenance in August 2018. The stock has tripled this year to 82¢. Shaw & Partners upgraded its price target from 56¢ to $1.00.

Boss Energy announced this week that the engineering process to restart its Honeymoon Project in South Australia is running well ahead of schedule. Its share price has surged more than 150 per cent this year to 26¢. Shaw upgraded its price target from 17¢ to 30¢. The broker made the same upgrade to Peninsula Energy, while boosting the Vimy Resources price target from 25¢ to 27¢. Shaw & Partners has a buy rating on all four stocks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

70 Years of Global Uranium Production by Country


Uranium was discovered just over 200 years ago in 1789 . .. .... The first commercial nuclear power plant came online in 1956. Before that, uranium production was mainly dedicated to satisfying military requirements.

.... However, the end of World War II marked the beginning of two events that changed the uranium industry . ... the Cold War and the advent of nuclear energy. Between 1960 and 1980, global uranium production increased by 53%. In 1960, 15 reactors were operating globally. By 1980, this number increased to 245.






Overall, the top 10 countries accounted for 99% of global uranium production, and the majority of this came from the top three. However, global production has been on a downward trend since 2016, with a slight bump in 2019. The uranium market is at an inflection point, with tightening supply and rising demand.


As of 2020, mine production covered only 74% of world reactor requirements, and analysts expect the market deficit to continue through 2022.....

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