Nuke News

Lots to keep tabs on.  Little time for it until all and sundry are back to work/school.

From WNN:

Operation resumes at Rabbit Lake
03 January 2008

Cameco announced on 2 January that normal mining activities had been resumed following flooding in late 2007 at its Eagle Point mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The company announced on 28 November that underground activities at the mine, part of the Rabbit Lake uranium operation, had been suspended as a precautionary measure when the mine experienced an increase of water flow at a time when the capacity of the surface water-handling system was also temporarily reduced due to an equipment upgrade. Cameco said that operations had resumed “well ahead of schedule”, after sealing off the source of the water inflow. An old exploration drill hole was identified as the source of the water inflow. The hole was plugged by installing an inflatable packer. Cameco said that it will install a permanent plug and grout a substantial length of the drill hole with cement to replace the inflatable packer in the next couple of weeks.

No mention of ecological issues.  Hmm…what’s in the Financial Post:

Cameco resumes Rabbit Lake operations faster than expected
Posted: January 03, 2008, 1:31 PM by Peter Koven

Uranium miner Cameco Corp. has been besieged by operational problems in the last couple of years, but there was some good news Wednesday. The company said its Rabbit Lake mine in Saskatchewan is up and running after water inflow problems forced a closure in November. That was a faster clean-up than expected.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Fraser Phillips reduced his 2008 production estimate on Cameco after the closure was first announced, and assumed no first quarter production from Rabbit Lake. But now that operations are up and running, milling operations and uranium production are expected to resume later this quarter, slightly ahead of his expectations.

Despite the company’s well-documented problems, Mr. Phillips noted that Cameco “remains the leader” in the uranium industry, with the largest and highest quality assets. “However, continuing delays and uncertainty around Cigar Lake are cause for concern.

 

Hmm…Cameco is not a  miner, it is a corporation, but nice try NP/FP, to personalize the mega-polluting inanimate thing.   Doesn’t seem to be any mention of environmental issues in this piece, either.

Will anyone report on that so we can know the full story?

Bedfellows: Oil, Gas & Uranium

 

It just keeps getting more and more interesting, how these pronukers and oil barons collude and collaborate. I found the following buried in a Globe and Mail article:

 

 

Bruce Power Corp. announced that it has agreed to purchase assets of Energy Alberta Corp., a small company that has proposed building a reactor in Alberta to supply electricity and, possibly, hydrogen.

 

Bruce Power said it would forge ahead with plans to build a Candu reactor near Peace River, Alberta, with the launch of a full environmental assessment.

Isn’t it just so convenient that the Energy Alberta Corporation (EAC) is being consumed by the Bruce Power Corporation (BPC)? EAC is the little unknown Alberta company that introduced itself in 2005 with a mission to “to provide clean, emission-free energy, utilizing advanced and proven nuclear technology to supply oil sands operators and the province of Alberta with a reliable flow of electricity at a competitive cost.” [Note: EAC’s corporate mission statement has been revised since P’n’P first reported on this issue.] EAC teamed up with the federal crown corporation, Atomic Energy of Canada Corporation, in its bid to build a new-fangled and untested CANDU nuclear reactor in northern Alberta.

 

BPC bills itself as “Canada’s first private nuclear generating company.” Basically, it’s an all-male consortium with representatives from the uranium giant, Cameco, which purchased “nearly a third of Bruce Power LP” in 2003 according to Friends of Bruce. Also represented on the Bruce Power board is TransCanada Power Corporation, a pipelines and energy business which includes gas transmission, power generation, gas storage and their plans for the Keystone Pipeline which is proposed to run from the Alberta Tar Sands and south into the USA. The Communications, Energy, Paperworkers (CEP) Union of Canada, an affiliate of International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions, has called on the feds to refer the matter to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources for broader discussion and on Canadians to take actions to stop this proposed pipeline.

“There is no way this pipeline benefits Canada in any way,” says CEP President Dave Coles. “It’s all about boosting the bottom line of multinational oil companies.”

