The big question is why did GE shut down Silex construction? If Silex is nonviable, Centrus owns the most efficient enrichment process in the world. If Silex does work, as GE continues to claim, then the ACP is worth far less.
NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane to Step Down In January
Nuclear Street News Team Wed, Oct 22 2014
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane said Tuesday she would resign her position on Jan. 1, having competed the mission she set out for herself when she took the top agency post in 2012.
Macfarlane said her goals at the agency were to steady the helm “after a tumultuous period for the Commission,” which was marked by conflict among the five commissioners, which lead to the departure of Macfarlane's predecessor, Dr. Gregory Jaczko.
Macfarlane's second goal involved reassuring the U.S. public that the type of accident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan in March 2011 after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake would not happen in this country.
Among her top accomplishments, Macfarlane said that during her tenure the agency “implemented a number of safety improvements including the addition of protective equipment at reactor sites and at regional centers around the country, seismic and flood protection enhancements at power plants, and progress on hardening venting systems at plants of similar design to those at Fukushima.”
Among the more volatile nuclear power issues is the potential construction of a national radioactive waste repository under Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., adamantly opposes Yucca Mountain as the location for a repository. Any nominee for the next chair of the NRC could find their position on Yucca Mountain a pivotal focus of their confirmation process.
In a press statement, Macfarlane said was taking a position as director of George Washington University's Center for International Science and Technology Policy, where she would continue to work on nuclear safety and policy.
That's a pretty big discrepancy!
I don't always trust Yahoo.
Shortsqueezedotcom has the following:
Centrus Energy Corporation $ 8.09
Daily Short Sale Volume view
Short Interest (Shares Short)
Days To Cover (Short Interest Ratio)
Short Percent of Float
Trading Volume - Today
Yahoo says 48% of LEU shares are short!
This is very dangerous for short sellers who have to cover once a squeeze starts.
I may buy more shares.
I would classify this as "non-negative" news rather than good news, but it's interesting to note how big a pop the stock got. How much of the pop is based on this news and how much is due to the seeming end of the market correction is unknowable, but LEU like USU remains a news-driven stock.
Imagine the move on unambiguously good news!
Congrats to all longs today!
Even though the Soviet government hid information about the figures, it is known that the direct exposure to radiation caused at least 200 cases of death from cancer.
To reduce the spread of radioactive contamination after the accident, contaminated soil was removed and kept in fenced enclosures that were called "graveyards of the earth".
In 1968, the Soviet government disguised the EURT area by creating the East-Ural Nature Reserve, which prohibited any unauthorised access to the affected area.
Rumours of a nuclear mishap somewhere in the vicinity of Chelyabinsk had long been circulating in the West. That there had been a serious nuclear accident west of the Urals was eventually inferred from research on the effects of radioactivity on plants, animals, and ecosystems, published by Professor Leo Tumerman, former head of the Biophysics Laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow, and associates.
According to Gyorgy, who invoked the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the relevant Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) files, the CIA knew of the 1957 Mayak accident all along. They kept it secret to prevent adverse consequences for the fledgling American nuclear industry. Only in 1990 did the Soviet government declassify documents pertaining to the disaster.
According to different sources, the amount of radioactivity produced by this disaster is between twice and six times that of Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Because the leakage was more limited, this is classified as a Level 6 (of 7) disaster on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Chernobyl is rated at Level 7.
In 2003, Russian authorities closed down the Mayak plant. Lake Karachay, which is close to the plant is seen as one of the most contaminated spots on the planet.
In the past 45 years, about half a million people in the region have been irradiated in one or more of the incidents. Some of them were exposed to more than twenty times the radiation suffered by the Chernobyl disas
We've all heard of Chernobyl, but was that Russia worst nuclear accident?
