The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Yes, France is fighting in Mali on behalf of AREVA’s uranium mines

areva-medusa1France protects Niger uranium mine BBC News, 4 Feb 13, Niger has confirmed that French special forces are protecting one of the country’s biggest uranium mines. President Mahamadou Issoufou told French media that security was being tightened at the Arlit mine after the recent hostage crisis in Algeria. French company Areva plays a major part in mining in Niger – the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium.

Islamist militants kidnapped five French workers from the mine in Arlit three years ago. Four of them are still being held – along with three other French hostages – and it is believed they could be in the north of Mali close to where French troops are battling al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Asked if he could confirm that French special forces were guarding the uranium mine, President Issoufou told channel TV5: “Absolutely I can confirm. ”We decided, especially in light of what happened in Algeria… not to take risks and strengthen the protection of mining sites,” he added.

France’s Agence France-Presse news agency said a dozen French special forces reservists were strengthening security at the site.Areva gets much of its uranium from the two mines it operates in the country, at Arlit and Imouraren…

February 5, 2013 Posted by | France, Mali, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste area has suspicious cluster of cancers and birth defects


Cancer cluster map of St. Louis–


cancer_cellsTV: “Staggering number of cancers, illnesses, and birth defects” linked to nuclear waste? Over 700 cases found in only four square miles — “There’s something very wrong” (VIDEO)
   February 1st, 2013
Title: Cancer cluster map of St. Louis
Source: KSDK
Author:  Leisa Zigman
Date: Feb 1, 2013
h/t Anonymous tip

Transcript Excerpts

Anchor: There are radioactive secrets beneath the banks and waters of a north St. Louis County creek that may be linked to a staggering number of cancers, illnesses and birth defects. In four square miles, there are three reported cases of conjoined twins and cancer rates that one data expert says is statistically impossible. […]

Source: KSDK (See .pdf: Illnesses Linked to Manhattan Project Waste CHART)
Janell Wright, class of ’88 McCluer North High School, Accountant and former auditor: “There’s something very wrong.” […]

Leisa Zigman, Reporter: At first she found 30 cases. Within two months, she had data on 200 cases. Now, her maps have more than 700 cases in four square miles […]

Wright: “The children usually came down with brain cancer in the first 15 years of life, in addition, leukemia. In my peer group’s children, there were several children who had to have their thyroid removed before they were 10-years-old.”

Zigman: In the 1940s, Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in downtown St. Louis purified thousands of tons of uranium to make the first atomic bombs. […] 21 acres of airport land became a dumping site where a toxic mixture of uranium, thorium, and radium sat uncovered or in barrels. In the 60s, government documents noted contents from the rusting barrels were seeping into nearby Coldwater Creek. And by the 90s, the government confirmed unsafe levels of radioactive materials in the water. […]
Watch the video here

February 5, 2013 Posted by | health, Resources -audiovicual, USA | 1 Comment

Centrica gets out of UK’s uneconomic new nuclear power project

thumbs-downCentrica pulls out of project to build new UK nuclear plants and launches £500m share buy-back Centrica has scrapped plans to take part in the building of new UK nuclear reactors, blaming spiralling costs and delays, and has launched a £500m share buy-back.Telegraph UK,  By Emily Gosden 04 Feb 2013

The British Gas owner had an option to take a 20pc stake in an EDF-led project flag-UKto build nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk. It capped months of speculation to announce its withdrawal on Monday morning. “Since our initial investment, the anticipated project costs in new nuclear have increased and the construction timetable has extended by a number of years,” Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said.
“These factors, in particular the lengthening time frame for a return on the capital invested in a project of this scale, have led us to conclude that participation is not right for Centrica and our shareholders.”….

February 5, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Precious groundwater now threatened by fracking for uranium, too

When it comes to fracking for yellowcake, even more pressing than shaky economics is the obvious potential for environmental contamination. The process is not only extremely water intensive, as is typical of fracking, but it’s also happening at a shallow depth. Unlike the Eagle Ford’s oil and gas reserves, which are miles underground, the in situ uranium mining is taking place at the same level as local groundwater supplies.


