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Greenland refuses to allow exploitation for uranium

Energy Transition Minerals, formerly Greenland Minerals A/S, has been
informed by Naalakkersuisut that their application for an exploitation
permit in Kuannersuisut has been refused. The ministry announced this in a
short press release on Friday afternoon. Energy Transition Minerals has
applied for permission for exploitation at Kuannersuit in Narsaq,
targeting, among other things, rare earths, zinc and uranium.

Sermitsiaq 2nd June 2023


June 5, 2023 Posted by | ARCTIC, politics, Uranium | Leave a comment

Iran increasing enriched uranium stocks, holding 23 times the limit, says nuclear watchdog

ABC News 1 June 23

Iran has significantly increased its stockpile of enriched uranium in recent months, continuing its nuclear escalation, a confidential report by the UN nuclear watchdog said.

Key points:

  • Iran has enough uranium enriched to up to 60 per cent for two bombs
  • The IAEA estimates Iran’s stockpile is now 23 times the 202.8-kg limit imposed by the 2015 deal
  • The reports said Iran had given a satisfactory answer explaining the presence of uranium particles at one site

The agency, however, noted progress in its cooperation with Iran in a separate report saying it has decided to close the file on nuclear material at an undeclared site, an issue which has long exacerbated relations between the two parties.

The two confidential reports come days before the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to meet to review progress in addressing the watchdog’s remaining concerns…………………………………………………………….. more

June 4, 2023 Posted by | Iran, Uranium | Leave a comment

U.S. planning test reactor to run on weapons-grade uranium.

Use of highly enriched fuel in civilian reactor would contravene decades-old nonproliferation policy


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is planning a small test reactor that would burn a large amount of weapons-grade uranium, according to the project’s draft environmental assessment. The experiment, to be built in a cost-sharing arrangement, would provide data for a new type of power reactor being developed by TerraPower and Southern Company Services. But the use of highly enriched uranium, first reported by Physics Today, would contravene the U.S. policy of removing HEU from civilian reactors around the world to keep it from being made into bombs.

The decision is “discouraging,” says Edwin Lyman, a physicist and director for nuclear safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “When the U.S. preaches the nonproliferation gospel, it should practice what it preaches.” Alan Kuperman, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, says, “There was not by any means adequate public disclosure by the department that they were planning to contradict
5 decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy.”

Neither DOE nor Idaho National Laboratory (INL), where the test reactor will be built, would comment on the issue

The Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE) would differ dramatically from conventional power reactors. They consume uranium fuel enriched to roughly 4% uranium-235, the fissile isotope, and encased in metal rods. Some uranium atoms split or fission to release energy and neutrons, which then split other uranium atoms in a chain reaction. Pressurized water flows around the rods both to slow the neutrons so that they split atoms more effectively and to carry heat to steam generators that ultimately drive turbines to generate electricity.

The MCRE would instead be cooled by molten salt, into which the uranium would be dissolved. In theory, a molten salt reactor could burn used fuel from conventional reactors and generate less long-lived radioactive waste, Kuperman says. Because the salt would not slow the neutrons, the reactor would need fuel with higher enrichment, which would generate more neutrons.

TerraPower’s commercial reactor would use fuel enriched to as much as 19% uranium-235, so-called high-assay, low-enriched fuel. But the MCRE will run on HEU enriched to greater than 90%—630 kilograms of it. That’s hundreds of times more than some research reactors use and enough to make dozens of bombs, Kuperman estimates. The uranium is leftover from another research reactor that ran at INL from 1969 to 1990, he says.

Running on HEU should enable the MCRE to produce the data needed to design and license the molten-salt power reactor while remaining relatively small and inexpensive, Lyman says. DOE would cover $90 million of the MCRE’s $113 million cost, and the reactor would start up in a few years. But its thrifty design would cost the United States credibility, says John Tierney, executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “This is going to be seen as hypocritical by many, many people.”

In the 1950s and ’60s, the U.S. helped build research reactors around the world, providing HEU for many of them. In the 1970s, it changed course and led efforts to remove HEU from those reactors and repatriate it. Of the 171 research reactors that ran on HEU, 71 have switched to low-enriched fuel and
28 have shut down, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency—although five U.S. research reactors still use HEU.