“This ruling is not in the public interest economically, socially or environmentally. CEP studies submitted to the NEB — that show the loss of 18,000 potential new jobs — have been ignored. Environmental concerns have been similarly ignored as has the issue of Canada compromising the energy needs of its own citizens to feed U.S. markets.”

“Clearly, this is the wrong decision for Canada, and it brings into question the role of the Board and the need for a domestic energy policy to protect Canadian interests. This discussion belongs in the political arena, and the federal government should take the necessary steps to make that happen.”

 

Interestingly, there is now a vacancy at the National Energy Board.

 

The tar sands giga-project is the single largest industrial project ever undertaken in the history of humanity, according to Oil Sands Truth. The community-based organization is working to shut down the tar sands project as part of Canada’s plan to tackle climate change and stop environmental devastation. Apparently, the MSM forgot to send a reporter to their end of November conference, Everyone’s Downstream, which brought together representatives from First Nations communities, environmental organizations, northern communities and migrant workers’ rights groups as well as the general public.

 

The proponents of the plan to nuclearize northern Alberta have been working tirelessly. Wayne Henuset of EAB was in Saskatoon in October, speaking at a Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce luncheon about Nuclear Power in the Oil Sands. All the players are moving ahead as though this project will not be stopped. We can be sure that Saskatchewan’s new premier, Brad Wall, will be eager to help his friends in the energy industry by supplying them with all they need.

 

To those who love this planet, it is essentional that we come together and stop this project. Greenpeace has named the threats of this project and they are huge:

 

 

I believe the capacity of the human spirit to overcome problems is greater than the threats we face. All we need to is to live into our intention to love this planet. Take action now!

 

 

Uranium CEO hit the payroll jackpot!

Interesting bit here, from Larry Hubichs Blog: Saskatchewan CEOs hit the payroll jackpot.  At the top of the heap, the CEO of the uranium giant, CAMECO.

This article in the Friday, Nov. 16, 2007 Regina Leader-Post reveals that a number of Saskatchewan based CEO’s hit the payroll jackpot last year.

According to the article, which quotes the Financial Post Business magazine, the following CEO’s received compensation last year as listed below:

Gerald Grandey, CEO of Cameco Corp.: $7.6 million
William Doyle, CEO of Potash Corp. of Sask.: $3.6 million
Mayo Schmidt, CEO of Sask. Wheat Pool (Viterra): $3.3 million

That 7.6 million, if divided among the people who live in Saskatchewan’s north (where the uranium mining takes place), would mean an extra $200  per year in the pockets of the residents.  And, given the price of groceries, that might mean something.

Uranium, health, and investment

It seems that the residents of Port Hope, ON have taken a page out of the book of workers at the Apollo and Parks nuclear facilities in the USA. From globeandmail.com and following that, a blurb from Howe Street.com, the “source for market opinion,” on uranium investments.

Port Hope activists call on Health Canada to study alleged uranium contamination

 

ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

Health Canada needs to fund a thorough study of residents of Port Hope, Ont., to investigate whether exposure to uranium is causing illnesses, says a local community group that conducted its own testing and detected what it says are elevated levels of the dangerous element in a number of residents.

Faye More, chair of the Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee, told a news conference yesterday that the costs of a study should be covered by the federal department, but the design should be under the control of local residents.

The group released the results of tests yesterday of nine people who had either worked in Port Hope’s nuclear-processing businesses or lived near the plants, and who were checked for the amount of uranium in their bodies. Although it was a relatively small number of people, the testing found that five of them had uranium levels substantially above two test subjects who didn’t have Port Hope exposures. One child had readings three times higher than the average of the two so-called controls, while one of the adults had levels eight times the controls, according to the group.

Full article

Meanwhile, investors are not talking about ethical issues around uranium. Instead, they’re talking tactical investing. That just makes my skin crawl.

We are at the beginning stages of a massive bidding war in Uranium. China is locking in massive deals in Africa and is now working on ever bigger deals in Kazakhstan which holds the worlds second largest reserves of Uranium after Australia. Note to that China signed a multi billion dollar uranium deal with Australia. China is basically locking up Uranium supplies, which means its taking this uranium out of the market place; this effectively means that there will be even less uranium for the rest of the global world players to go after. Now this development alone is bad enough but the situation worsens; Russia which has more than enough uranium has decided to start stock piling on uranium too. They have done this after declaring that Uranium is now a strategic resource and will only be exported in limited quantities. Once again the following news story will best illustrate our point

“This new agreement will allow the supply of Australian uranium for use in Russia’s civil nuclear power industry and provide a framework for broader cooperation on peaceful nuclear-related activities,” he said. Both Howard and Putin dismissed concerns that Russia would sell Australian uranium to third countries such as Iran.

“I simply don’t understand what people are talking about,” Putin said, pointing out that Russia already exports large quantities of enriched uranium for military use, including 30 tonnes a year to the United States. “We are buying uranium from Australia for purely economic reasons,” he said. Full Story

Purely economic reasons and why not; Putin is a smart man he knows that in the future nations will be desperately begging for this valuable commodity and he also knows that he who controls the keys to the energy market controls the world. One other thing to note here is that Russia supplies the US with over 30 tonnes a year of uranium; Russia could cut these supplies on a moments notice especially now that the relationship between these two former cold war enemies has turned rather frosty as of late.

Bottom line is the Uranium bull is one that is going to be driven by the two most powerful forces in the universe and such a development is very rare and provides the astute investor with a window of opportunity that usually presents itself only once in a persons life time. The two forces are fear and greed; usually one of them is enough to produce massive moves but in the near future both of them will be working in unison instead of against each other. This is one of the main reasons why it’s almost impossible to predict how high uranium prices could eventually trade at. Right now the uranium sector has been beaten down and many individuals have given up on this sector as some stocks have truly taken a massive beating. Remember at TI we view disaster as opportunity waiting to be discovered and thus our advice to all our subscribers is to make sure you hold positions in all the various uranium plays that are listed in our portfolios and hold them through thick and thin or until we advise you to unload them. Those that do so will be handsomely rewarded and those that don’t well in the years to come they will most likely shed tears of blood as they wonder what possessed them to let such a wonderful opportunity pass them by. Do not let this opportunity slip by you.

Yes, that’s it, investors.  Make money no matter the cost, human or otherwise!

Cigar Lake Faces New Delay

Poor Cameco!  Only a $91,000,000 third quarter profit as opposed to $95,600,000 last year.  And delays at Cigar Lake threatening fourth quarter profits.  It’s tough being a global greed, isn’t it?

Cameco Says Sales to Fall; Cigar Lake Faces New Delay (Update5)
By Christopher Donville and Yuriy Humber

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Cameco Corp., the world’s largest uranium supplier, said fourth-quarter revenue will be squeezed by lower prices and production at its Cigar Lake mine in Canada will be delayed until at least 2011.

Sales will decline about 10 percent from the third quarter, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco said today in a statement. Uranium spot prices have declined 39 percent since June as some nuclear utilities suspended purchases.

Cigar Lake, which was originally scheduled to begin operations this year and supply about a 10th of global consumption, or 18 million pounds of uranium, flooded a year ago after a rock fall. Draining and repairs to the mine, the world’s biggest untapped source of uranium, are taking longer than forecast because of the need to dig a second shaft, Cameco said.

The delay is “a slight negative for Cameco and a slight positive for the price of uranium,” Kenneth van der Vlugt, a senior vice president with Raymond James Financial Inc., which brokers uranium, said by phone from Dusseldorf, Germany.

Cameco fell C$1.63, or 3.4 percent, to C$46.55 at 4:24 p.m. in Toronto Stock Exchange trading. The shares have fallen 1.4 percent this year, valuing the company at C$16.5 billion.

Cameco’s third-quarter profit climbed to C$91 million ($95.6 million), or 25 cents a share, from C$73 million, or 20 cents, a year earlier, the company said in the statement. Sales rose 89 percent to C$681 million.

Sales Outlook

The company expects fourth-quarter sales will be less than the third quarter’s because of a likely drop in uranium sales volumes and a decline in the average price, Cameco said. Sales were expected to rise to C$686.7 million, based on the average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Sales in the fourth quarter of 2006 were C$512 million.

Couldn’t happen to a more unethical bunch!