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Uranium in Australia

Discussion in 'Commodities' started by prs, Aug 22, 2009.

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  1. prs

    prs prs

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    I haven't had any input for a long time so I'm not up with the discussions but can anyone offer their thoughts on uranium futures in Australia.
     
  2. trainspotter

    trainspotter

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  3. noirua

    noirua

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    No futures or future yet for NSW. No uranium exploration or mining allowed,
    "Uranium not in all of Australia".
     
  4. So_Cynical

    So_Cynical The Contrarian Averager

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  5. noirua

    noirua

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    All very interesting, thanks for the links. I notice they say Thorium is a low value by product of uranium, or perhaps this is just one source of it. Is thorium more a poor persons uranium reactor?
     
  6. trainspotter

    trainspotter

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    When using thorium in modified light water reactor (LWR) problems include: the undeveloped technology for fuel fabrication; in traditional, once-through LWR designs potential problems in recycling thorium due to highly radioactive 228Th; some weapons proliferation risk due to production of 233U; and the technical problems (not yet satisfactorily solved) in reprocessing. Much development work is still required before the thorium fuel cycle can be commercialized for use in LWR, and the effort required seems unlikely while (or where) abundant uranium is available. *Thanks Wikipedia*

    http://www.ga.gov.au/minerals/research/national/thorium/index.jsp

    Uranium will be with us for a while yet I am afraid. Uranium-235 has a half life of about 7000 million years. :eek:
     
  7. Mungo_Jerry

    Mungo_Jerry

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    I don't know about the long long term, but the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) say approx 64 new nuclear power plants will be bought on line in the next 6 years. China is expected to build 20 over the next 10 years. I doubt if many (if any) are thorium.
    There are over 300 hundred planned - which may or may not be thorium.
    Australia is sitting on approx 23% of worlds uranium.

    A 1000 MegaWatt reactor contains @ 200 tonnes of uranium & 'burns' approx 1kg a day, so they require refueling every couple of years. That's a lot of uranium over the next 20 years.

    Uranium & uranium miners are set to soar over the few years. IMO
     
  8. So_Cynical

    So_Cynical The Contrarian Averager

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    While thorium can be used in common LWR's the real future of nuclear energy is in the use of MSR-Molten Salt Reactors and LFTR-liquid fluoride thorium reactors based on the thorium fuel cycle.

    ill quote the wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuji_MSR

    "The FUJI mini-molten salt reactor is a design project for a 100 MWe (megawatts of electrical output) molten-salt-fueled Thorium fuel cycle thermal breeder reactor, using technology similar to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Molten Salt Reactor Experiment. It is being developed by a consortium including members from Japan, the U.S. and Russia. As a breeder reactor, it converts Thorium into the nuclear fuel uranium-233. As a thermal-spectrum reactor, its neutron regulation is inherently safe. Like all molten salt reactors, its core is chemically inert and under low pressure, helping to prevent explosions and toxic releases."

    The worst thing that comes out of a thorium reactor is U233 half life about 300 years, comes out in very small quantity's and easy to safely store....these reactors cant blow up and don't produce plutonium and its all proven technology.

    The only reason they didn't continue developing the technology in the 60's and 70's was due to the fact that the thorium reactors didn't produce any plutonium, and they needed that for the weapons industry, so they went with the other type of reactor.
     
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