The issue highlights a tension between DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, which is eager to develop new reactors, and its National Nuclear Security Administration, which controls nuclear weapons and works for nonproliferation, Kuperman says. He and others have drafted a letter to DOE and President Joe Biden’s administration to encourage them to reconsider the plan. “If they make the wrong decision, I think they’re going to undermine much more of the nonproliferation regime than they realize.”

May 30, 2023 Posted by | Uranium, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China’s nuclear ambitions get a boost from Russia, but is energy the only goal?

  • Moscow is feeding Beijing’s growing appetite for highly enriched uranium, but observers say those supplies could be used for nuclear weapons
  • China will replace the US to become the world’s top uranium buyer by 2030, experts say

Liu Zhen, 13 May, 2023, SCMP,

China is importing highly enriched uranium from Russia to produce energy, but observers caution that Beijing also plans to expand its nuclear arsenal. Photo: Shutterstock

The confirmation came last week when Russia said it had agreed to supply highly enriched uranium-235 to energy-hungry China over the next three years.

The announcement backed up reports that the shipments of nuclear fuel – enriched up to 30 per cent – were part of a deal to supply a demonstration fast-neutron power plant, a technology that could help China ease its shortage of nuclear fuel.

…….. with the enriched uranium fuelling a demonstration project for the new technology, China could improve its output of nuclear fuel and go some way to overcoming itst supply problem.

The final product would be plutonium 239, an artificial element that is primarily used in nuclear warheads – and that worries the West.

Although never officially admitted, Beijing is believed to be expanding the country’s nuclear arsenal, in line with President Xi Jinping’s pledge at last October’s 20th Communist Party congress to “strengthen strategic deterrence” as military tensions with the United States and its allies rise.

The US Department of Defence (DOD) has estimated China will increase from 400 warheads today to 1,500 by 2035.

……………………………………………………… With its two 600 megawatt power generators, the CFR-600 is not particularly large and is only considered a “demonstration project”. By comparison, the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant near Hong Kong, which has been operating since the 1990s, has two 944 megawatts generators.

In March, US DOD official John Plumb described the China-Russia cooperation deal as “very troubling”, but China’s foreign ministry has defended the arrangement as “perfectly normal and we do not see anything wrong about it”.

………………………… Fast-neutron reactors are an advanced fourth-generation nuclear power plant technology, which function to generate power, multiply nuclear fuel, and incinerate long-lived radionuclides, according to Xue Xiaogang, head of the China Institute of Atomic Energy Science.

……………………………………………. Russia has for decades been a leader in fast-neutron reactor technology, and last year its Beloyarsk BN-800 reactor began running completely on reprocessed spent fuel known as MOX.

But China’s imports of 30 per cent concentrated uranium-235 fuel for the Xiapu CFR-600 meant it was still at an earlier stage of technological development with many obstacles to overcome, said the researcher.

May 16, 2023 Posted by | China, Uranium | Leave a comment

US nuclear companies urge Congress for $billions, as Russia’s nuclear industry profits from both sides of the Ukraine war

U.S. companies collectively sent almost $1 billion last year to Rosatom.

“That’s money that’s going right into the defense complex in Russia,”

“We’re funding both sides of the war.”

The West Needs Russia to Power Its Nuclear Comeback. WSJ 10 May 23

U.S., Europe add reactors but still heavily dependent on Moscow for crucial ingredients to produce fuel

Nuclear power in the West is having a long-awaited revival, with new reactors opening in the U.S. and Europe and fresh momentum toward building more soon.

A gaping hole in the plan: The West doesn’t have enough nuclear fuel—and lacks the capacity to swiftly ramp up production. Even more vexing, the biggest source of critical ingredients is Russia and its state monopoly, Rosatom, which is implicated in supporting the war in Ukraine………….

Nuclear power supplies nearly 20% of U.S. electricity, and roughly 25% of European electricity, but in recent decades has struggled to gain traction in most of the West as a green alternative to fossil fuels, for reasons ranging from cost to waste disposal and an erosion of expertise in building reactors.

Pockets of stiff resistance remain: Germany closed its last reactors in April, in a phaseout that began more than a decade ago………………………….

