Fuel cycle roundup #26

23 May 2014

Millennium on hold

Cameco has formally withdrawn its construction and operating licence application for the proposed Millennium uranium mine in Canada's Athabasca Basin, citing unfavourable economic conditions. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission cancelled a public hearing on the application that had been scheduled for June.

The company says it will continue to do "some limited work related to Millennium" to enable it to be ready to resubmit an application "should market signals indicate new uranium mine projects are required."

Expansion for Nichols Ranch

Uranerz Energy has submitted an application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to add the Jane Dough permit area to the licence for its existing Nichols Ranch in-situ leach (ISL) uranium project in Wyoming.

Jane Dough is the combination of three properties - Doughstick, South Doughstick and North Jane - and is contiguous to Nichols Ranch, which started up in April. Uranerz plans to install only wellfields at Jane Dough, using pipelines to transfer mining solutions to Nichols Ranch for processing rather than building a satellite plant at Jane Dough, an arrangement the company expects to result in both capital and time savings while enhancing the project economics of the Nichols Ranch facility.

The Jane Dough unit contains measured and indicated resources of 2.735 million pounds U3O8 (1052 tU) at an average grade of 0.108%.

Westinghouse fuels Vattenfall units

Westinghouse is to supply replacement nuclear fuel and related engineering services for Forsmark 3, Ringhals 3 and Ringhals 4 under a contract awarded by Vattenfall. The contract covers yearly deliveries during a four-year period from 2016 to 2019. Fuel for the Forsmark boiling water reactor and the two pressurised water reactors at Ringhals will be produced by Westinghouse at its Västerås facility in Sweden.

Slovakia bans uranium mining

Slovakia's government has approved a draft amendment to the country's geological law that would ban future uranium mining unless approved by a local referendum. The ban on the mining of radioactive material must be approved by Slovakia's National Council and could come into effect in June, according to environment minister Peter Ziga.

Slovakia has several known uranium deposits, and its 2008 Energy Security Strategy identified an assessment of the viability of uranium mining as a priority. Australian company Forte Energy is currently investigating the Kuriskova and Novoveska Huta uranium deposits and other uranium exploration targets which it purchased from European Uranium Resources earlier this year. 

Dewey-Burdock stay lifted

The NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has lifted a temporary stay placed on the licence for Powertech Uranium's Dewey-Burdock ISL project after denying motions against the licence filed by two intervenor groups. The board's decision means that the licence granted to Powertech in April remains in full effect. Powertech President Richard Clement praised the NRC for acting "in good faith with all interested parties," and said the company was looking forward to completing the remaining regulatory approvals and moving on to the construction phase of the South Dakota project.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News