Saturday, March 19, 2011

Uranium Fuel Cycle conference - focus on small reactors

Between the northern Arizona uranium mining EIS and the global impacts of the Japan reactor problems, my inbox is stacked with uranium news. Peter Scholle passed along an announcement for the Uranium Fuel Cycle Conference in Hobbs, NM, April 27-28, that will focus on will focus on "potential developments and implementation of small-scale reactors."

The conference web site talks about small reactors as having capacity to provide "125 megawatts to 750 megawatts of electricity for a five-year operating cycle without refueling." This compares to gigawatt size reactors at full scale plants.

The “Uranium Fuel Cycle” conference will begin with a panel on “Uranium Mining Today: Geology and New Technology,” led by Dr. Peter Scholle of New Mexico Tech. Scholle is the State Geologist and the director of the N.M. Bureau of Geology. The conference will present improved methods for the mining of uranium. New technology that eliminates labor-intensive, high-risk activity prevalent in previous operations will be presented. Also, Uranium Resources Inc., a mining-company based in Texas, will present information about the latest technological developments in uranium mining. The company has several mines in Texas and has holdings in New Mexico that include 183,000 acres and 100 million pounds of in-place mineralized uranium holdings, according to the company’s website.

Also on the schedule for the conference is a panel discussion on uranium processing, featuring top executives from Urenco USA (uranium enrichment), International Isotopes (uranium tailing recovery), Waste Control Specialist LLC and WIPP (waste/storage).

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