A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are more supportive of the technology than at any point in the past decade…………………………………..

Westinghouse, a storied pioneer of electric power, has struggled in the nuclear sector and repeatedly changed hands amid market swings and tighter industry regulation after the reactor accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

A group including private-equity firm Brookfield Asset Management bought Westinghouse for almost $8 billion in October, in a move billed as a bet on nuclear power’s resurgence.

Westinghouse said this month that it next plans to launch a line of smaller reactors that could cost as little as $1 billion each.

Despite the industry’s progress, the dependence on Russian enriched uranium for nuclear fuel has proven intractable. 

Nuclear fuel is one of the few Russian energy sources not banned by the West as a result of the war in Ukraine. The reason is rooted in a program from the early 1990s, soon after the Cold War ended, aimed at shrinking the threat of Soviet nuclear warheads falling into the wrong hands.

Under the 1993 deal, the brainchild of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher named Thomas Neff and dubbed Megatons to Megawatts, the U.S. bought 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium, enough for 20,000 warheads, and had it converted into reactor fuel. 

Arms-control advocates hailed it as a win-win: Moscow got urgently needed cash, Washington reduced its proliferation headache and U.S. utilities got inexpensive fuel. It remains one of the world’s most successful nuclear-disarmament programs.

The deal “did what was promised,” Dr. Neff said in an interview. “We have many fewer nuclear weapons and stuff to make them out of than we did.”

The problem, critics said, was that the deal delivered Russian nuclear fuel so cheaply that rival suppliers struggled to compete. Before long, U.S. and European companies were scaling back and Russia was the world’s biggest supplier of enriched uranium, with nearly half of global capacity.

Before the deal ended in 2013, Russian suppliers, now organized as Rosatom, signed a new contract with the U.S. private sector to provide commercial fuel beyond the government-to-government program. Rosatom still supplies as much as one-fourth of U.S. nuclear fuel.

U.S. companies collectively sent almost $1 billion last year to Rosatom, according to a recent analysis from Darya Dolzikova at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

“That’s money that’s going right into the defense complex in Russia,” said Scott Melbye, executive vice president of uranium miner Uranium Energy and president of the Uranium Producers of America, an industry group. “We’re funding both sides of the war.”

Rosatom was formed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007 from various parts of the country’s nuclear-power industry and is closely controlled by the Kremlin. Its top managers have been deeply involved in running Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear-power plant, Europe’s largest………………….

A proposed new generation of reactors, which proponents and investors including Microsoft founder Bill Gates are touting as less risky and more environmentally friendly than current reactor designs, requires a special type of fuel that is the nuclear equivalent of high-octane gasoline.

The only source of that fuel today is Rosatom.

……………………….. The multinational Urenco owns one of only two uranium-processing facilities in the U.S., in Eunice, N.M., just across the Texas border. The company says it is spending roughly $200 million on new capacity and can invest much more if Russian uranium is sanctioned.

The catch: It wants government guarantees on quantities allowed in the market.

Urenco’s fear, said Kirk Schnoebelen, head of U.S. sales, is that in several years low-price Russian enriched uranium might swamp world markets, tanking prices……….

But because of the Megatons deal, “the business case for that project was utterly destroyed,” Today that history “absolutely” informs the U.S. nuclear industry’s thinking and makes corporate boards reluctant to invest the necessary billions…..

Westinghouse’s Mr. Fragman said the legislation is long overdue………

May 11, 2023 Posted by | politics, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant will switch back to Russian fuel, from Westinghouse fuel

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine which Russia
captured last year will stop using U.S.-produced nuclear fuel as quickly as
possible, the Interfax news agency quoted a Russian official as saying on
Thursday. The biggest nuclear power plant in Europe, mostly built in the
Soviet times, originally used Russian nuclear fuel, but Ukraine gradually
switched to supplies from Westinghouse after its first conflict with Russia
in 2014.

Reuters 20th April 2023

April 23, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, Uranium | Leave a comment

Local Indigenous peoples protest possible licence renewal for world’s largest uranium mine.

In June, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will hold hearings about renewing the licence for Cameco’s McArthur River uranium mine, located in the Athabasca basin in Saskatchewan’s rugged far north.

