Articles and papers on uranium and related markets.
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In 2017, Argentina committed to the construction of its 4th and 5th large nuclear power plants and is on schedule with refurbishment related with the life-extension and up-rating of the Embalse nuclear plant. Construction of the CAREM 25 small modular reactor (“SMR”) – one of only three SMRs under construction around the world – is reported to be progressing well.
Hallgarten and Co analyst, Christopher Ecclestone, has written an outstanding and comprehensive summary on the nuclear framework of Argentina. He summarizes the history of nuclear electricity generation in Argentina and the direction in which the country is moving forward. He highlights that uranium production is the one conspicuous gap in the otherwise complete Argentine nuclear energy program. He also points out that Brazilian uranium production is falling short of future demand and therefore represents a logical export opportunity for Argentine uranium production.
Five operating reactors: The Takahama 3 unit that was brought back into operation on June 6th, is the 5th reactor to be re-started in Japan as the country gradually ramps up nuclear electricity generation. The re-start of Takahama 3 follows the Takahama 4 unit that was brought back on-line in May and reached full commercial production yesterday. Takahama 3 was connected to the electricity grid on June 9th and is scheduled to reach full power output in early-July. The other three reactors that are operating in Japan are Sendai 1 & 2 and Ikata 3.
With the restarting of the Takahama 4 reactor early yesterday morning, Japan now has four reactors back on-line. The reactor is scheduled to start supplying electricity to the grid on May 22 and will gradually increase output until it reaches full-scale operation in mid-June. The other three reactors that are on-line in Japan are the Sendai 1 and 2 and Ikata 3 power plants.
By reaching commercial operation on October 19, the Watts Bar 2 unit became the first nuclear power plant to come on stream in the US in 20 years. The new reactor program, which includes four other large reactors under construction, and another five planned, is part of a quiet nuclear renaissance that’s taking shape in the US today. Nuclear energy production in the US continues to be near all-time highs with recent developments indicating that it is likely to grow in the coming years.
Ontario has shown its further commitment to carbon-free, nuclear energy with the approval of a 30-year life extension program for the four reactors at the Darlington site announced in early January. Ontario’s Minister of Energy was quoted as saying: “Proceeding with the refurbishment at Darlington will ensure that nuclear continues to be Ontario’s single largest source of power.” Hot on the heels of the Darlington news was the green light for an application to be made for the four reactors at the Pickering site to continue operating beyond the originally planned closure date of 2018: the application will be for two of the reactors to continue producing electricity until 2022 and for the other two to continue until 2024.