Insider Secrets

Insider Secrets

Learn how the PROs are making money from the oil and energy market.

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Alternative Energy / Nuclear Power

  • Lets Stop Pretending Nuclear Power Is Commercially Viable

    First its new president, Jean-Bernard Levy, said French state utility EDF would delay a decision on its joint French-Chinese nuclear project in the UK, Hinkley Point. That was over a year ago. Then the CFO of EDF, Thomas Piquemal, quit reportedly because he opposed the project on fi-nancial grounds. That was a short time ago. Then after a slew of leaked memos, the French gov-ernment just announced that EDF would be raising more money and the Hinkley decision would now come in September. David Cameron’s government in the UK backs this exceedingly expensive project and the French government controls both…

  • Why Small Modular Reactors Are Not The Next Big Thing

    The cost of building large, conventional nuclear power plants continues to escalate, leading the nuclear industry to explore an alternative, the small modular reactor (SMR). These plants, less than 300 megawatts in size, are "small" only when compared to a conventional nuclear reactor or full size (1000 MW) fossil fuel plant. The nuclear industry hopes that factory-built SMRs will eliminate construction delays and quality control issues that have plagued nuclear projects such as EDF's Flamanville and Olkiluoto. Small reactor designs include advanced light water reactors (LWRs), high temperature gas cooled (helium) and molten metal cooled (sodium) systems. LWRs that use…

  • Why Britain’s Bespoke Nuclear Program Won’t Work

    To: David Cameron, PM From: Unofficial Independent Energy Maven Advisory Policy Group (UIEMAPG)Re: UK Nuclear PolicySubject: Mr Cameron, Please Consider a Plan B, Not Just Hinckley Point C In a speech last November titled “A New Direction for a UK Energy Policy”, your estimable new Department of Energy and Environmental Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, outlined her goals for Britain's energy future. With respect to electric power generation she made four key points. First, coal fired power stations lacking environmental abatement would be phased out by 2030. More natural gas plants, like the Carrington unit, would be built. Needless to say…

  • Is The World's Biggest Uranium Producer About To Shock Miners?

    Short but ominous note from the world’s largest uranium-producing nation this week. Suggesting that some unpleasant surprises could be coming for the mining sector here. The place is Kazakhstan. Where the country’s president said the government may be about to take some drastic action against foreign operators in the uranium industry. Speaking at a meeting with national uranium miner Kazatomprom, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan may soon look to “reclaim” some assets from mining companies. With the president saying that the action is necessary because firms are “not meeting their obligations” when it comes to mine development. Related: Largest U.S.…

  • The Myth Of Expensive Nuclear Power

    Lovering, Yip and Nordhaus (Science Direct April 2016) reviewed construction cost data for 349 reactors in the U.S., France, Canada, West Germany, Japan, India, and South Korea, encompassing 58 percent of all reactors built globally, and concluded that there is no inherent cost escalation trend associated with nuclear technology. There is however a vast variation in construction costs from one country to another. Some countries like the U.S., Canada, Japan and W Germany responded to the Three Mile Island accident by imposing regulations that pushed construction costs through the roof, while France, S Korea and India did not. S Korea…

  • Germany Hails Landmark Achievement In Fusion Energy

    The Wendelstein 7-X won’t be winning any awards for catchy name of the year, but the massive new German prototype fusion reactor does represent one of the biggest advances in fusion power in decades. The device also exemplifies what might be the start of a nascent trend; European leadership in energy research and experimentation. Related: The Biggest Natural Gas Discovery Of 2016 Just Got Bigger The Wendelstein 7-X is the world’s largest stellarator, a massively complex fusion reactor that was inaugurated by Angela Merkel in a recent ceremony. The reactor is a testing prototype at this stage rather than a commercial…

  • World’s Biggest Uranium Nation Just Confirmed Record Production

    Last August, I discussed how uranium production in world-leading nation Kazakhstan appeared to be rising, despite lower prices. And this week we got confirmation that 2015 was another record year for this uranium hotspot. Kazakhstan’s state uranium miner Kazatomprom said Monday that the country’s output saw a substantial rise over the past year. With production jumping 4.3 percent in 2015, to 23,800 tonnes uranium (52.5 million pounds). Related: The Condensate Con: How Real Is The Oil Glut? That’s an increase of over 970 tonnes (2.1 million pounds) from the 22,829 tonnes that Kazakhstan produced in 2014. Showing that the mining industry…

  • Nuclear Renaissance Has Analysts Bullish On Uranium

    Investors in uranium producers and explorers could be in for a banner year of growth and opportunity, making the nuclear fuel an outlier compared to other mined commodities whose prices continue to stagnate. Those with positions in companies like Cameco, Paladin Energy and Uranium Energy Corp could finally see their patience rewarded after many quarters of lost market capitalization due to weak uranium prices. In the years following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011, uranium has had a rough ride, with prices slumping from about US$60 a pound before the disaster, to a nine-year low of $28 in…

  • China's $1 Trillion Nuclear Plan

    China, still the world's largest consumer of mineral and energy commodities despite lagging economic growth, appears to be have one foot in the past and another in the future as it embarks on an ambitious plan to install nuclear power stations while at the same time committing to over 100 coal-fired power plants that may never burn a single tonne of the widely-condemned fossil fuel. The disconnect is a bit of a puzzle, but the evidence lies in a recent report by Greenpeace indicating that in the first nine months of this year, Chinese central and provincial governments issued environmental…

  • Japan To Restart Several Nuclear Plants, But Opposition Is Fierce

    A Japanese court says it’s too early to resume operations at the Takahama nuclear power plant on the country’s western coast, citing the risk of earthquakes in the area, but the local governor has approved a restart of two reactors at the facility in the town of Takahama. All Japan’s 43 active reactors were ordered shut down as a precaution because of the Fukushima meltdown in 2011. So far the governments of two prefectures, Kagoshima and Ehime, have allowed restarting reactors in their jurisdictions under new safety rules instituted in 2013. Yet only two reactors at the Kagoshima plant are…

Martin tiller