Davis Legree, Apr 13, 2023

The operator of the world’s largest uranium mine is seeking a new 20-year licence from Canada’s nuclear regulator but some Indigenous peoples in northern Saskatchewan are calling for the application to be rejected or scaled back, citing health concerns.

“The Athabasca River basin is under siege,” said Candyce Paul, outreach coordinator for the advocacy group Committee for Future Generations. “The people here have had enough of this industrial colonialism that is going on.”

In June, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will hold hearings about renewing the licence for Cameco’s McArthur River uranium mine, located in the Athabasca basin in Saskatchewan’s rugged far north.

Paul, a member of English River First Nation, on whose territory several of Cameco’s mining sites are located, said her community is frustrated by the company’s lack of transparency, as well as human health concerns associated with uranium mining.

“Quite frankly, some of the community members are getting really fed up with the footprint this industry is having on the land and there’s been actual talk of blocking the main road from the mine,” said Paul.

Uranium, which ranges in use from atomic weapons to powering nuclear reactors, was initially discovered in the Athabasca Basin in the late 1960s. According to Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, the volume and grade of the deposits found in northern Saskatchewan have led those in the industry to dub the area “the Saudi Arabia of uranium.”

“Canada has the richest uranium mines in the world around the Athabasca Basin,” said Edwards, who explained uranium ‘richness’ refers to the grade and what percentage of uranium there is in a ton of ore.

According to Edwards, uranium in the Athabasca Basin is considerably richer than uranium deposits found elsewhere in Canada, which makes it more lucrative. However, Edwards continued, mining rich uranium deposits can be problematic for the health of local communities.

“When you mine uranium, since it’s radioactive, there’s a chain of progeny, which are radioactive by-products of uranium,” explained Edwards. “These include radium, radon gas, certain isotopes of thorium, and polonium – all highly toxic materials.”

Edwards said that around 85 per cent of the radioactivity in mined uranium ore is left behind in “voluminous sand, like tailings from a mill,” adding that Canada has around “220 million tonnes of this stuff.”

These radioactive and toxic tailings areas should be of concern to communities in the Athabasca Basin, said Edwards, because richer uranium ore means the radioactivity is more concentrated in the waste.

Paul believes her community has been adversely affected from living in close proximity to large-scale uranium mining activities. She cited issues regarding increased cancer rates among English River members, which she said “could be related to radiation exposure.”

Paul said her community has contacted Health Canada, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health, and several epidemiologists about conducting health studies in the area, only to be told that their population is too small to justify an assessment.

That being said, Cameco’s licence renewal application to the CNSC referenced a federally funded human health risk evaluation that was conducted in the English River First Nation in 2017.

Regardless, Paul said she would intervene in the upcoming licence renewal hearings, which are scheduled to be held June 7-8 in Saskatoon. Initially, Cameco had requested an indefinite licence term for McArthur River and several other sites, but, following Indigenous consultation activities, the company has since walked back their application to 20 years.

When asked if local Indigenous communities were satisfied with a 20-year term, Cameco spokesperson Veronica Baker said in an email that the application for an indefinite licence was abandoned because “communities expressed uncertainty with what an indefinite licence term means and how it fits within existing regulatory and engagement frameworks.” However, she did not clarify whether these communities approved of the 20-year application.

According to Paul, the CNSC would set a dangerous precedent by granting           Cameco a 20-year licence.

“Twenty years is too long,” she told iPolitics. “It would be nice to see the CNSC reject a 20-year licence and go for something for reasonable, like five or ten years, although even ten is too much.”

Neither Paul nor Edwards has much confidence that the CNSC will reject Cameco’s 20-year application.

“From our perspective, it will look like a rubber stamp,” said Paul.

According to Edwards, the current iteration of the CNSC, which has only existed since 2000, has “never refused to grant a licence to any major nuclear facility in their entire existence.”

“The public has very little opportunity to question the practices going on,” he continued. “There’s a widespread feeling in the NGO community that we have a captured regulator in the CNSC, which reports to the natural resources minister, who is also responsible for promoting uranium mining and exports.”