Mayak is the name for a number of nuclear facilities, which are about 150 kilometres (93 mi) from Ekaterinburg, in Russia. The facilities were also known as Chelyabinsk-65, or Chelyabinsk-40. Mayak was built between 1945 and 1948. It was the first plant that could produce nuclear material in the Soviet Union. At times, up to 25.000 people worked at Mayak. They produced the Plutonium fuel that was used for the first Soviet atomic bomb, amongst other things.
Between 1948 and 1987, a total of ten nuclear reactors were built. Until 1991, all but two were closed. The two remaining produce radioactive isotopes for health care and for research purposes.
An accident happened in 1957, and is known as Kyshtym Disaster today. It happened in a plant near Kishtim (Кыштым). There were many accidents in this secret plant. The most serious of them happened on September 29, 1957. The cooling system of the plant failed to work. A (non-nuclear) explosion occurred. This explosion had the force of between 75 and 100 tons of TNT. It threw the lid of the container, which weighted 160 tons, into the air. The accident released about 20 MegaPCi (about 740 Petabecquerel) of radioactivity. At least 200 people died from radiation sickness. About 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes. More than 470,000 people were affected by the radiation, without knowing it.
During the next ten to eleven hours, the radioactive cloud moved towards the northeast, reaching between 300 and 350 kilometers from the accident. The fallout of the cloud resulted in a long-term contamination of an area of more than 800 square kilometers, mostly with caesium-137 and strontium-90. Today, the area is known as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT).
TOKYO – A prominent vulcanologist disputed Japanese regulators' conclusion that two nuclear reactors were safe from a volcanic eruption in the next few decades, saying Friday that such a prediction was impossible.
A cauldron eruption at one of several volcanoes surrounding the Sendai nuclear power plant in southern Japan could not only hit the reactors but could cause a nationwide disaster, said Toshitsugu Fujii, head of a government-commissioned panel on volcanic eruption prediction.
Nuclear regulators last month said two Sendai reactors fulfilled tougher safety requirements set after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The regulators ruled out a major eruption over the next 30 years until the reactors' reach the end of their usable lifespan.
A surprise eruption of a volcano in central Japan on Sept. 27 has renewed concerns about the volcanoes in the region.
"It is simply impossible to predict an eruption over the next 30 to 40 years," Fujii said. "The level of predictability is extremely limited."
He said at best an eruption can be predicted only a matter of hours or days.
Heavy ash falling from an eruption would make it impossible to reach the plant, and could also affect many parts of the country including Tokyo, he said.
The two Sendai reactors are the first ones approved under the new safety requirement. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart the two, and any of the country's 46 other workable reactors that are deemed safe, saying nuclear power is stable and relatively cheap compared to other energy source and key to Japan's economic recovery.
Aviation Week had exclusive access to their secret laboratories and talked to Dr. Thomas McGuire, the leader of Skunk Work's Revolutionary Technology division. And revolutionary it is, indeed: Instead of using the same design that everyone else is using—the Soviet-derived tokamak, a torus in which magnetic fields confine the fusion reaction with a huge energy cost and thus little energy production capabilities—Skunk Works' Compact Fusion Reactor has a radically different approach to anything people have tried before.
The key to the Skunk Works system is their tube-like design, which allows them to bypass one of the limitations of classic fusion reactor designs, which are very limited in the amount of plasma they can hold, which makes them huge in size—like the gigantic International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. According to McGuire:
[The traditional tokamak designes] can only hold so much plasma, and we call that the beta limit. [Their plasma ratio is] 5% or so of the confining pressure. [...] We should be able to go to 100% or beyond.
This architecture allows it to be 10 times smaller at the same power output of something like the ITER, which is expected to generate 500 MW in the 2020s. This is crucial for the use of fusion in all kind of applications, not only in giant, expensive power plants.
Skunk Works is convinced that their system—which will be the size of a jet engine—will be able to power everything, from spaceships to airplanes to vessels—and of course scale up to a much larger size.
From IEEE Spectrum Magazine
By Eliza Strickland
Posted 12 Jul 2013 | 15:25 GMT
The Breakthrough Institute is a California think tank dedicated to "modernizing environmentalism," and its founders have previously argued that nuclear power is the answer to the "planetary emergency" of climate change. So in this report, the authors set out to illuminate a viable path to a nuclear-powered civilization.
The report says the price of building nuclear reactors can be brought down dramatically if those reactor designs focus on four factors:
First, designs must incorporate inherent safety characteristics that obviate the need for expensive and redundant engineered safety systems. Second, designs must in whole or in part be built modularly so that components of plants can be mass-produced and assembled, rather than fabricated, at the construction site. Third, designs will need to be more efficient thermally such that they are able to generate more electricity from a smaller physical plant. Fourth, designs must have a high degree of readiness in utilizing existing nuclear or industrial supply chains that do not require development or commercialization of new or unproven materials and fuels.
The safety and modularity arguments are particularly important. The light water reactors that are currently the industry standard require extravagant safety systems to keep the reactor vessel pressurized and filled with water. The fuel in such reactors can melt down if power is lost and operators can't control the pressure and water level—as the world learned during the Fukushima catastrophe.
Modularity is also a hot topic in the nuclear world these days, since the up-front costs of building a light water reactor are prohibitive. With smaller off-the-shelf reactor designs, units can be added one by one to the grid—and paid for one by one.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.
Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work.
Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters.
In a statement, the company, the Pentagon's largest supplier, said it would build and test a compact fusion reactor in less than a year, and build a prototype in five years.
In recent years, Lockheed has gotten increasingly involved in a variety of alternate energy projects, including several ocean energy projects, as it looks to offset a decline in U.S. and European military spending.
Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corp Marillyn Hewson speaks to journalists at a news conf …
Lockheed's work on fusion energy could help in developing new power sources amid increasing global conflicts over energy, and as projections show there will be a 40 percent to 50 percent increase in energy use over the next generation, McGuire said.
If it proves feasible, Lockheed's work would mark a key breakthrough in a field that scientists have long eyed as promising, but which has not yet yielded viable power systems. The effort seeks to harness the energy released during nuclear fusion, when atoms combine into more stable forms.
A rift between OPEC members deepened over the weekend, as producers in the cartel moved in different directions amid falling oil prices.
Venezuela, which has been one of the most outspoken proponents of a production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, called over the weekend for an emergency meeting of the group to respond to falling prices. But Kuwait said Sunday that OPEC was unlikely to act to rein in output.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, appeared to expand on its recent move to defend its market share at the expense of other members by aggressively courting customers in Europe. Traders said Saudi Arabia is now asking for stronger commitments from some of its buyers in Europe, a move that would lock in those customers, including any new ones it would gain with recent price reductions.
Almost 30 years after the nuclear plant explosion in Chernobyl, this autumn, more radioactivity has been measured in Norwegian grazing animals than has been noted in many years.
Lavrans Skuterud, a scientist at the Norwegian Radiation ProtectionAuthority (Statens strålevern), said: “This year is extreme.”
In September, 8200 becquerel per kilo of the radioactive substance Caesium-137 was measured in reindeer from Våga reinlag AS, in Jotunheimen, central Norway.
In comparison, the highest amount at the same place was 1500 becquerel among the reindeer in September 2012.
The research also measured radioactivity in Norwegian sheep this year.
Both in Valdres in southwest Norway and Gudbrandsdalen in southeast Norway, 4500 becquerel per kilo meat from sheep was measured at most.
600 becquerel per kilo is the safe limit allowed for sheep meat to be sold for human consumption.
The Radiation Protection scientist is quite certain about the cause.
Lavrans Skuterud said: “This year, there has been extreme amounts of mushroom. In addition, the mushroom season has lasted for a long time. And the mushroom has grown very high up on the mountains.”
Especially the gypsy mushroom (Cortinarius Caperatus) has been a problem. This is a good food mushroom, both for people and animals. But it has one bad trait: It can absorb a lot of radioactivity.
Skuterud is still surprised by the high levels this year.
He reminds that: “The Chernobyl accident happened in 1986. It is nearly 30 years ago.”
The nuclear reactor of Chernobyl was made to be cheap and effective in its operation, but was regrettably also basically unstable, and one day in spring of 1986, everything went wrong.
Caesium-137 has a physical half-life of 30 years. This means that in two years, half of the radioactive dust that came in over Norway after the dramatic spring night in 1986, will be gone.
Skuterud explained: “The level of [radioactivity] in the environment still decreases faster than this. Some of
A government report released this week blasted the safety procedures for handling radioactive waste at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, following a leak that prompted a shutdown in February.
The inspector general of the Department of Energy said a barrel of plutonium-tainted debris was improperly packaged, then shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M.in February to be stored in an underground storage facility a half-mile beneath the surface. Once at WIPP, a salt truck caught on fire underground, causing a chemical reaction inside a waste drum that released trace amounts of americium and plutonium. Some 22 plant employees were contaminated, forcing a shutdown of the facility that is still in effect.
According to the DOE, operations at WIPP were suspended and the nation's only operating deep geologic repository for the permanent disposal of defense-related radioactive waste was shut down for an indefinite period. The shutdown has already cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. The DOE projects a 2016 re-opening of the plant.
Among the critical points made in the report, the DOE accused the laboratory of permitting the introduction of potentially incompatible materials in waste drums to be stored at WIPP, and a failure of the lab's safety procedures to prevent this from occurring.
"Our review identified several major deficiencies in LANL's procedures for the development and approval of waste packaging and remediation techniques that may have contributed to the radiological event," said the report. "Of particular concern, not all waste management procedures at LANL were properly vetted through the established procedure revision process nor did they conform to established environmental requirements."
There was also concern about how the lab was disposing of volatile mixtures of nitrate salts and organic matter which a 2000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report found to be "inherently hazardous."
Call them the company formerly known as USEC.
A Maryland-based company that wants to build a uranium enrichment plant in southern Ohio announced Tuesday that it has emerged from bankruptcy restructured and with a new name: Centrus.
The company, which declared bankruptcy and saw their reorganization plan approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Sept. 5, 2014, said it has satisfied all conditions from emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.
The long-troubled USEC, which stands for the United States Enrichment Corporation, has struggled for years to attain the federal funding that it says it needs to commercialize new technology at its uranium centrifuge in Piketon, Ohio. The company declared bankruptcy in March, and quickly announced a plan to reorganize. At the time of their bankruptcy, they were engaged in a two-year federal research and development project aimed at demonstrating the viability of the technology used at the plant. That project has since ended, achieving all its objectives, according to a company spokesman.
Company officials said the bankruptcy was necessary in order to restructure about $530 million in debt to bondholders that was scheduled to mature in October 2014, replacing it with new debt totaling $240.4 million. Under the arrangement approved by the bankruptcy court, the new debt will mature in five years.
The company, the only domestic producer of enriched uranium, has struggled for years to secure government support for its Piketon plant, known as the American Centrifuge Project.
“We strongly believe in the future value that the American Centrifuge technology can provide for domestic uranium enrichment,” said John Welch, president and CEO of Centrus, adding that the new company “will build on the innovation of our employees, America’s leading experts on uranium enrichment, to support the national security needs of the United States governm
India's new prime minister is turning to nuclear energy to ease a power crisis made worse by the cancellation of hundreds of coal mining permits, but he faces scepticism both at home and abroad.
Energy-starved India relies on coal to produce two thirds of its electricity, but power blackouts are common and demand is rising quickly as the economy and middle class expand.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court cancelled over 200 coal mining permits because the licensing process was deemed illegal, making the need for alternative energy sources yet more pressing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made nuclear a priority as he seeks to fulfil his campaign pledge to kickstart the country's flagging economy.
But to succeed, he will need to convince a sceptical public that nuclear is safe, and dispel foreign proliferation concerns to secure the imports of uranium and technology that India needs to produce atomic energy.
"Concerns of power disruptions raised post the Supreme Court judgement on the coal issue show how reliance on single source of energy is unhealthy," said Amit Bhandari, energy and environment fellow at Gateway House, a Mumbai-based think-tank.
"It makes sense investing in nuclear energy, which provides clean power and a hedge against coal supply shocks."
Let's see what effect this has on the stock next week...
On September 22, 2014, USEC Inc. ("USEC" or the "Company") entered into Amendment No. 008 ("Amendment No. 008") to the agreement dated May 1, 2014 with UT-Battelle, LLC, as operator of Oak Ridge National Laboratory ("ORNL"), for continued research, development and demonstration of the American Centrifuge technology in furtherance of the U.S. Department of Energy's ("DOE") national security objectives (the "American Centrifuge Technology Demonstration and Operations Agreement" or "ACTDO Agreement"). Amendment No. 008 amends the ACTDO Agreement to provide for additional funds of approximately $6.9 million, bringing total funding to approximately $40.7 million. The other terms and conditions of the ACTDO Agreement were not changed by the Amendment.
The ACTDO Agreement provides for continued cascade operations, the continuation of core American Centrifuge research and technology activities, and the furnishing of related reports to ORNL. The agreement is a firm fixed-price contract with a total price of approximately $75.3 million for the period from May 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. The agreement provides for payments of approximately $6.7 million per month through September 30, 2014 and approximately $6.9 million thereafter. The ACTDO Agreement is incrementally funded. Funds currently allocated to the ACTDO Agreement are expected to cover the work to be performed through October 31, 2014. The agreement also provides ORNL with one additional option to extend the agreement by six months to September 30, 2015. The option is priced at approximately $41.7 million. ORNL may exercise its option by providing notice 60 days prior to the end of the term of the agreement. The total price of the contract including options is approximately $117 million.
The Commerce Department on Friday raised its estimate of gross domestic product to show the economy expanded at a 4.6 percent annual rate. That was in line with Wall Street's expectations.
The best performance since the fourth quarter of 2011 reflected a faster pace of business spending and sturdier export growth than previously estimated.
But consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was unrevised as stronger healthcare outlays were offset by weaknesses in recreation and durable goods spending.
We can draw parallels between Obamanomics and FDR's New Deal.
Almost everything FDR did to jump-start growth instead #$%$ it. The rise in the minimum wage kept unemployment intolerably high. Roosevelt’s work programs like the Works Progress Administration, National Recovery Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration were so bureaucratic as to have minimal impact on jobs. Raising tax rates to nearly 80 percent on the rich stalled the economy. Social Security is and always was from the start a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme that will eventually sink into bankruptcy unless reformed.
The most alarming story of economic ignorance surrounding this New Deal era was the tax increases while the economy was faltering. According to economist Burt Folsom, FDR signed one of the most financially devastating taxes: “On April 27, 1942, he signed an executive order taxing all personal income above $25,000 [rich back then] at 100 percent. Congress balked at that idea and later lowered it to 90 percent at the top level.” The New Dealers completely ignored the lessons of the 1920s tax cuts, which just a decade before had unfurled an age of super-growth.
Then there was the spending and debt barrage. Federal spending catapulted from $4.65 billion in 1933 to nearly $13.7 billion in 1941. This tripling of the federal budget in just eight years came at a time of almost no inflation (just 13.1 percent cumulative during that period). Budget surpluses during the prosperous Coolidge years became ever-larger deficits under FDR’s fiscal reign. During his first term, more than half the federal budget on average came from borrowed money.
The cruel irony of the New Deal is that the liberals' honorable intentions to help the poor and the unemployed caused more human suffering than any other set of ideas in the past century.