Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree lifting the ban on supplying Iran with uranium enrichment equipment. It is linked to Russia importing enriched uranium from Iran, according to the official government website.
The Russian President is visiting Tehran to take part in Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit, and is holding talks on Monday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
According to the document, the ban on supplying goods, materials and equipment no longer applies “to the exports of the enriched uranium from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The decision to export low-enriched uranium from Iran to Russia was reached in the framework of the agreement between Iran and the six international mediators in July. According to the deal, Tehran must get rid of 98 percent of its enriched uranium. Iran also agreed not to enrich uranium by more than 3.67 percent for 15 years and to possess no more than 300 kilograms of the material.
Secretary of State John Kerry it touting the rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project as an example of how the United States is focused on combating climate change.
In a speech on climate policy in Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday, Kerry said the world should be moving toward energy production that is “different and far smarter and [more] readily available” than the oil that would have traveled from Canada through the United States in the Keystone pipeline.
Kerry’s State Department conducted the final review into the project, and last week recommended that President Obama deny developers a permit to build the pipeline. Obama did just that on Friday.
“I know all the arguments. I heard them backwards and forwards for the last year and a half,” Kerry said at Old Dominion University on Tuesday.
“What [Keystone] would do — or would have done — was facilitate the passage into and through our country of one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet.”
Instead, he said, the world should move toward a “low carbon economy,” and he plugged the growth of the renewable energy sector in the United States.
“The sooner we can move to a lower carbon economy and lead the world in the new technologies to do so, the sooner we will solve this problem in its entirety,” he said of climate change.
Obama rejected the Keystone pipeline on Friday, saying that if the world is to confront climate change, some fossil fuels would need to stay in the ground. The pipeline was subject to presidential approval — and a State Department review — because it would have crossed the international border with Canada.
Also Tuesday, Kerry pledged to pursue an aggressive international climate deal at a United Nations climate conference next month.
A deal to cut carbon emissions worldwide “won’t be [a] silver bullet that eliminates the climate change threat,” he said, “but the truth is we won’t eliminate it without an agreement in Paris.”
Centrus Energy Corp (NYSE:LEU) announced the earnings results for Fiscal Year 2015 and Q3. The results came in during Pre-market on Nov 10, 2015. Earnings per share were $-6.05.
It's getting tougher to get info on Centrus Energy. They must have fired their PR Dept.
The oil glut is also weighing on alternative energy plays. I bought DWTI (3X Inverse oil ETF) last week for $91, it's currently $125! Wild ride...
From the anti-nuclear group Union of Concerned Scientists:
A new Energy Department report finds new capacity to enrich uranium for military purposes won’t be needed for decades.
Earlier this month, the Department of Energy (DOE) submitted its long overdue report “Tritium and Enriched Uranium Management Plan Through 2060” to Congress. The report, prepared in response to several requests from the House and Senate appropriations committees, is in part an assessment of the availability of enriched uranium in the United States for use in military applications—primarily, production of tritium for nuclear weapons and fabrication of fuel for naval nuclear propulsion reactors.
The report finds that the United States has sufficient enriched uranium from various sources to meet these needs, with low to moderate risk, until around 2040 for tritium production and 2060 for other uses.
The analysis refutes arguments by supporters of the American Centrifuge Plant project, finding that the United States will not need to build a dedicated uranium enrichment plant for military uses for decades. And that time could be pushed even further into the distance—and hopefully to infinity—if the U.S. greatly reduces the quantity of military uranium it will need in the future by undertaking deep cuts in its nuclear weapons stockpile and converting naval reactors to use fuel made with low-enriched uranium instead of highly enriched uranium.
The inventory of uranium that the United States can use for military purposes is limited because most commercially produced uranium is “obligated” for peaceful use under various international agreements. In addition, some U.S.-government produced uranium not governed by international peaceful use obligations is otherwise “encumbered” by unilateral U.S. peaceful-use declarations. Thus, without violating or modifying those commitments, the U.S. government is restricted to using uranium that it has already produced for possible military
Many fusion reactors are based on a tokamak design, which uses an electrical current to twist a superheated plasma's electrons and ions into a three-dimensional loop. That's good for containing the plasma, but it's still not the safest design -- if the current fails or there's a magnetic disruption, you have a serious problem on your hands. However, scientists at the Max Planck Institute may have a more practical alternative. They've recently completed Wendelstein 7-X, the first large reactor based on a stellarator concept that relies on a cruller-like shape for the twisting action instead of a current. That's considerably safer than a tokamak, and the supercomputer-guided design should iron out the containment problems that have plagued stellarators until now.
W7-X isn't live yet. The team is waiting on German approval to activate the reactor, which could start running in November. If it works as promised, though, it could do a lot to advance fusion energy. It would prove that stellarators are better than tokamaks for commercial-grade power plants, where you want to eliminate any significant chance of an accident. There's still the not-so-small matter of getting fusion reactors to produce more energy than they consume, but safety might not be a major issue from here on out.
Bill Gates Dismisses Solar And Wind Energy, “Can’t Do The Job” …Cost “Beyond Astronomical”!
By P Gosselin on 28. June 2015
Another prominent thumbs down against wind the current renewable energy craze, this one from Bill Gates.
The UK online Register here reports that the technology guru is not impressed by fad renewable energies wind and sun: “Renewable energy can’t do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D“.
Moreover Gates thinks they “aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels” and that power coming mainly from solar and wind energy “would be beyond astronomical“.
Gates made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times. The Register reports:
As for a possible solution for energy with low CO2 emissions, Gates thinks the answer lies in technology innovation. The Register writes: In Bill Gates’ view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funnelled to renewables owners to R&D instead.
Gates also believes that divesture from oil and coal companies will have little impact, and that batteries for storing the sporadic supplies of wind and sun energy are not the answer. Part of the answer, Gates believes, is in nuclear power.
China will begin work on the world's largest super-collider in 2020, a mega-machine aimed at increasing understanding of the elusive Higgs boson, state-run media reported Thursday.
The facility, designed to smash subatomic particles together at enormous speed, will reportedly be at least twice the size of Europe's physics lab, the Swiss-based CERN, where the Higgs boson was discovered.
Scientists believe the Higgs -- sometimes dubbed the 'God particle' -- endows mass, making it a fundamental building block of the universe.
The final concept design for the project is on track for completion by the end of 2016, Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics at the China Academy of Sciences, told the China Daily.
The facility is expected to generate millions of Higgs bosons, far more than the current capacity of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where the particle was uncovered in 2012.
As planned, the Chinese project will generate seven times the energy of the LHC, smashing sub-atomic particles together to generate 'Higgses' on an unprecedented scale.
By Elena Kosolapova – Trend:
Kazatomprom National Atomic Company and Centrus Energy Corp. inked a memorandum of cooperation in the nuclear sector, Kazatomprom said Oct. 21.
As part of the memorandum, Kazatomprom and Centrus Energy Corp. will develop mutually beneficial relations on competitive supplies of Kazakh uranium to the global market.
Centrus Energy Corp. is the main supplier of fuel for the US industrial nuclear power plants.
The document was signed during Kazatomprom CEO Askar Zhumagaliyev’s visit to the US.
During his business trip to the U.S., Zhumagaliyev also plans to meet with top managers of the world's largest nuclear energy companies, namely President and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Company Danny Roderick and President of Cameco Tim Gitzel. Together with his colleagues, Zhumagaliyev will discuss current situation in the nuclear industry, the course of implementation of joint projects and relevant issues of cooperation.
Zhumagaliyev will hold several bilateral meetings with representatives of the companies working in the nuclear energy sector.
As part of his trip, Zhumagaliyev will also visit a nuclear reactor which is being constructed now and Westinghouse's plant producing fuel assemblies.
China vowed Wednesday to take a one-third stake in Britain's first nuclear power plant in decades, with Prime Minister David Cameron hailing an "historic deal" on the project led by French energy giant EDF.
The announcement came on the second day of Chinese President Xi Jinping's business-themed state visit to Britain, which Cameron said had seen deals signed worth �40 billion (54.6 billion euros, $61.9 billion).
EDF in a statement announced the blockbuster nuclear agreement, signed in the presence of Xi and Cameron, as London rolled out the red carpet to Chinese investors and showcased joint projects including zero-emission classic London red buses and black taxis.
The agreement for the gigantic nuclear project, whose construction costs total �18 billion, is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks.
"We're signing an historic deal to build the Hinkley nuclear power station," Cameron said at a joint press conference with Xi at Downing Street.
Xi called it "a flagship project of cooperation".
The French utility will construct two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs), a third-generation nuclear reactor design considered the most advanced and safest in the world, at the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, southwestern England.
Beijing's state-run China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) will finance �6.0 billion of the costs, with EDF providing the remainder.
"We have all the conditions now in place, subject to final investment approval in the next few weeks, to go ahead with the project," Vincent de Rivaz, head of EDF's British division, said in a telephone conference with journalists.
Kazakhstan and China have agreed to the procurement of temporary storage services of natural uranium concentrates in China and transit through China to the western ports of the USA and Canada.
The agreement was signed yesterday by Askar Zhumagaliyev, CEO of Kazatomprom and Liu Chunsheng, president of China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's state visit to China.
Kazatomprom said this cooperation between the two countries will enable it to diversify supply routes for its uranium products on the world market.
Kazatomprom has more than 27,000 employees and is amongst the leading uranium production companies in the world. It noted that the CNNC Group has 110 subsidiaries and 100,000 employees and operates 12 nuclear power reactors, with a total capacity of 9800 MWe.
Portsmouth Daily Times, Oct 15th:
The Scioto County Commissioners said on Thursday they are bracing for impact of lost sales tax revenue, if planned layoffs occur with Centrus Energy and Fluor BWXT. The commissioners are estimating the potential loss of sales tax revenue between $50,000 and $85,000.
The city of Portsmouth recently calculated the possible loss of revenue from income tax should the worst case scenario occur at the Piketon Department of Energy reservation. Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen told City Council he asked Portsmouth City Solicitor Trent Williams to check into the possible impact it would have on the city of Portsmouth if the American Centrifuge Plant project and/or the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) project would be shut down.
“With the Centrifuge site, if that goes down, it looks like $40,000 of annual lost revenue,” Allen said. “And if they don’t continue with the cleanup portion, which I believe they will, that’s $100,000 of income tax on an annual basis.”
The county based their calculation of potential loss on the number of people from Scioto County working at each of the facilities.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will end Centrus Energy’s American Centrifuge Test Demonstration and Operation (ACTDO) activity at Piketon, potentially resulting in the layoffs of 200 Energy Corp. employees. With a reduction in funding by the federal government, Centrus Energy Corp. announced their new reduced contract with Oak Ridge National Laboratory will not include continued operations of America’s only operating cascade of advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges in Piketon.
Fluor-BWXT issued WARN notice to 500 D&D workers, because on an anticipated $80 million budget shortfall. Recently federal legislators passed a Continuing Resolution (CR), funding government operations until mid-December.
My take is that GE couldn't get Silex to scale up to commercial scale but won't admit it. There's a chance that they're waiting for Centrus to declare bankruptcy so they can buy the ACP for cheap.
On the other hand, SWU prices are at a 30 year low, so maybe the economics of either Silex or the ACP don't work. Nuclear in general is being hurt by cheap natural gas.
By Frank Lewis (Sep 16)
Without referring to the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon by name, Daniel Poneman, president and CEO of Centrus Energy Corp told delegates at the World Nuclear Association’s Annual Symposium in London last week the nuclear power industry has a unique role to play in tackling two “existential threats” facing all humanity – climate change and nuclear war.
According to an article in World Nuclear News, using Centrus Energy as an example, Poneman said that a “robust nuclear growth scenario” will require many things, including reliable fuel supply and strong competition with multiple suppliers.
Poneman made the statement in the same week that the Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will end the American Centrifuge Test Demonstration and Operation (ACTDO) activity at Piketon, potentially resulting in the layoffs of 200 employees. With a reduction in funding by the federal government, Centrus Energy Corp. announced their new reduced contract with Oak Ridge National Laboratory will not include continued operations of America’s only operating cascade of advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges in Piketon.
“While we view ourselves as an important partner in supporting the US national security mission, we are also keenly focused on providing our LEU (Low Enriched Uranium) customers with reliable, on-time deliveries on commercially attractive terms. While current uranium prices will not support investment in global new capacity today, we are also keenly focused on ensuring that our own suppliers can count on us to be reliable counterparties,” Poneman said. “Today’s market has too much supply but not too many suppliers. We are optimistic about the long term that, eventually, the market will support investment in new enrichment capacity. To be able to commit to that 2 Degree Scenario, we’ll need to more than double our enrichment capacity by 2050.”
The owners of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, have announced that they will close the plant by June 2019.
Entergy Corp. said Tuesday it is closing the only nuclear power plant in the state because of "poor market conditions, reduced revenues and increased operational costs."
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant's Pilgrim Station is located a few miles down the coast from Plymouth Rock. Boston Globe / Boston Globe via Getty Images
The decision by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. comes about a month after federal inspectors downgraded the plant's safety rating to the lowest level and said they would increase oversight in the wake of a shutdown during a winter storm. Owners maintained that the plant remained safe although it needed millions of dollars in upgrades.
"The real issue here is the financial viability of the plant," said Bill Mohl, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities. The decision to close the plant was a "decision of last resort," Mohl said.
The 680-megawatt plant, which went online in 1972, was relicensed in 2012 for an additional 20 years and is the only nuclear power plant in Massachusetts. It employs about 600 people.
Appeals Court Checks EPA's Clean Water Act Interpretation
In yet another check on the Obama administration's power, the Appeals Court for the Sixth District ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency needs to stop implementing its encroachment of small waterways nationwide.
In August, a federal judge stayed the EPA's action after a conglomerate of 13 states filed suit. The states took issue with an expanded interpretation of the Clean Water Act that would, in the words of the judge in August, make states "lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters." The agency responded by saying the stay only applied to the states named in the suit, not the rest of the nation, and continued its implementation. However, the appeals court put that bureaucratic overreach to rest Friday by ruling the stay applied to the whole of the United States. "A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law," the court wrote.
How about a little humility, EPA? This legal smackdown comes as the EPA triggered yet another wastewater spill from a mine in Colorado. The agency assumed that any questions of its actions would not be legitimate. Now there's mud on its face from more than one direction.
(the rest from Columbus Duspatch)
In meetings with Reps. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, and Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington; and Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the group urged lawmakers to continue to fight for the cleanup and the uranium-enrichment plant.
They argue that because the government used the land, it is obligated to clean it up so that the community can use it again. The government has spent at least $2.6 billion on cleanup but in June sent a letter to Portman moving back the targeted completion time for the project from 2024 to between 2044 and 2052.
“Enough is enough,” said Adams County Commissioner Steve Caraway. “Clean it up.”
The group also worries about losing a skilled workforce and wasting taxpayer dollars by closing the American Centrifuge Plant yet still paying to keep its contents safe and secure.
The visit to Washington came after notices warning of potential layoffs went out in August to 500 employees working on the cleanup — and then, weeks later, 235 more were sent out to those working at the American Centrifuge Plant.
Money for the cleanup was eventually extended through Dec. 11, when the current federal funding bill expires.
Doug Coleman, a Scioto County commissioner who also made the trip, said: “We can’t afford any more job loss.”
WASHINGTON — For years, many in southern Ohio have lived in something like an economic purgatory, with their hopes pinned on the possibility of a uranium- enrichment plant to replace the Cold War-era plant shuttered in 2001.
Now, they’re struggling under the weight of dual disappointments.
The federal government recently announced that it would no longer support the proposed plant near Piketon, Ohio, aimed at commercializing new technology to enrich uranium.
And the funding to clean up an adjacent 3,700-acre site where the government had enriched uranium from 1954 through 2001 has become increasingly uncertain.
Together, the two problems are a perfect storm for a section of the state where the unemployment rate hovers at around 6 percent — among the highest in the state.
Supporters in the local government and business community are worried about the possibility that they might not be able to redevelop what they believe is prime economic-development space and that a prolonged cleanup could pollute the land and water they rely on.
“People are getting fed up with things not getting done,” said Jeff Albrecht, a Scioto County businessman who came to Washington this week with eight others from Scioto and four nearby counties to fight for what they believe are two lifelines to their communities.
The group asked for two things: First, they want the federal government to continue paying for the cleanup of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site. Second, they want the Department of Energy to reverse a decision to stop spinning the uranium centrifuges at the proposed American Centrifuge Plant, which has operated under a research and development test site for the past few years. It has struggled for years to secure federal funding in a quest to become the only domestic source of enriched uranium in the United States.
commodity-related capital expenditure accounts for around 30% of total capex globally, so even though Consumers may benefit from cheaper oil, but companies are hit first. Credit Suisse estimates that the fall in Commodities capex has taken at least 0.8% off the U.S. economic growth in the first half this year and 1% off global growth over the last year. But the worst is over, according to analyst Andrew Garthwaite and team. They listed three reasons: 1. demand for oil has stabilized; 2. non-OPEC production has peaked; 3. Saudi Arabia has achieved its goal of deterring new entrants.
Since Saudi Arabia is the wild card, Credit Suisse analysts took pains to explain their position:
We believe that the key variable is Saudi Arabia. If it were not for Saudi Arabia, then we fear that oil would have to behave like other commodities and if there is excess supply fall to levels where a third of production is below the cash cost and, given the likely fall in commodity currencies, this in turn would lead to a much lower oil price (maybe down to $30/barrel).
This leads to the question ‘Can Saudi Arabia support the oil market?’. We think the answer is yes. They control the vast majority of spare capacity according to our oil team and 13% of output.
Their clear aim was to restore market share against non-OPEC and avoid being a swing producer (and thus not repeat the 1980 to 1985 experience, when their oil production fell by 70% as they sought to defend the oil price) and also limit the growth in alternative energies. The key is clearly at what point they have achieved their objective. The issue is nearly always the same – costs fall much more quickly than expected, partly because commodity currencies fall and partly because of cost deflation.
Moody’s highlight that the breakeven for median shale is around $51pb. Thus it may be the case that around the current oil price, Saudi Arabia believe they have achieved their objective of pricing out new shale projects.
Nuclear power plants around the world are harbouring a “culture of denial” about the risks of cyber hacking, with many failing to protect themselves against digital attacks, a review of the industry has warned.
A focus on safety and high physical security means that many nuclear facilities are blind to the risks of cyber attacks, according to the report by think-tank Chatham House, citing 50 incidents globally of which only a handful have been made public.
The findings are drawn from 18 months of research and 30 interviews with senior nuclear officials at plants and in government in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, Ukraine and the US.
“Cyber security is still new to many in the nuclear industry,” said Caroline Baylon, the report’s author. “They are really good at safety and, after 9/11, they’ve got really good at physical security. But they have barely grappled with cyber.”
The report cites officials who describe the industry as being “far behind” other industrial sectors when it comes to insulating themselves against digital attacks.
Ms Baylon said there was a “culture of denial” at many nuclear plants, with a standard response from engineers and officials being that because their systems were not connected to the internet, it would be very hard to compromise them.
“Many people said it was simply not possible to cause a major incident like a release of ionising radiation with a cyber attack . . . but that’s not necessarily true.”
Ms Baylon described how systems and back-ups powering reactor cooling systems could be compromised, for example, to trigger an incident similar to that seen at Fukushima Daichi.