A review of Lobby Canada’s registry reveals Cameco officials met in recent           months with Rumina Velshi, the CNSC’s president and CEO, and Ramzi Jammal, the regulator’s executive vice-president. However, both Cameco and the CNSC denied that the upcoming licence renewal hearing was discussed.

Edward said Cameco’s initial attempt at securing an indefinite licence term is indicative of an industry trend that is seeing longer licensing periods being granted and, as a result, less public oversight, and [fewer opportunities] for accountability.

“Unfortunately, that’s the direction they’re moving in,” he said.

According to CNSC spokesperson Renée Ramsey, individuals and organizations who want to intervene in the hearing have until April 24 to submit their requests, at which point the submissions from intervenors will be made publicly available. Ramsey also said the CNSC panel that will be leading the upcoming hearing has yet to be appointed.

April 17, 2023 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, Uranium | Leave a comment

A Cold War Legacy — uranium pollution

Uranium mills dumped their toxic wastes and filled cancer wards

A Cold War Legacy — Beyond Nuclear International

What’s lurking in U.S. groundwater?

By Mark Olalde, Mollie Simon and Alex Mierjeski, video by Gerardo del Valle, Liz Moughon and Mauricio Rodríguez Pons

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

In America’s rush to build the nuclear arsenal that won the Cold War, safety was sacrificed for speed.

Uranium mills that helped fuel the weapons also dumped radioactive and toxic waste into rivers like the Cheyenne in South Dakota and the Animas in Colorado. Thousands of sheep turned blue and died after foraging on land tainted by processing sites in North Dakota. And cancer wards across the West swelled with sick uranium workers.

The U.S. government bankrolled the industry, and mining companies rushed to profit, building more than 50 mills and processing sites to refine uranium ore.

But the government didn’t have a plan for the toxic byproducts of this nuclear assembly line. Some of the more than 250 million tons of toxic and radioactive detritus, known as tailings, scattered into nearby communities, some spilled into streams and some leaked into aquifers.

Congress finally created the agency that now oversees uranium mill waste cleanup in 1974 and enacted the law governing that process in 1978, but the industry would soon collapse due to falling uranium prices and rising safety concerns. Most mills closed by the mid-1980s.

When cleanup began, federal regulators first focused on the most immediate public health threat, radiation exposure. Agencies or companies completely covered waste at most mills to halt leaks of the carcinogenic gas radon and moved some waste by truck and train to impoundments specially designed to encapsulate it.

But the government has fallen down in addressing another lingering threat from the industry’s byproducts: widespread water pollution.

Regulators haven’t made a full accounting of whether they properly addressed groundwater contamination. So, for the first time, ProPublica cataloged cleanup efforts at the country’s 48 uranium mills, seven related processing sites and numerous tailings piles.

At least 84% of the sites have polluted groundwater. And nearly 75% still have either no liner or only a partial liner between mill waste and the ground, leaving them susceptible to leaking pollution into groundwater. In the arid West, where most of the sites are located, climate change is drying up surface water, making underground reserves increasingly important.

ProPublica’s review of thousands of pages of government and corporate documents, accompanied by interviews with 100 people, also found that cleanup has been hampered by infighting among regulatory agencies and the frequency with which regulators grant exemptions to their own water quality standards.

The result: a long history of water pollution and sickness.

Reports by government agencies found high concentrations of cancer near a mill in Utah and elevated cancer risks from mill waste in New Mexico that can persist until cleanup is complete. Residents near those sites and others have seen so many cases of cancer and thyroid disease that they believe the mills and waste piles are to blame, although epidemiological studies to prove such a link have rarely been done……………………………………………………………………………………………

For all the government’s success in demolishing mills and isolating waste aboveground, regulators failed to protect groundwater.

Between 1958 and 1962, a mill near Gunnison, Colorado, churned through 540,000 tons of ore. The process, one step in concentrating the ore into weapons-grade uranium, leaked uranium and manganese into groundwater, and in 1990, regulators found that residents had been drawing that contaminated water from 22 wells………………………………………………………………………………

When neither water treatment nor nature solves the problem, federal and state regulators can simply relax their water quality standards, allowing harmful levels of pollutants to be left in aquifers.