Fracking for Yellowcake: The Next Frontier? Jeffrey Rubin  02/04/2013 It works for oil and natural gas, so why not frack for uranium too? After all, America relies on foreign uranium just like it depends on foreign oil.

In the U.S. these days, it seems like you can sell almost anything if you spin it as part of the pursuit of energy independence. Enter Uranium Energy Corp. A junior mining company with Canadian roots, UEC is developing the newest uranium mine in the U.S. And it’s counting on fracking to do it.

Texans, in general, are no strangers to fracking. UEC is operating in the heart of fracking country, south Texas’s Eagle Ford basin, one of the most prolific shale plays in the country. Instead of oil and gas, though, UEC (recently profiled by Forbes Magazine) is fracking for yellowcake.

The technology is basically the same. It involves injecting a mixture of highly pressurized water and sand into an underground formation in order to break open fissures in the rock that allow the energy riches within to be extracted. In this case, it’s a slurry of uranium ore that’s then dried and processed into powdery yellowcake, an intermediate product that eventually becomes fuel for nuclear reactors.

Of course, the very idea of fracking for yellowcake begs the question–just because you can do something, should you? The world isn’t exactly running short of uranium. Prices tell you that much. Uranium prices have plunged from more than $90 a ton before the last recession to just more than $40 a ton following the Fukushima disaster. Friendly countries like Canada and Australia are able to ramp up supply, as can less friendly countries like Kazakhstan. Yellowcake is also exported by Niger (part of the reason, according to some, that nuclear-powered France is taking such an interest in neighbouring Mali right now.)

What’s more, the emergence of cheap natural gas from shale plays is making nuclear energy less attractive to U.S. power utilities. Many are considering shuttering some high cost nuclear stations and switching to cheaper natural gas, just as they’ve been doing with a number of coal plants in recent years.

When it comes to fracking for yellowcake, even more pressing than shaky economics is the obvious potential for environmental contamination. The process is not only extremely water intensive, as is typical of fracking, but it’s also happening at a shallow depth. Unlike the Eagle Ford’s oil and gas reserves, which are miles underground, the in situ uranium mining is taking place at the same level as local groundwater supplies.

According to the International Energy Agency, the amount of fresh water used for global energy production will double over the next twenty-five years. Whether it’s Alberta’s oil sands that run on water from the Athabasca River or the countless gallons used to frack underground stores of oil, gas and now even uranium, it’s easy to see why.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Reference, technology, Uranium, water | Leave a comment

Even Australia might fight for its uranium companies Paladin and Rio Tinto

exclamation-What have interested Australian companies, or the Australian government, done to address these concerns?…….

 what should we make of Australian Defence Force chief General David Hurley’s alarming indication that there might be a role for the ADF in protecting “Australian interests” in Africa?

flag-AustraliaMultinational miners: magnanimous or malevolent? Kellie Tranter – lawyer and Humna Rights Activist, FEBRUARY 1, 2013 BY    “……..Malawi “…….Minister Carr praised the work of Australian mining company Paladin, referring to its strong corporate social responsibility.  Paladin operates Malawi’s biggest uranium mine, the Kayelekera.

In June 2008, The Bench Marks Foundation released a report ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and the Mining Sector in Southern Africa’ which suggested that when Paladin struck its deal with the Malawi government to mine uranium, it was agreed that it would get a 100% capital write off, a reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 27.5% and a scrapping of the 10% resource rent tax.  Paladin was also to be exempt from the standard 17.5% import VAT or duty and a royalty rate reduced from 5% to 1.5% in the first three years and 3% thereafter.

Now Malawi’s opposition party, the People’s Transformation Movement (PETRA), have given the Malawi Government a 14 day ultimatum to explain why the Kayelekera deal cannot be renegotiated.  However, there are reports that the agreement with the previous government (of late President Mutharika, a former World Bank economist) includes a clause that the government will not take any action that will seriously change the financial aspects of the project for the period of 10 years. Residents are also concerned that the Malawi Government retains only a 15% equity in Paladin (Africa) Limited (PAL) a subsidiary of Paladin and has given “breathing space” on taxes for 10 years. Continue reading

February 5, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment