Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2009 7:43 pm 
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Nuclear nations rush to lock in uranium deals

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A global shift toward nuclear power is prompting countries to rush to lock in long-term access to tight supplies of uranium, and China and India look to be the next players to get in on the action.

A tie-up between Rosatom, the Russian state-owned producer, Rosatom and Canada-based miner Uranium One announced this week is just the latest in a series of moves on the part of Asian and European countries to lock in uranium supply to fuel construction of dozens of new reactors over the next decade.

"I think increasingly the supply of reactors is being tied to security of supply of nuclear fuel," said Divya Reddy, an energy analyst with the Eurasia Group in Washington.


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Time to start looking at re-enriching tails.......


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2009 9:24 pm 
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Or pulling the uranium out of the SNF since it is roughly as fertile as original ore.
(and we could use the Pu).


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2009 9:25 pm 
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If someone would only figure out a way to bypass all these uranium fuel cycle problems, what a wonderful world it would be.

Those people who depend on uranium and its wastes will only have their hearts broken in the end.

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PostPosted: Jun 21, 2009 4:42 am 
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I think it started with Indian PM Man Mohan Singh trying to import uranium. The prices jumped up like oil. And the US is not even permitting reprocessing of SNF from Tarapore I&II reactors. I feel sure something good may come out for the world if India can get its hands on recovered Uranium and Plutonium. French and Russian reprocessing industries may get a boost! MOX for LWRs is not the only benefit of reprocessing. Recovered U-238 and Thorium shall become nuclear fuels in other types of reactors, including MSRs. If it is too costly in USA, the Russia and China can provide economical services. The US considered and then declined to permit Russia to provide these services for SNF of US origin.


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Nuclear Talks Hurt Uranium Prices

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Bloomberg reported that the United States and Russia are sitting on as much as 600,000 tons of uranium for use in nuclear weapons according to Robert Vance of Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency. Negotiations between the two nuclear superpowers have reached a third round, and according to news reports, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the U.S. wants "a significant reduction" in nuclear arms. If that goal is accomplished the market could be flooded with additional uranium supply, likely having a dilutive effect on the commodity. Uranium stocks are falling on the news.


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 6:14 pm 
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The US/USSR HEU program is structured so that blend-down does not have a serious impact on the commercial commodity market (at least that is how it is structured and executed to date).


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 6:58 pm 
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arcs_n_sparks wrote:
The US/USSR HEU program is structured so that blend-down does not have a serious impact on the commercial commodity market (at least that is how it is structured and executed to date).


What you are referring too here is the 'Megatons to Megawatts Program' which involves downblended HEU sold as reactor fuel to the US. However there exists a second market for Russian owned NU that was also stockpiled and that is growing because it is the barter component that is returned to Tenex when they deliver the downblended HEU. Technically, the only thing that USEC is buying from Tenex is the SWU's not the uranium itself.

The holdings that Russia have, combined with whatever strategic stockpiles the U.S. might be holding in NU, it is feared might become a drug on the market.


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 7:49 pm 
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50% of the electric power produced in the US comes from decommissioned Russian weapons.

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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Actually, 50% of the nuclear power or about 10% of the US electricity.


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Lars wrote:
Actually, 50% of the nuclear power or about 10% of the US electricity.


Yes, that is what I should have said; Thanks.

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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Washington (Platts)--23Jun2009

Nuclear Fuel Services and Wesdyne International will blend down and store 12.1 metric tons of surplus US highly enriched uranium under a $209 million contract announced June 23 by DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration.

NNSA said in a statement that about 220 metric tons of low enriched uranium will be produced from the HEU between 2009 and 2012, with a market value of more than $400 million. NFS and WesDyne will be compensated with "a fraction" of the LEU, NNSA said. The rest will be stored to provide fuel supply assurance for utilities that participate in DOE's mixed-oxide fueL program to disposition surplus plutonium from US weapons programs by irradiating it as reactor fuel, it said.


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 8:57 pm 
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Nuclear Fuel Services and Wesdyne International will blend down and store 12.1 metric tons of surplus US highly enriched uranium ......about 220 metric tons of low enriched uranium will be produced from the HEU

That works out to 5.5% LEU product.

It would be very useful to try to find out what, if any, flexibility the contractor has in product specification and plant operating license....


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 9:24 pm 
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jaro wrote:
That works out to 5.5% LEU product.

It would be very useful to try to find out what, if any, flexibility the contractor has in product specification and plant operating license....


Maybe that's an average with some 12% to 19.75% for research reactors part of the mix.

I would be very surprised to find that what they could do wasn't specified down to the last gram.

I still think the whole exercise is a shameful waste of SWU's.


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2009 10:44 pm 
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DV82XL wrote:
I still think the whole exercise is a shameful waste of SWU's.


Exactly right. And the Russians tried to game the "megatons to megawatts" program through their excess SWU capability and the incentives to down-blend HEU. Let the games continue...........


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