…………………………………………………………………………………………… Layers of Regulation

It typically takes 35 years from the day a mill shuts down until the NRC approves or estimates it will approve cleanup as being complete, ProPublica found. Two former mills aren’t expected to finish this process until 2047.

……………………………………………………………………… “A Problem for the Better Part of 50 Years”

While the process for cleaning up former mills is lengthy and laid out in regulations, regulators and corporations have made questionable and contradictory decisions in their handling of toxic waste and tainted water.

More than 40 million people rely on drinking water from the Colorado River, but the NRC and DOE allowed companies to leak contamination from mill waste directly into the river, arguing that the waterway quickly dilutes it.

Federal regulators relocated tailings at two former mills that processed uranium and vanadium, another heavy metal, on the banks of the Colorado River in Rifle, Colorado, because radiation levels there were deemed too high. Yet they left some waste at one former processing site in a shallow aquifer connected to the river and granted an exemption that allowed cleanup to end and uranium to continue leaking into the waterway……………………………………………………………………………… more

April 12, 2023 Posted by | Reference, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Saudi quest to become a nuclear player is coming up short

Bloomberg News | April 5, 2023

Saudi Arabia’s efforts to break into the ranks of global uranium suppliers — and feed a nascent nuclear power program — are coming up short, with exploration investments failing to find any significant deposits of the heavy metal.

The amount worth developing is smaller than that found in Botswana, Tanzania or the US, according to an assessment published by the Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is the first time the Saudi government submitted data for the biennial Red Book, which is used by geologists prospecting for the commodity that fuels nuclear reactors

Saudi Arabia has spent more than $37 million since 2017 searching for deposits but only managed to identify reserves that would be “severely uneconomic” to mine, the report said. 

…………………… Saudi Arabia didn’t respond to requests for comment.

………………………. Yellowcake prices have declined in recent decades because of plant shutdowns and public concern over nuclear power. Global expenditures on exploration of about $350 million are near 10-year lows, according to the Red Book………………………….

April 6, 2023 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, Uranium | Leave a comment

Cry from soldier, unrecognised victim of depleted uranium radiation

Depleted uranium, used in some types of ammunition and military armour, is the dense, low-cost leftover once uranium has been processed….

A high-ranking official from Veterans Affairs says a handful of vets mistakenly believe their bodies have been damaged by depleted uranium…..

the Federal Court of Canada has found depleted uranium to be an issue.  The court ruled the Veterans Affairs Department must compensate retired serviceman Steve Dornan for a cancer his doctors say resulted from exposure to depleted uranium residue.

text-from-the-archivesPoisoned soldier plans hunger strike at minister’s office in exchange for care, Montreal Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, 30 Oct 11,  MONTREAL — An ex-soldier who says he was poisoned while serving overseas is planning to go on a hunger strike outside the office of Canada’s veterans affairs minister until he gets medical treatment.

Or until he dies.

Continue reading

March 24, 2023 Posted by | Canada, depleted uranium, health, PERSONAL STORIES, Uranium | 2 Comments

Alarm over 10 drums of uranium missing in Libya

 Approximately 2.3 tonnes of natural uranium have gone missing from a site
in Libya not under government control, according to the United Nation’s
nuclear watchdog. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has
told the organisation’s member states that 10 drums containing uranium
“were not present as previously declared” at the location in Libya.

The missing uranium stockpile could pose radiological risk and security
concerns, the agency has said. The IAEA sounded the alarm after a visit by
its inspectors to the undisclosed site earlier this week, where it found
less uranium than originally reported. Currently, officials are working to
locate the 2.3 missing tonnes.

 Engineering & Technology 16th March 2023

March 17, 2023 Posted by | Libya, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Uranium | Leave a comment

Movie Premiere -“The Road to War”- Australia is being set up to be the US proxy in its coming war with China.

As international tensions rise to a new level, with the Ukraine war passing its first anniversary and the Albanese Government set to announce its commitment of hundreds of billions of dollars to new weaponry, nuclear propelled subs, Stealth bombers etc, The Road to War brings into sharp focus why it is not in Australia’s best interests to be dragged into an American-led war with China.]]


