Australian news, and some related international items

World Nuclear Association Symposium – gloomy about the nuclear industry’s prospects

radiation-sign-sadIn the news: The Nuclear Industry, Proactive Investors 16 Sep 2016 FROM THE BROKING DESK The World Nuclear Association (WNA) Symposium 2016 was held in London this week. Naturally, I took the opportunity to hop on the bus to the Park Plaza Hotel in Waterloo to gauge the mood. It was pretty sombre……….

Sadly, for the last five years this inflection point has always been ‘next year’. Utilities have not bought into the long-term contract market and will need to catch up quickly to rebuild their stockpiles. Large chunks of marginal production from majors such as Cameco have been shut down over the last two years, and the talk is that Cameco could cut supply further by closing its US operations. Kazakh production is surely peaking, potential new supply from Africa is not high enough grade and the possible new supply from the Athabasca Basin is too far off. The list of reasons why the uranium price will turn burial.uranium-industry‘next year’ goes on, and all of them make sense. But it hasn’t, has it?

Uranium executives radiate sunny optimism at the start of each year when pitching their new project. This then disappears by the summer after it becomes clear that it’s not in fact next year, but the year after that. This time even that optimism has gone. All the executives I spoke to looked about as miserable as England football fans in the second week of a major tournament. …..

Let’s just have a quick look at the Hinkley C announcement. …..the decision to go ahead is probably a mistake, but not one the new prime minister could get out of without starting a war with France and China. The problems with Hinkley C are multiple. Yes, it is probably too expensive, yes, we should be looking at new technologies that create decentralised power generation, yes, the Chinese are probably spying on us and could turn the lights off at any time, and, yes, it just props up an ailing French nuclear industry and stops EDF from going bankrupt. Also, the, ahem, elephant in the room is that there is no actual evidence that European Pressurised Reactors even work. Bonne chance.

September 17, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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