revival fuels uranium rush; Prospectors snap up 20% of
Byline: John Greenwood
The global scramble
for uranium resources has sparked an unprecedented staking rush in
Ground zero for
uranium mining in
In fact, the lineups of prospectors and company representatives that form daily at government staking offices became so long and unruly that authorities were forced to abandon the first-come, first-served method in favour of a lottery system.
"We were having
challenges keeping the line in order," said George Patterson, executive director
of the mining division of
In recent decades,
primarily as fuel for nuclear power generation, is fairly common worldwide, but
Most of the
territory in the traditional uranium mining region, the
before. Players have even laid
claim to the mineral rights under the frigid waters of
competition for potential uranium properties has become so intense that
companies are sending out exploration teams even further afield, to the
The record staking
Since 2003, prices have moved up more than tenfold, with much of the rise taking place in the past six months. Since the start of 2007, uranium has shot up about 57%.
The uranium boom is being driven by a global resurgence in nuclear generation. After falling out of favour in the 1980s and 1990s, the sector is enjoying a renaissance as governments around the world announce the construction of new plants.
"We've had inquiries
500 more hires planned at Bruce Power; impact could put a crunch on accommodations
Byline: BY PAT HALPIN
Bruce Power CEO
Duncan Hawthorne told
"We all know that
once it gets to summer time a lot of the vacation cottages are occupied,"
"None of the contractors are raising it as a major issue right now but it's kind of obvious that there aren't many places around that are vacant."
The housing pressure
is being felt as far as Walkerton.
"So from a planning
point of view we should work on the basis that Bruce Power will be the site of
large numbers of contract staff at least until 2011,"
Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer said that growth means opportunity "we haven't had since the 1970's and maybe never before."
"I hope our planning staff will help us with some of these out of the box ideas that will help us capitalize" on the growth, he said. "There's a whole bunch of (planning and infrastructure) issues that allow us to play into the hand that's being developed as opposed to not seizing the opportunities.
"This area has the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of nuclear applications" such as medical and energy technology, Kraemer said.
"At some point I'll be back to ask how you feel about converting some vehicles to hydrogen," he said, calling it "the fuel of the future."
Guidelines set for nuclear study
Byline: By Keith Gilligan firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has ruled OPG must conduct a screening level EA for the refurbishment of the four 'B' side reactors. OPG is preparing a business case for the refurbishment, and the EA is one aspect of it.
The company is considering whether Units could be rebuilt, work that could extend the life of the reactors to about 2060.
If the CNSC rules against the refurbishment, the units would shut down in 10 to 15 years.
"It says for us, it provides us with a framework, a scope with what to do," OPG spokesman John Earl states of the guidelines set out by the CNSC. We welcome this."
"It provides us with a scoping of what's required in the EA process," he adds.
In it's Record of Proceedings, including Reasons for Decision, "CNSC staff stated in its submissions that it is not aware at this time of any potentially significant environmental effects or public concern associated with this project which, in its opinion, would warrant having the project referred to a mediator or review panel."
Mr. Earl says the CNSC ruling "lays out all the things we have to look at while preparing a business case. What kinds of detail, what do they want us to do to prepare the EA, what parameters? Now we have the scope, the framework to complete it to their satisfaction."
Among the items that have to be examined are climate change, seismic activity, population growth in the GTA, and the possibility of a "catastrophic accident," which could be caused by a technical failure, a terrorist attack or a large airplane crashing into the plant.
The CNSC decision noted several groups "disagreed with CNSC staff's recommendation and requested that the Commission refer the project to a review panel, based on the level of public concern."
Commission members asked CNSC staff about the public concern and were told any issues would be addressed in the EA.
Among the mandatory factors that have to be addressed in an EA are the environmental effects of the projects, including the effects a malfunction or accidents could have, and any measures that could mitigate any significant environmental effects.
The Record of Proceedings noted, "OPG reported that it considered that the potential environmental effects of the project could be established with a high degree of certainty since the environmental impacts of operating Pickering 'B' have been well established."
Commission members agreed with a CNSC staff recommendation that the purpose of the project be considered.
Mr. Earl says the company has "been working on the business case for some time. The project will be viewed in as many ways as possible. Does this opportunity, this project, make good sense?"
OPG is aiming for early 2008 to have the business case completed. "It's not time driven. It will be the best business case we can put forward," Mr. Earl noted.
Bruce A refurbishment good value for public; Says Auditor General of $4.25 billion refurbishment
The Ontario Auditor General confirmed last week that the Bruce A $4.25 billion refurbishment is worth the risk to ratepayers.
Energy Minister Dwight Duncan released his report last week, outlining how the review of the 2005 transfer in operating costs and overrun risks from the ratepayer, revealed the deal was a good value for the public.
review confirms this conclusion,"
The report found the province had considered and addressed the risks and issues and had all the information and expertise needed to negotiate the massive deal.
"It was such a big deal, people want to ensure transparency," said Bruce Power President and CEO Duncan Hawthorne. "It's one of the largest power deals to date. So it's just good governance to do these types of things."
The terms of the
agreement were subject to review by financial, legal and technical advisors and
approved by the
The report also noted that external financial advisors found Bruce Power's rate of return on its investment was acceptable (6.1 cents per kilowatt hour from the agreed 6.3 cents due to lower fuel costs), along with the negotiations needed to get to that point.
"It vindicates the process," he said.
As part of the agreement, Bruce Power is investing $4.25 billion to restart Bruce A Units 1 and 2, refurbish Unit 3 and replace steam generators in Unit 4.
Copies of the report are available at energy.gov.on.ca
Development Pty Ltd., fully owned by Mitsubishi, and
invest about 11 million Canadian dollars (9.6 million
"Global uranium demand is expected to grow strongly with the increase in the number of global nuclear reactors, which are considered environmentally friendly," the company said in a statement.
"The project aims for a stable supply of uranium product for nuclear power generators and thus contributes to the prevention of further global warming."
Bruce Power gets national exposure with Blue Jays agreement
Bruce Power has made
a deal with one of
On April 5, Bruce Power announced a new multi-year partnership with the Toronto Blue Jays that will see the company receive national rights to all Blue Jays and Rogers Centre marks and exposure in Blue Jays broadcasts with high profile signage at the stadium.
"We're well known in this area, but not elsewhere," said Bruce Power President and CEO, Duncan Hawthorne. "It's a great chance for marketing exposure."
Bruce Power has also agreed to the supply of electrical power at the Rogers Centre, earning the rights to use the 'Rogers Centre, powered by Bruce Power' designation.
As an added bonus to the agreement, Blue Jays fans at the Rogers Centre and throughout the province will see new stadium promotions this season as well as the 'Jays on the Road Presented by Bruce Power'
program, an interactive baseball
tour which will visit communities in
"Bruce Power is
proud to be partnering with one of
"The opportunity to
provide excitement and added value to Blue Jays fans right across
"The Blue Jays are
proud to welcome industry leader Bruce Power to our family of Corporate
Partners," Paul Godfrey, president and CEO of the Blue Jays, said in a press
release. "The Blue Jays are truly
The Jays on the Road Presented by Bruce Power event will consist of a batting area and a speed pitch area for kids.
"We believe it will happen right through the heart of the summer in the June, July and August months," said Steve Cannon, manager of investor and media relations. "We hope to confirm to have them come to the Bruce Power beach party in Port Elgin."
The party is scheduled for July 21