The Road to War is directed by one of Australia’s most respected political documentary  filmmakers, David Bradbury.  Bradbury has more than four decades of journalistic and filmmaking experience behind him having covered many of the world’s trouble spots since the end of the Vietnam war — SE Asia, Iraq, East Timor, revolutions and civil war in Central and South America, India, China, Nepal, West Papua. 

“I was driven to make this film because of the urgency of the situation. I fear we will be sucked into a nuclear war with China and/or Russia from which we will never recover, were some of us to survive the first salvo of nuclear warheads,” says the twice Oscar-nominated filmmaker. 

We must put a hard brake on Australia joining in the current arms race as the international situation deteriorates. We owe it to our children and future generations of Australians who already face the gravest existential danger of their young lives from Climate Change,” says Bradbury. 

There is general concern among the Defence analysts Bradbury interviews in the film that Australia is being set up to be the US proxy in its coming war with China. And that neither the Labor  nor LNP  governments have learnt anything from being dragged into America’s wars of folly since World War II — Korea, Vietnam, two disastrous wars in Iraq and America’s failed 20 year war in Afghanistan which ripped that country apart, only to see the Taliban warlords return the country and its female population to feudal times.

We must put a hard brake on Australia joining in the current arms race as the international situation deteriorates. We owe it to our children and future generations of Australians who already face the gravest existential danger of their young lives from Climate Change,” says Bradbury. 

There is general concern among the Defence analysts Bradbury interviews in the film that Australia is being set up to be the US proxy in its coming war with China. And that neither the Labor  nor LNP  governments have learnt anything from being dragged into America’s wars of folly since World War II — Korea, Vietnam, two disastrous wars in Iraq and America’s failed 20 year war in Afghanistan which ripped that country apart, only to see the Taliban warlords return the country and its female population to feudal times.

“Basing US B52 and Stealth bombers in Australia is all part of preparing Australia to be the protagonist on behalf of the United States in a war against China. If the US can’t get Taiwan to be the proxy or its patsy, it will be Australia,” says former Australian ambassador to China and Iran, John Lander. 

Military analyst, Dr Richard Tanter, fears the US military’s spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, will be the first target of any direct confrontation between the US and Russia or China.

“The US military base at Pine Gap is critical to the US military’s global strategy, especially nuclear missile threats in the region. The generals in Moscow and Beijing would have it as a top priority on their nuclear Hit List,” says Dr Tanter whose 40 years of ground-breaking research on Pine Gap with colleague, Dr Des Ball, has provided us with the clearest insight to the unique role Pine Gap plays for the US. Everything from programming US drone attacks to detecting the first critical seconds of nuclear ICBM’s lifting off from their deep underground silos in China or Russia, to directing crippling nuclear retaliation on its enemy.  

Military analyst, Dr Richard Tanter, fears the US military’s spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, will be the first target of any direct confrontation between the US and Russia or China.

“The US military base at Pine Gap is critical to the US military’s global strategy, especially nuclear missile threats in the region. The generals in Moscow and Beijing would have it as a top priority on their nuclear Hit List,” says Dr Tanter whose 40 years of ground-breaking research on Pine Gap with colleague, Dr Des Ball, has provided us with the clearest insight to the unique role Pine Gap plays for the US. Everything from programming US drone attacks to detecting the first critical seconds of nuclear ICBM’s lifting off from their deep underground silos in China or Russia, to directing crippling nuclear retaliation on its enemy.  

“Should Russia or China want to send a signal to Washington that it means business and ‘don’t push us any further’, a one-off nuclear strike on Pine Gap would do that very effectively, without triggering retaliation from the US since it doesn’t take out a US mainland installation or city,” says Dr Tanter. 

 “It’s horrible to talk about part of Australia in these terms but one has to be a realist with what comes to us by aligning ourselves with the US,” Tanter says.

 “Studies show in the event of even a very limited nuclear exchange between any of the nuclear powers, up to two billion people would starve to death from nuclear winter,” says Dr Sue Wareham of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War. 

 “The Australian Government, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Defense Minister Richard Marles, have a serious responsibility to look after all Australians. Not just those living in cities. Were Pine Gap to be hit with even one nuclear missile, Health Minister Mark Butler would be hard pressed to find any volunteer nurses and doctors willing to risk their lives to help survivors in Alice Springs, Darwin and surrounding communities from even one nuclear missile hitting this critical US target,” says Dr Wareham. 

The Road to War. Latest Film by David Bradbury

Premiere in Melbourne March 22 at the Carlton Nova cinema

Hobart screening State Cinema March 23 with special guest Bob Brown

Adelaide screening Capri cinema March 29

Further information or interviews with David Bradbury: 

Mobile 0409925469

March 7, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media, politics international, Uranium | 7 Comments

Spain upholds decision to reject plan for uranium mine

Spain’s Energy Ministry has again denied Berkeley Energia permission to build a uranium mine near Salamanca. In making the ruling, the ministry referred to a statement from its previous rejection, which said the Nuclear Safety Council had expressed concerns over “poor reliability and high uncertainty of the safety analyses of the radioactive site.”
Full Story: Reuters (2/7)

February 10, 2023 Posted by | politics, Spain, Uranium | Leave a comment

Namibia orders Russian uranium exploration to stop due to environmental concerns

 North Africa Post January 2, 2023

Namibian authorities have ordered Russia’s state atomic energy agency to stop uranium exploration over concerns about potential contamination of underground water.

Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform refused to grant Russia’s Rosatom subsidiary, One Uranium, a water use permit required for mining, saying the company failed to prove its uranium extraction method would not cause pollution. Namibia — the world’s second and Africa’s no. 1 producer of the nuclear fuel — granted Russia’s state atomic energy agency exploration rights in 2019.

The Namibian official Calle Schlettwein said Namibia could not grant One Uranium a permit for uranium mining. The Russian entity still needs a water use permit to begin mining.

Schlettwein said no further permit would be granted because the mining method the company proposed, known as the in-situ leaching, was raising environmental concerns. In situ mining involves recovering minerals by dissolving them in an acid pumped into the ground and then pumping the solution back to the surface.

Schlettwein said farmers in Namibia’s eastern Omaheke region had petitioned against the technique. Although One Uranium’s spokesperson, Riaan Van Rooyen, dismissed the concerns, Namibian activists maintain the mining project is not worth the risk. Rosatom’s subsidiary is expected to appeal Namibia’s decision against the water permit for uranium mining.

January 4, 2023 Posted by | environment, Namibia, Uranium | Leave a comment

Bill Gates’ Natrium project stalled, lacks Russian fuel – call for tax-payer funding for nuclear fuel development

Russia’s war has stalled a next-gen US nuclear reactor backed by Bill Gates – because it’s lost its sole supplier of uranium

Markets Insider, George Glover , Dec 19, 2022

  • TerraPower has delayed a demo of its flagship nuclear reactor project in Wyoming by at least two years.
  • The nuclear innovation company said it’s unable to get uranium fuel from any source other than Russia.
  • TerraPower has received backing from Bill Gates and the US DOE for its advanced nuclear plant design.

……………..Its CEO Chris Levesque said the war has hit supplies of high-assay low-enriched uranium, or HALEU. That means the Natrium nuclear plant that TerraPower is building in Wyoming won’t go into demonstration service in 2028 as planned.

…………. Efforts to get US manufacturers in commercial production and to find alternative suppliers have not worked out, he said.

“Given the lack of fuel availability now, and that there has been no construction started on new fuel enrichment facilities, TerraPower is anticipating a minimum of a two-year delay to being able to bring the Natrium reactor into operation,” Levesque added.

………  Natrium project is expected to cost $4 billion to build, with around half of that funding coming from the US Energy Department.

TerraPower plans to fuel Natrium with HALEU , which has a higher level of enrichment than the 5%-enriched uranium-235 fuel used by American nuclear reactors already in operation.

The company assumed it would use Russian supplies for its first core load because the US doesn’t have the capacity to enrich uranium-235 right now, according to Levesque.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February cut off the fuel source, after the US, the EU and other western allies imposed sanctions on Moscow.

TerraPower and the Department of Energy are now looking for alternative sources of HALEU – and want lawmakers to approve a $2.1 billion funding package to support low-enriched uranium production in the US, Levesque said.

December 19, 2022 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment